Blue wine: fad or fixture?

An expert’s guide to the newest drink to enter the market

Gik Blue Wine, produced in Bilbao, Spain. Image: Getty

Love it or loathe it, blue wine is a trend that seems to be gathering momentum. So, what exactly is this obscure-looking beverage, and is it a fad or something we need to take more seriously? Matthieu Longuere, the wine development manager at Le Cordon Bleu London, explains everything we need to know.

The science bit:

Technically, a wine is an alcoholic beverage obtained from the fermentation of grapes. Additives used in the production are usually removed before bottling, other than sulphur dioxide, which remains in most but not all wines. Gik Winewhich, cited as being the world’s first ever blue wine, is made from a mix of white and black grapes from vineyards across France and Spain. Its makers claim that the blue colouring is a natural result of combining the grapes and is then enhanced through ‘food tech’. However, it is widely believed that the colour is derived from an artificial dye, indigotine, that is not naturally present in grape juice or on grape skin. Then the finished product is sweetened with calorie-free, artificial sweeteners.

The taste

Blue wine is overwhelmingly sweet, and in truth tastes nothing like wine as we know it. For anyone who enjoys a glass of red or white wine, this blue version is little more than a crude impostor. Theoretically, it should be referred to as a drink that is made from wine, as opposed to a wine in its own right. For those who have never tasted it, or refuse to, blue wine has a very similar taste to an alcopop, hence its appeal to millennials. My advice is: stick to the classics!

Matthieu Longuere is the wine development manager at Le Cordon Bleu London and the former head sommelier at the Michelin-starred restaurant La Trompette. For more information about the Wine & Culinary Programmes and Short Courses available at Le Cordon Bleu London, visit the website.  

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