Can wine be blue or maybe even green? I was asked recently. “Of course not!” I announced firmly. But think again. When I researched the subject I found that there are quite a few references to “blue wine” in various European wine producing countries. The Linos winery in Cyprus, for example, going so far as to call one of its wines “Mediterranean Blu”. Wanting to “catch the colour of the Mediterranean in a bottle” this winery spent 4 years working out just how to do it. They report that they finally decided to use 99% local Xynsteri grapes and then add 1% grape juice from Alicante and Mataro grapes which contains the azure colour pigment, anthocyanin which in turn gives the wine its colour.
I have not tasted the wine myself but I am told that it is refreshingly sweet, fruity and relatively light at just 12.5% alcohol. Its flavour profile includes mixed berries, lychees and citrus fruits. To me the colour is definitely blue in tone but my friend June Barnikell, who first told me about the wine and showed me her photos, said that in her eyes the colour is predominantly green. What do you think?
In the course of my research I also came across a number of other blue wines using what appear to be similar methods to get the blue colour into the drink. Amour Geneve uses Verdejo for the base wine and extracts the anthocyanin from Nebbiolo grape juice, the two sourced from various groves in Italy and Spain. Adventure Mediterraneo is based in Spain and uses Chardonnay with Granachia grapes for the colour. Adgestone Winery on the Isle of White also produces blue wine this time with a real sparkle to it. The process is a secret one, but it they do state that the colour comes from the skins of red wine grapes.
Finally there is also Blumond Blue Prosecco from Italy. This is also blue in colour and bubbly in character but it is more of a light cocktail mix than a wine as it is flavoured with Blue Curacao and peach juice. Nor can Mediterranean Blue or the other blue wines be correctly called a wine. There are no artificial colours involved but the addition of the plant-based anthocyanin means that it no longer adheres to the definition of wine as “being made up solely of fermented grape must”.
However, each of these wines has built up quite a following for festive occasions not least weddings where the blue wine offers an interesting interpretation of the requirement for “something blue “ at the wedding!