Blue Wine Ban; Soaking in a Saké Bath; How Beers are Like Dogs and More News | Wine Enthusiast Magazine
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Blue Wine Ban; Soaking in a Saké Bath; How Beers are Like Dogs & More News

An electric-blue wine is a hit with consumers, but not with Spanish wine authorities. Gik, as The Local details, is a blend of Spanish and French grapes, getting its shocking color from a grape skin pigment, anthyocyacin, and a naturally-derived dye, indigo. Because Spanish wine law has no category for blue wine, the owners have had to amend the label so Gik is not called a wine. It is rather the awkwardly stated, “other alcoholic drinks.” Does blue wine make you, well, blue or curious?

Don’t just drink saké, bathe in it.

We’ve covered red wine baths, but for 2017 it’s all about soaking in saké. On the 26th day of every month, traditional Japanese inns located in Niigata Prefecture infuse their baths with saké as well as offering numerous saké spa treatments. Lonely Planet has more details. And if you can’t make it to Japan, try this saké bath soak to add to your tub.

A photo posted by TIFFANIE (@tiffiemeows) on

Beers are like dogs, wines are like cats.

Or at least this might be the case when it comes to yeast. NOVA reports that researchers looking at the DNA of beer and wine yeast strains have concluded that beer yeasts are more domesticated, having adapted to live in the human-created environment of a brewery. University of Leuven Associate Professor Kevin Verstrepen, also one of the studies’ senior authors, explains it this way, “We compare [wine yeasts] to cats: they’re somehow domesticated—they clearly got better at fermenting wine—but they’re still okay living in the wild. Beer yeasts are more like dogs: they are completely tamed.”

A wine cellar you can drive a truck through.

You don’t need a lot of space to start collecting wine, but when you’ve got one of the biggest collections in the world you have to put all those bottles somewhere. Near Chisinau, the capital of Moldova, you’ll find Cricova.

The wine tunnels at Cricova
Photo courtesy Center of Bussines and Tourism Cricova

This wine cellar, according to Paste, is spread throughout an 820,000 foot space, with over 75 miles of tunnels, and reaches a depth of 262 feet. It’s home to 1.25 millions bottles of wine. Among the world leaders storing their wine there? Vladimir Putin. Curious about more of the world’s most unique wine cellars? Read about “The Fort Knox of Wine.”

Can it be as easy to make wine and cider as it is to make coffee?

What to do with all that excess fruit in your refrigerator crisper drawer? Turn it into cider. Or wine. The Alchema “home cider making system” is controlled via your smartphone so you can decide on the levels of sweetness and alcohol after adding sugar, yeast and water to your fruit. But unlike making coffee, you have to wait one week to four months before you can enjoy your beverage. See it in action on Munchies.

Is your Champagne talking to you?

Well, the bottle might not be but the box is. Veuve Clicquot is offering the “Clicq’call” rosé Champagne. The Drinks Business details a gift package which has a built-in voice recorder in the box. Don’t forget to rehearse what you’re going to say a few times before hitting that “record” button.

Washington DC restaurants are giving back during the inauguration.

From Friday to Sunday, almost 100 restaurants are donating 5 percent of their sales to charity. Max Kuller, Wine Director of DC-area restaurants including Proof and 2 Birds, 1 Stone says, “Look, Republicans have to eat. Democrats have to eat. Even independents have to eat. And this is a way to bring people together and do good.” For a list of participating restaurants, visit

In The Trade

State of the Wine Industry 2017

Silicon Valley Bank just released its report regarding the wine business in 2017. Topics covered include predictions, restaurants, grapes, harvest, bulk wine/imports, mergers and acquisitions, and winery economics. View the full report here and watch a videocast with four industry leaders discussing the findings. Bloomberg, Wine-Searcher, and Wine Curmudgeon offer a recap and analysis.

Out and About

Senior Digital Editor Jameson Fink tasted a bit of Washington wine history.

Steak, Hawaii, and Santa Barbara all came together when Contributing Editor Matt Kettmann was on the radio.

Contributing Editor Anne Krebiehl, MW, living the life in Alsace. Curious about Crémant from the region? Here’s our guide.

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