What is Blue Wine? And What Does it Taste Like?
This is Episode 44 of the Tasting with Julien series where we learn about different types of wines by tasting them, so we not only learn what the wines are about, but also what they actually taste like, what they’re like to drink!
And today is a rather fun day as we’re talking about… blue wine.
Now a couple of things if you’re wondering what blue wine is and whether it’s really ‘a thing’.
Blue Wine is a Thing
Yes it is a thing. It really became a trend a few years ago around the year 2015-2016, and it started in Spain I think, and it really spread quite rapidly from there thanks to social media, because you know, it does look really engaging for social media.
It spread to the UK and US as well from there. It sounds like it’s surprisingly pretty popular here in France too.
There are a few popular brands of blue wine you may have seen around, there’s Pasion blue, Gik which I think are Spanish but exported in the UK and the US and other countries, and there’s Vindigo in France, or Blanc de Bleu which is a California sparkling.
Watch My Explanation & Tasting Video about Blue Wine
What is blue wine?
My understanding is that blue wine is essentially wine, white wine, to which they add some coloring to.
Now, most claim that the coloring is ‘natural’ and I think that’s kind of true, as they extract pigments from fruits like blueberries, and some claim they extract it from grapes.
But it’s not that you can naturally press some berries and obtain this kind of color, there’s some chemistry and process there. It’s essentially a blue food coloring extracted from God knows what.
About Blue wine, Wikipedia says this about Gik: “Researchers at Paul Sabatier University found via high-precision spectroscopy that the color of Vindigo and Imajyne blue wine originates not from any natural pigment but rather from Brilliant Blue FCF (aka Blue 1 or E133), the same food coloring used for Blue Curaçao, blue Jolly Ranchers, and many other products.”
Another article says ;”hued neon blue with anthocyanin (a pigment found in grape skin) and indigo (a dye extracted from the Isatis tinctoria plant).”
Then often they add a bit of flavor to it to make it taste like something, and that’s something if often some sort of blueberry or mixed berries flavor so it kind of makes sense with the color.
Also, blue wine is not really for true wine drinkers, I don’t think, it’s more for millennials, for social media Instagram thing, or to add a bit of hype at a party, so it doesn’t really have to taste like wine.
I personally had the opportunity a couple of times to taste some blue wines.
I tasted the Pasion Blue Chardonnay, which is a Spanish brand, and I even made a clip about it, here it is…
As you can see I didn’t quite like that blue Chardonnay and described it as tasting like ‘Chemical blueberry mouthwash’. Yuk, that thing was disgusting.
And I remember tasting the Blanc de Bleu California sparkling when I was in Los Angeles. That one tasted ok as far as I remember, but nothing all that memorable.
I had left blue wine at that, in my mind, for the past couple of years.
That’s until I came across this brand of sparkling blue wine called Skyfall.
About SkyFall Blue Sparkling Wine
Now what these guys do is take a standard Cava Spanish wine, from what they say a good one. So that’s made in Catalonia Spain, in Sant Sadurni d’Anoia in Penedès where most of the Cava wines are made, the heart of the traditional cava production area. It’s made using the traditional method, so fermented in the bottle, and then aged for three years on lees in the bottle
That’s made using the same method as Champagne and aged twice as long in the bottle (Champagne is aged in bottle for a minimum of 18 months, which is what’s generally applied for non-vintage cuvées).
So, on paper, SkyFall is made very seriously. And then they add a bit of coloring to make it look like… well blue! I’m not 100% sure about flavoring in that one, so I guess we’ll find out….
Learn more on skyfallxperience.net
I was curious to see whether a blue wine can taste actually decent, which is not what I’ve experienced before, and perhaps even be surprised that it might taste rather good!
So let’s find out, tasting Skyfall…
SkyFall Sparkling Blue Wine Reviews
SkyFall Brut Grand Reserva
Score: 90/100 points
Overall Review Notes & Tasting Impressions
A sparkling wine with a very bright and striking turquoise blue color. It’s vibrantly blue but also includes some hues of yellow (I suspect from the base wine) making it appear slightly green, somewhat turquoise.
The nose is dominated by striking aromas of brioche and toasted bread. You can sense the abundance of leesy character from the long aging on yeast sediments in the bottle (36 months or 3 years). There are delicate notes of lemon to the background too.
On the palate this is a creamy sparkling wine with an oily texture and fine silky bubbles that coats your palate. Good acidity on a dry background for a smooth tasting impression. Burst of buttery brioche flavors, some cinnamon bun, delicate sweet spices while the fruit expression is discrete.
A blue wine that certainly tastes like a real wine, and like what a rather layered and complex Cava would taste like, with no obvious influence of the coloring agent.
If you are to have a sparkling blue wine, this would be a good one as it tastes pleasing, smooth and creamy. The color does distract and interferes with your perception of it, but the base is solid.
SkyFall ‘Luxuria’ Brut Grand Reserva
Score: 90+/100 points
Overall Review Notes & Tasting Impressions
A sparkling bubbly with a very bright and deep turquoise blue wine color, deeper and more intense than the standard SkyFall, with more intense yellow/green hues.
The nose pungent and vibrant citrusy, surrounded by intense notes of sweet spices, buttery, brioche and toasted hazelnut.
Luxuria explodes to the palate with a wealth of citrusy, lime and lemon characters combined with rich buttery tones. It somewhat reminds of the flavors of a lemon tart, the ripe lemon and the buttery base crust.
This is also a dry and crisp wine, that adds depth and vibrancy of fruit character. Soft an oily texture, creamy bubbles make for a rather complex and layered tasting experience. The fruit intensity shines through Luxuria…