I first heard about Spanish wine company Gïk and its game-changing blue wine last summer. I was immediately attracted to the hue of the product and the idea behind its "creative rebellion," which is explained on the company website:
"We are not vintners. We are creators. So we sought the most traditional and closed minded industry out there. Once having selected the wine industry as our battlefield, we set about creating a radically different product, changing the colour to a vibrant blue and making the wine sweeter and easier to drink."
A pigmentation process is responsible for the company's trademark shade of blue, where a "base is created from a mixture of red and white grapes, which is then added to two organic pigments; indigo and anthocyanin - which comes from the very skin of the grapes used to make wine." Good news for vegans everywhere followed when Gïk confirmed in an e-mail to Barnivore that the wine was free of isinglass and therefore vegan:
"No animals were harmed in the making of this wine. We made the wine that we would love to drink ourselves, so animal cruelty was never a choice since one of our founders is vegan."
Although I knew it would be quite a while before Gïk made its way to North America, just as was the case with Ritter Sport's vegan bars, I didn't forget about it. When I found myself in Europe, it dawned on me that the company may already have begun shipping there, and as luck would have it, I was right. I ordered the three-bottle pack for about 30 euro and got in touch with Aritz López from Gïk's Newsroom to learn more while I waited for my order to arrive.
Aritz let me know that they "always encourage people to enjoy Gik in a free way, and anyone can decide the pairing, the serving temperature or even the glass!" and since the company views it as "just the opposite to a traditional wine," it cannot be "compared to any other wine on the market as it tastes and looks differently." When my order arrived shortly after, I decided to pair it with a relatively sweet dessert. But first, I had to swoon over the incredible packaging and color of the wine:
I absolutely loved the labeling and design, and was so happy to see the color was just as vivid as it looked in photos--keeping the magic of the product alive. This was really blue wine, and I couldn't wait to try it.
While I had put it in the fridge, it was still lukewarm but I was too impatient to wait any longer. Although Aritz reminded me that this wine was in a league of its own, I still assumed it would taste similar to a rosé and therefore had that expectation. However, before I could really even settle on the taste, I was immediately overwhelmed by how sweet it was. As a person who enjoys dry red wines and shuns the fruit-infused alternatives, it was almost distractingly sweet. The taste itself was interesting, but had I known it would be so sweet, I definitely would have let it chill longer and coupled it with some nice dark chocolate to balance it out. I asked Aritz about that aspect and he said Gïk uses "non-caloric sweeteners in order to make it a very easy to drink, fresh and quite sweet beverage."
Although those who prefer sweeter wines may fall in love with the taste of Gïk, I couldn't help but wonder what it would have tasted like without the "non-caloric sweeteners." For that reason alone, the concept, hue, and design of Gïk won over the actual taste of the product in my books. But, I still have two bottles left and--coupled with a healthy dose of optimism--am waiting for the warmer weather to hit in order to try out some of the recipes for martinis on Gïk's YouTube page, such as the one below:
For those interested in trying Gïk in the United States, Aritz let me know that the team is hoping to have the product "arrive before this summer," and that you can pre-order the wine through this link. I'm also happy to report that after sharing one bottle three ways, no one had blue wine teeth!