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Controversial drink turns traditional wine blue - FOX10 News | WALA

Time:2017-10-12 15:11wine - Red wine life health Click:

Wine news drink Blue turns

(AP/Meredith) -- Is the world really ready to drink blue wine?

A group of five friends from Bilbao in Spain thinks so and is planning to conquer America with its distinctive drink.

Gik Live is the result of three and a half years of research. It's made from red and white grapes sourced from several vineyards in the areas of La Rioja, Navarra and Zaragoza.

But nowhere on the label is it called wine. The blue, fruity liquid has an 11.5 percent ABV (Alcohol by volume) rating but Gik has been banned from calling it wine by Spain and the European Union because of its color.

Taig McCarthy is one of the creators of Gik Live and says it's probably not to everyone's taste.

"Some might say it's easy to drink while say it's sweet, some might say it's not sweet enough. We think it is what we are going for. It's not for wine connoisseurs, like people who know all these kind of rules of how to drink it. It's only for people who want the best wine and the best concept without all the trouble of having to learn all this kind of rules set."

The company says it has sold about 400,000 bottles already to clients in 25 countries, including UK, Japan, and Australia. Plans are underway to export it to the United States.

McCarthy says the drink is 100 percent organic, made with natural ingredients in the same style as traditional wines.

He says no dyes are used to make the blue color.

"And about the color, which is what you are possibly wondering, what we do is mix different kinds of grapes and then we extract the pigment from the skin of the red grape that's called anthocyanin. That's where the blue comes from. So, it's actually 100 percent grape."

It's had a mixed reaction from some in the wine industry and also amongst consumers.

Retired chemical engineer and wine drinker, Javier Corcuera says: "You cannot say it's bad, but it has no expression."

Student Maddy Gawler says it is a fun option.

"The color was interesting. I've never seen blue wine before and I really like my wines. It was fun, something I wanted to try for sure. The taste is very smooth. You couldn't really tell there was alcohol in it, which was a little weird. But I feel like once you have a couple of drinks you will notice it," she says.

Professional wine taster, Enrique Martinez is curious about the Gik Live 'blue wine' and is prepared to give it a go.

"If you put this in a (wine) tasting it will firstly put off people a lot. First of all, the colour. Then, they will smell it, and it smells of wine. They are going to look at it, it's not a hard wine, it's quite light, it's just 11.5 percent (ABV). But when they taste it they will feel the wine's taste: a bit sweet. I do like dry wine, but that's not the point. Maybe it's made for women. It depends, there are women who like dry wine but, yes, nowadays it's like that. But, immediately there is a controversy: is this wine or not? Just for the color," says Martinez.

Because no blue wine category exists under the 17 wine products listed under European Union law, the drink is listed as 'other alcoholic drinks'.

Furthermore, the Spanish national law for wine defines the three kinds of wines - red, white and rose.

The Spanish Conference of Wine Regulatory Councils says Gik Live is not a traditional wine and therefore shouldn't be classed as one.

"To bring the young people to this exciting world of wine I think it is everybody's job and I think this type of drink comes to help, I do not think they will detract from that," says Spanish Conference of Wine Regulatory Councils David Palacios.

"But always, it is necessary to make clear what is one thing and what is another and not to try to deceive the consumer. You should tell him what he will be consuming and what he will be drinking. Wine is much more than a drink. Whenever you drink a wine, you are drinking a region, you are drinking many people's effort, work and hope. A glass of wine is giving a little portion of the land and the vineyard. Blue wine or the blue drink is another thing,"

Gik Live maintains that ruling is unfair because its drink is made from 100 percent grapes.

For customers though, drinkability is key whether it's red, white or blue.

Gik Live costs around eight euros for a 750ml bottle.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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