Blue wine, collagen gin: whacky novelties in the world of wine & spirits
If you identify wine with tradition, formality and an immutable restriction to a trilogy of colours - white, red and rosé - you'll be surprised by some recent launches that have offended purists and made waves in the worlds of wine and spirits. In the wake of vodka made from San Francisco fog, here is a list of intriguing novelties to quench your thirst for the unusual.
Red, white, rosé, orange and now blue! The colour palette for wine lovers has been extended by a businessman in the Mediterranean port of Sète, France. René Le Bail is selling a rather unusual Spanish chardonnay which is the same colour as… window cleaner. Nonetheless, the wine, which is made in Almería, Andalucia, is all natural.
In a second maceration, the white grape juice is mixed with red grape skins, which contain anthocyanins, the pigment responsible for the wine's blue colour. Christened "Vindigo", the new wine which is to be drunk chilled, like rosé, is priced at €12 (about R186) a bottle. As for the taste: it's a fruity wine with notes of cherry, passion fruit and blackberry. Vindigo is currently sold in the town of Sète and may soon be available in Toulouse as well.
Although a lot of ink has been spilt over this latest launch, blue wine is not new. Locals in France's Vosges will be eager to measure its success, given that they already have their own blue tipple produced from Oberlin and Kulhmann varietals. It's not quite the same shade of blue as curaçao (which is chemically coloured), but rather a dazzling peacock blue. And in 2016, another Spanish brand (Gïk) attempted to launch a pool-coloured wine, though the venture proved to be a failure. In Corsica, however, the makers of Imajyne, which has the added novelty of subsea vinification, have succeeded in distributing their wine as far away as Dubai.
Moisturiser may not be the best treatment for aging skin now that a British company, Young In Spirit, has come up with an alternative solution: gin! But not just any gin, Collagin, the first gin with added collagen. The original clear-coloured beverage, which is distilled with eleven botanicals, has recently been made available in a limited-edition girly pink version that aims to appeal to the women's market. Collagin Rose is priced at £36.99 (approximately R642) for 500ml. Collagin (original) is priced at £34.99 (approximately R607) for 500ml.
WATER THAT TASTES OF … WINE
Did you ever pretend to drink water when you were really drinking wine? Would you welcome an opportunity to do the exact opposite? An Israeli company has come up with a beverage that offers the taste of wine but without a drop of alcohol. O.Vine is made with spring water from Alonei HaBashan that is infused with grape skin and seed extracts from fruit harvested in the mountains of Galilee.
Merlot, cabernet, syrah and petit verdot are used in the production process to add taste to the red wine water. There is also a white wine version made with riesling and gewürztraminer varietals. O.Vine, which is also available in still and sparkling versions, was launched in May 2018 and also presented at the Summer Fancy Food Show in New York.
GIN MADE FROM ROSÉ
Gin or rosé - do you really need to choose? Last summer a vineyard in the state of New York made a splash in the media with a gin made from rosé. To produce this innovative drink, the rosé was first distilled and then flavoured with hand-picked juniper berries, extracts of aniseed, cilantro, cumin, cardamom, and fennel, and a touch of fresh mint.
Located in the Hamptons in the northeast of Long Island, the Wölffer Estate Vineyard is comprised of 22 hectares of vines. The grapes benefit from a marine climate, thanks to the nearby Atlantic Ocean only four kilometers away. The estate has recently introduced a rosé cider, and a distinctive vintage rosé vinegar.