Ordering a glass of “blue” in a French restaurant would have been met with confusion and incomprehension in the past. But in the Mediterranean town of Sete in southern France, Reuters reports that consumers can’t seem to get enough.
According to the news agency, holidaymakers and local residents flocking to the town’s restaurants and beach bars have drunk their way through some 2,000 bottles of the turquoise-coloured chardonnay.
Now Rene Le Bail -- the Sete entrepreneur that imported and is now marketing the Spanish-made wine under the label Vindigo -- has put in an order for a second consignment for up to 35,000 bottles. Based on the wine’s growing popularity, he thinks he can sell them all in just a few months.
How it’s made
The wine is filtered through a pulp of red grape skins containing a natural pigment, anthocyanin, which gives the wine its electric blue colour.
Le Bail told Reuters he found the blue wine at a vineyard in Spain's southern Almeria region. He says the taste boasts aromas of cherry, raspberry and passion fruit.
Although the trend has made a splash in France, blue wine isn’t new in Spain. In 2016, Spanish start-up Gik developed a wine with a deep sapphire hue. But because the bottles were labelled "vin bleu", it ran afoul of strict French labelling rules and suffered a short shelf life in stores, according to Reuters.
Le Bail has sidestepped the regulations with some clever naming, hence the Vindigo label.
The entrepreneur says he’s been inundated with orders for the 12-euro bottles from across France, Belgium and Germany on the wine's Facebook page. He told Reuters the demand for the wine stretches as far as Russia, the Caribbean and China.
It remains to be seen whether blue wine truly takes off in France, a country with a deeply entrenched and oftentimes purist wine culture.