For many, the idea of altering the appearance of wine is tantamount to blasphemy. Red, white, and occasionally pinkish are the only acceptable shades. As one of the world’s most historically weighty drinks, with producers flogging ludicrously expensive and important sounding vintages to connoisseurs all over the world, there is more than a sniff of snobbery about the entire industry.
It’s come as no small shock, therefore, that a new kid on the wine block has arrived.
Spanish based wine merchants Gik have, in their own words, set about creating a “revolution” in the industry. Their radical proposal is not the inclusion of a previously undiscovered grape. Nor is it a return to crushing the fruit under foot. Instead, Gik have decided that what the world needs is bright blue wine.
At first glance, Gik’s signature offering looks more like a particularly lurid alcopop or a highly corrosive bathroom bleach than anything that should be remotely drinkable. Despite resembling the juice from a leaking radioactive waste barrel, the bilious blue hue is, apparently, totally natural. According to Gik, the colour is caused by anthocyanin, a pigment in grape skin, and a plant-based purple dye called indigotine. Wherever these chemicals come from, there’s no doubt that they give the wine a distinctive look.
If their aggressive marketing campaign is anything to go by, it’s clear this latest innovation has given Gik an inflated sense of self importance.
The brand’s Instagram bio states that “Gik is not a blue wine. It is a revolution”. Gik invite consumers to “Forget traditions and forget that we are speaking about the liquid which represents the blood of Christ at church,” before elaborating that they “do not believe in wine tasting rules and...don’t think that anybody should need to study the bible of enology to enjoy a glass of wine.”
Lofty claims indeed for the makers of a liquid that looks like glorified Listerine.
Despite their bravado, early reviews are apprehensive that this could be a new dawn for wine colouration. Currently on sale in over 25 countries, including the UK, industry experts have responded to Gik with a mixture of bafflement and disgust. The Washington Post reported that early tasters variously described the flavour as “like Capri-Sun” and “gross”. For a company trying to redefine the blood of Christ, these reviews indicate a slightly inauspicious start.
Shockingly, none of the brand’s founders had any experience of the wine industry before launching their edible antifreeze. According to co-founder Artiz Lopez, the blue colour was chosen to signify, “movement, innovation, fluidity, change” and perhaps most irritatingly of all, “infinity”.
For all their annoyingly pretentious marketing speak, Gik’s mission for world conquest doesn’t appear to be slowing down any time soon. The brand successfully launched in the US at the back end of last year, and fans have taken to the internet to express their enthusiasm. With three bottles retailing at €36, Gik is an affordable novelty for an audience eager to try anything new.
It may look disgusting to a typical wine drinker, but the product seems to be building a following. Small wonder that alcohol traditionalists everywhere are starting to feel blue.