Not getting the Gik Blue
I have a fun group of enologist friends where I live and admittedly, as a wine journalist, I’m probably something of a black sheep to them but they seem to tolerate me as in general, our region of Priorat is pretty depopulated. You pick and choose your friends too much and you’re just kicking it with the owls. But whenever they meet up, everyone usually brings a bottle and we try to taste them blind.
The wines can range from classic (Galician Albariño favors heavily due to two Gallegas in the group) to the obscure like when I brought a bottle of “Maturana Tinta” (Trosseau) from Rioja for the last Christmas meal. Every so often, someone likes to thrown in a “fuckit wine” which is to say something we’d never drink normally but is a pure curiosity. I think at one of the meals there was some very cheap Prosecco and at another, a rather thin, cheap Pinot Grigio.
I like this because it’s very easy to get into a rut when it comes to wine as once you know something you like, you just want to keep drinking it and often. Thus we come to the last “fuckit wine” which was this new Blue Not Wine called, “Gik”.
On many fronts, I’m glad that someone brought it, although whomever it was chose to remain nameless. I would have never bought a bottle if not for the name, then for the unnatural blue color. This wine has however been splashing about wine media for some time now and with its arrival in the US, it’s come back again, like a rank case of food poisoning–which not ironically is what I think of when I hear the name/sound “gik”.
So, how does it taste? I have to hand it to them in that they’ve managed to make a wine that looks, smells, and tastes the same in that on all three sensory counts, it’s like dish soap; an acidic, frothy dish soap. In some ways, getting stripped of being able to call it “wine” in Spain is probably to their favor as that would confuse people expecting well, “wine” when putting it in their mouth. That it is not and maybe it’s the case that if I tasted Coca Cola or another soft drink for the first time, I’d hate it as well but this was just revolting. All of us rinsed our glasses heavily before moving into the actual wine as it leaves a residual aroma and taste that doesn’t so away easily and makes me wonder what it does to ones innards.
I can’t however say that people shouldn’t drink it as if you’re reading this, you probably live in a free country. But, I don’t know as to why anyone would drink it given that it’s a sweetened wine-based beverage that’s apparently sweetened artificially so they can say it doesn’t have any sugar. Also, because the colors are plant derived, they’ll often say it’s “natural” thus throwing fuel on the fire as to what a silly phrase “natural wine” is. Go ahead and search the internets about it and you’ll find a vast array of varying descriptors.
They’ve claimed to sell hundreds of thousands of bottles. There is however no way that I know of to fact check this as they’re outside any DO and even wine classification in Spain where all things must be recorded and easily looked up. Maybe they have indeed sold scads of this or maybe it’s the fact that all the glowing reviews on Amazon look like paid reviews. I assume if it does start moving, much like Vodka, they can just pump out more in a couple of days.
Whatever the case, kudos for them in getting attention as well as curses to them for spawning copycats, although I can’t see how they’d be any worse in flavor, which summarizes as: if you like wine, you’ll be absolutely disgusted by this.