I’m not an adventurous eater. I eat a lot, but not a lot of different things. I can tell you 10 or so terms for “hero,*” but my wife and I rarely go to a restaurant that doesn’t require her to provide definitions of at least one ingredient in every item on the menu. (What’s a pequillo pepper? What’s basmati? What’s gremolata? What’s frisee? What’s middlin?) After awhile, she doesn’t even bother to tell me. She just says, “You wouldn’t like it.”
It’s a safe bet.
I have written often in this blog about what I call “new food,” which is how I refer to anything that didn’t exist when I was a kid. My philosophy is that humans had been around for about 200,000 years before I came along, which was plenty of time to discover all the food. Anything that has arisen since then was either created in a lab; or is something that was around but has been renamed because nobody wanted to eat patagonian toothfish**; or is some horrible-tasting thing that no one would eat last century but they do now because it is supposed to have health benefits. I mean, what good is being healthy if you have to eat kale and quinoa in order to do it?
Anyway, new food is not the subject of today’s post. It’s new wine.
While I obviously do not claim to be a gourmet, when it comes to fine wine, I am the first to accept the wine list from the restaurant’s sommelier. I will open it eagerly to make sure the beer list isn’t hidden inside, and then pass it on to my wife.
I just don’t get wine.
I’m a practical guy, you see. At meals, I’m firmly in the “wash it down” school of beverage selection. People will purchase what I’m sure is an excellent bottle of red and tell me to taste it, and I’ll make a show of swishing it around in the glass, and then I’ll take a sip. My review will then not mention anything about body, or tannin, or hints of some berry. My comment will always be along the lines of “Ick, it’s warm.”
I do not like drinking warm things. There are three drinks–coffee, tea, and cocoa–which are good hot. Lots of beverages are great cold. I do not enjoy any drinks served warm. They serve no purpose. They do not quench your thirst. They do not stop your lips from burning after eating something spicy. They do not cool you down on a hot summer day.
White wine is okay if it’s cold enough. And not too acidy. Or too heavy. Or too winey. Actually, the more it resembles juice, the better I’ll like it, although I’d probably just prefer the juice.
As for rosé, I think they just came up with that to confuse me.
But now comes word that there is a new kind of wine…blue wine.
It’s a Spanish wine called Gik. I’ll let the website explain it:
Gïk is produced through a pigmentation process. Firstly a base is created from a mixture of red and white grapes, which is then added to two organic pigments; indigo and anthocyanin – which comes from the very skin of the grapes used to make wine.
We’ve spent the last two years conducting research in collaboration with the University of the Basque Country and Food Tech research departments. Quality control checks are rigorous and all the elements used comply with the regulations for food products in the European Union.
There are two words I don’t like seeing in reference to any consumable product: “tech” and “research.” The latter is particularly frightening because sometimes the research is conducted after you’ve been consuming the product for years. And the executive summary of the results almost never includes the phrase “…and the mice were just fine.”
I might also point out that any food or drink which assumes you have to be reassured that it meets regulations might be better left out of your shopping cart. Plus, with what happened this week, I guess Gik isn’t approved for use in Great Britain.
The above description of Gik reminds me of a post I did some months ago about a company called The Grapery, which has invented new varieties of grapes, also with a vast amount of research and technological innovation. It’s only a matter of time before these two firms find each other and millennials are ordering cotton candy wine–the perfect accompaniment for corn dogs.
We are not vintners. We are creators. So we sought the most traditional and closed minded industry out there. Once having selected the wine industry as our battlefield, we set about creating a radically different product, changing the colour to a vibrant blue and making the wine sweeter and easier to drink.
Okay, well, first of all, if you want to pick a fight with somebody, you can choose more formidable opponents than folks who spit out wine for a living. How about creating some blue cocaine and taking on a drug cartel? Second, if wine is a battlefield (as I think Pat Benatar once said), what does that make us–potential collateral damage?
But allow me to translate the statement from Gik. What they’re really saying is that this is all about disruption. That’s what young entrepreneurs want to do these days: disrupt things. Just as Uber disrupted the taxi industry and AirBNB disrupted the hotel industry, Gik wants to disrupt the wine industry.
I’m all in favor of disrupting the wine industry. But for crying out loud, don’t do it with yet another color of wine.
Cheers, and see you soon.
*If you’re in a part of the country that is not New York City, you may call it a sub, a wedge, a hoagie, a torpedo, a grinder, a po’ boy, or one of many other names.
**Renamed Chilean sea bass.