Blue Wine: Six young Spanish entrepreneurs have developed a blue wine called Gik. Made from a blend of red and white grapes, the wine is colored blue with anthocyanin (a pigment in grape skin) and indigo. Retail sales are about to expand from Spain to other parts of Europe, targeting young drinkers who seek innovation. [Eater]
Microbes' Role in Wine: New research suggests that grapes' microbiomes influence wine. The study found that microbes in crushed grapes corresponded to a "chemical fingerprint" in the finished wines. It's possible that microbes could help winemakers produce wines distinct from those of competitors and diagnose trouble before fermentation. [Scientific American]
The End of NY Blue Laws: The New York State Legislature and Governor Cuomo agreed to a bill expanding alcohol sales at restaurants and bars in New York. Since the colonial laws of the state were established, alcohol sales have been banned from 4am until noon. They will now be allowed beginning at 10am. In this article, the New York Times explores the history of the blue laws. [NYT]
Budweiser Sued by Lumbee Tribe: A North Carolina Native American tribe has filed a lawsuit against Anheuser-Busch InBev's use of their official tribal logo and slogan in an ad campaign. The Lumbee tribe argues that this suggests an affiliation between the tribe and Anheuser-Busch, particularly offensive given the frequent association of alcohol abuse with Native American culture. [Consumerist]
50 Best Restaurants: The World's 50 Best Restaurants list has been unveiled, with Osteria Francescana at the top and Eleven Madison Park rising to third on the list, the highest ranking for a US restaurant since 2005. The list is receiving familiar criticism, as it once again features primarily European restaurants, few female chefs, and mostly expensive tasting menus. [Eater]
The Popularity of the Spritz: Though spritz culture has long reined in northern Italy, the drink has rarely been popular in the US. In part thanks to Talia Baiocchi and Leslie Pariseau's book Spritz, the drink's popularity is on the rise, with many variations on the theme popping up in restaurants this summer. [NYT]
What do you think?
Any interest in drinking blue wine? Do you think there is a market for the innovative products these entrepreneurs describe?
In what ways might understanding grapes' microbes be helpful to winemakers?
What are your thoughts on the 50 Best Restaurants list, and general trends among restaurant lists such as this one?
Have you had a good spritz lately? Does your restaurant serve one?
What else are you reading this week?
Blue wine? No, thanks. I think there is a place for innovation but is explicit manipulation really that innovative or interesting? I'd rather see people continue to refine and perfect. As for the restaurant awards, my criticisms are the same. Diversity and inclusion seem to be lacking. Maybe we should look at who's making the lists and then we would see some changes.
I respectfully disagree. Its a ploy. I mean, artificial sweetener?
I do agree that the beverage industry benefits from being open minded. From reading the article, I personally feel like this product has a place in some restaurants. I could see it doing well in fast casual concepts as a cheap crowd pleaser for your local sweet wine with everything demographic. In high end, or craft focused establishments I feel like it is wildly out of place for what the majority of restaurant concepts are looking for in a product. The guests that do prefer sweet wine frequenting craft bars and high end restaurants should be offered more setting appropriate wines such as Moscato, Brachetto, demi-sec bubbles, etc. In the end though, the best wine in the world is the one your guests like to drink.
I call BS. It is not wine. It is a fermented grape product. You can defend it all day as a beverage people might want to drink, but let's call a spade a spade. I'm not for bashing it out of hand, but I am not sure we can really call it "wine". We need to make our guests happy and defend their sense of autonomy when it comes to their taste, but we don't need to perpetuate the BS. So serve them all the "blue wine" you want, but just don't call it wine. This product has little relation to the natural-ish product born of the earth that most of us love so much. With the amount of additives you need to get it to be blue, you might as well just call it a vermouth. Products like this are exactly why we need truth in labeling (i.e. ingredient lists) on all alcohol. If you told someone what was in it, I think they'd be far less likely to drink it.
*Edited for language. Apologies to Jacob, Keith, and anyone else I might have offended.