People have been making wine of thousands of years, but in only three colors -red, white and rose. But not anymore. Spanish companies have come up with ways to make all-natural wines in pretty much any color imaginable, from vibrant blue to green and even pink.
It all started last year, when Spanish startup Gi k unveiled the world’s first blue wine. They spent two years working with scientists at the University of the Basque Country and food researchers at Azti Tecnecalia trying to use anthocyanin, a natural pigment in the grapes’ skin, in order to manipulate the color of wine. It became a great commercial success, with the company reporting in January that it had sold over 100,000 bottles in under six months. But competition is ramping up, as other Spanish wineries are using similar technology to create all kinds of unusually-colored wines.
去年西班牙一家新兴企业 Gi k 推出了世界上首款蓝色葡萄酒，一切便由此开始。两年里，这家公司同巴斯克大学的科学家及Azti研究所的食品研究员尝试运用花青素（葡萄皮里的一种天然色素）控制葡萄酒的颜色。这款葡萄酒在销售上取得巨大成功，该公司一月份的报告显示，不到六个月这款酒已卖出10万多瓶。但是随着其他西班牙葡萄酒酿造厂运用同样的技术酿造出各种颜色非凡的葡萄酒，竞争逐渐激烈。
Bodega Santa Margarita, in Caudete, Spain, offers different shades of blue wine, as well as green, orange and pink wines, as part of its “Passion” line. They are already a big hit in several European markets, like the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. They also use anthocyanin for their Passion Blue wines, but it’s not clear how they make their wines orange and pink. If I had to guess, they are combination of different wines and the added grape skin pigment. One thing is for sure, they are completely natural.
“The last few weeks the wine has been flying out the doors,” Vincent Janssen, a Dutch wine importer, told Share-a-Bottle. “We also had to get used to the idea, but that color appears to have a real value to people. It looks different and the wine is good too.”
荷兰一位葡萄酒进口商文森特 詹森告诉Share-a-Bottle, “最近几周，这种彩色葡萄酒一直卖得很火，我们必须习惯这一理念，葡萄酒的颜色似乎对人们而言很有吸引力。这些葡萄酒看起来与众不同，而且味道不错。”
Bodegas y Vi edos Amaya also mixes tradition and innovation to create what it calls “tecnovinos”. So far they have a collection of bright red, yellow and green wines, made from a variety of Spanish grapes.
All these winemakers are relying on people’s curiosity to reach a whole new customer base, as well as change the way the world thinks about wine. But, apparently, lawmakers don’t like change very much.
Earlier this year, Gi k announced that Spanish authorities had forbidden them to sell their blue drink as wine, because it’s the wrong color. There is no category for blue wine, so even though it is 100% wine, Gi k was forced to relabel the bottles and sell its product as part of the “other alcoholic drinks” category.
今年早些时候，Gi k声称西班牙当局禁止他们将推出的蓝色饮品当作葡萄酒销售，因为颜色不对。尽管蓝色葡萄酒是百分之百的葡萄酒，但是没有明确的分类。Gi k 不得不重新贴标，将其产品作为“其他含酒精饮料”销售。
“In order to continue selling, we have been forced to stop labeling Gi k as a wine. Instead, we had to label it as a bastard category named ‘Other alcoholic drinks’. The main reason? There’s not a category for a blue wine, as there is no historic background for anything similar,” Gi k wrote in a statement. We had to change the composition to 99 percent wine and 1 percent grape to adapt the product to the current legislation.”
Gi k在声明中指出，“为了继续销售该产品，我们被迫不再将Gi k 标为葡萄酒销售，而是改为令人讨厌的‘其他含酒精饮料’类别。主要的原因是蓝色葡萄酒没有明确分类，因为历史上没有此类情况发生。我们不得不将该产品的成分改为99%葡萄酒，1%葡萄，以迎合当前的法规。”
Despite such hurdles, it’s unlikely that the wine color revolution will be stopped. People are drawn to unusual colors like blue and pink, even if it does make the wines look more like energy drinks, and most of them don’t really care about technical details like the category the wines are being sold in.