I got the anthocyanin blues

Blue wine (Photo: Bob Campbell MW)

Once upon a time blue was regarded as the kiss of death on wine packaging. Then along came Blue Nun. It’s success legitimised an “unnatural” colour that was supposed to do for food and wine what Jack the Ripper did for late night closing.

Peer at the rim of a youthful syrah or cabernet sauvignon produced in a moderately warm climate and the wine does seem to have a blue-ish tint. That is caused by a tannin called anthocyanin (“cyan” is a greenish-blue colour). The wine will gradually lose its blue/purple tint as it ages and as the anthocyanins cluster together, eventually forming part of the natural sediment often found in aged red wine.

Now six entrepreneurs in the north of Spain have developed a blue wine made from red and white grapes. They add anthocyanin and indigo pigments to turn the red and white blend blue and sweeteners the wine to mask its astringency.

The wine is called Gik, which is about as unappetising as its colour. It’s available for EUR €10 a bottle via the Gik website (it’s in Spanish, but the graphics are interesting). Aiming at a younger consumer the website describes the colour blue as;

“Movement, innovation, change and infinity.”

They don’t mention methylated spirits (coloured blue to repel all but the hardiest drinker).

It just might work.

One thought on “I got the anthocyanin blues”

  1. Mahmoud Ali says:

    I was under the impresssion that Spain (and therefore enforced by the EU) had ruled that the producers were not allowed to call it wine.

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