Move over rosé and vinho verde, and make way for a wine that’s…electric blue. By now you may have heard that blue wine is the latest thing you can imbibe. Created by Spanish winemaker Gik, the electric-hued wine is being marketed as a fun alternative to snooty wine culture. But while we’re all for a good time, we couldn’t help but wonder if candy-colored vino could be as healthy as traditional pours. So we got in touch with the company and a nutrition expert to review the fine print.
What’s in the Bottle?
Gik declined to provide a full ingredient list or information on nutritional content, but according to co-founder Aritz López, the indigo-hued wine is “an absolutely healthy beverage, made 100 percent out of grapes and contains non-caloric sweeteners, sulfites and two organic pigments. We decided to use those non-caloric sweeteners to change its flavor instead of sugar because it was the healthiest alternative.”
The type of sweeteners in the wine varies according to each country’s regulations, but López says Stevia and sucralose have been used so far. Non-nutritive sweeteners are “generally recognized as safe,” according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). However, research suggests that sweeteners in large quantities may disrupt the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar. And some experts believe that because they are hundreds to thousands of times sweeter than table sugar, artificial sweeteners may prompt you to seek out sweeter foods over time.
The juice itself is made from a blend of a variety of red and white grapes. It gets its color from anthocyanin, a pigment derived from the skin of red grapes, and indigo carmine, a blue dye derived from the Isatis tinctoria plant.
Blue Wine, Uncorked Health Benefits?
According to Jim White, RD, owner of Jim White Fitness and Nutrition Studios in Virginia, the dyes used are not only safe, they could have some health benefits, too. Anythocyanin is a member of the flavonoid group of phytochemicals, which have been found to have antioxidant capabilities, he says. They may also help protect against inflammation.
“They don’t act alone, though, in their protective benefits,” says White. “More research needs to be done because scientists don’t understand all of its capabilities.”
As for the indigo dye, it’s considered a natural form of the color, says White. “Most natural biocolorants possess antagonistic activity to certain bacteria, viruses and fungi, protecting the food from microbial spoilage.”
And what about those heart-healthy benefits of red wine? The jury’s still out on blue wine’s ability to protect your ticker. Heart health claims stem from red wine containing resveratrol, a natural antioxidant that should also be present in Gik wine since the blend is made from both white and red grapes, says White. But because all the ingredients aren’t disclosed, he’s hesitant to make a judgment call about the bevvie’s overall health properties.
At the end of the day, it seems safe enough to enjoy electric blue wine as you would red, white and other wines: in moderation. And remember that because the blue wine uses non-caloric sweeteners, you may be tempted to reach for other sweets.
If you’re still itching to try a bottle of the blue, the wine is currently available in the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, France and the Netherlands. It’s also available for pre-order in the U.S., but no word on a ship date just yet.