WTF is blue wine?

Blue wine is a thing. And we can all thank a Spanish winery for bringing this Windex-colored alcohol into our lives.

The self-described sweet wine is made from red and white grapes. But how does it get that color? Anthocyanin (colored pigments) and indigo pigments. A good amount of sweeteners are tossed in there, too. Gik Winery developed the wine along with professors at University of the Basque Country and the food research arm of the Basque government. Gik is marketing the blue brew as a way to break from the norm; a wine revolution if you will.

First things that come to mind when scrolling through the company’s Instagram page:

1) Will this wine turn my teeth blue?
2) Do you drink it cold?
3) Stella Rosa must be kicking itself for not doing this first!

#GikLive y @softonic se unen para el #MobileWorldCongress ? #JustUnwine #VinoAzul #BlueWine #VinBleu

A photo posted by Gïk Live! Vino Azul (@giklive) on

Ok, I’ll bite. Expect a review here as soon as I can figure out how to order a bottle on the company’s website.

Review: 2013 Riven Rock Cabernet Sauvignon

Before heading to an outdoor movie event at a Hollywood cemetery where 1920s stars are buried (Yes, we do that in Los Angeles and like it), my husband and I went to check out the new Whole Foods 365 near us. It’s Whole Foods’ attempt at a smaller neighborhood market. We were lookin for some wine to bring to see “Singin’ in the Rain.” But we didn’t want to spend a bundle, so I picked up the least expensive red I could find.

That would be the 2013 Riven Rock Cabernet Sauvignon.


This is the wine that gives meaning to you get what you pay for. This cherry-flavored red tastes watered down. It’s a lame-version of Trader Joe’s 2-buck Chuck. Maybe this could pass for a Sangria wine? That’s probably it’s only redeeming quality: It’ll taste better when you mix it with a lot of booze.

Nuts & Bolts:

Winery: Riven Rock
Type: Cabernet Sauvignon
Origin: McFarland, Calif.
Vintage: 2013
Price: $6
Alcohol content: 13%
When to drink: Never.

What’s a wine aerator?

I got a cute little ram aerator for Christmas. I kind of knew what aerators were supposed to do, but had never really used one before that gift.

An aerator is something you stick in the top of your wine bottle; when you pour the wine through it, air gets mixed in. The same thing happens when you let your wine sit open or swirl it around in the glass. It’s what fancy wine people call letting your wine breathe.

Air is supposed to let the flavors settle down and mingle. Ever had a wine that’s supposed to be really good, but the first time you pour it out of the glass, it’s super puckery and leaves you with an alcohol punch to the throat? Try an aerator to calm that baby down.

Using the deliciously fancy aerator gifted by the lovely @ak_scrumpy on this fine evening

A video posted by Wine For The Win (@wineforthewin) on

Not all wines need an aerator. They’re typically used on red wines, particularly young ones.

If you’re into an aerator that looks like an animal is puking wine into your glass, like I am, you can find them here. You’ll also see them at wineries all over Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, et al.

Review: 2013 Cline Pinot Gris

It’s the end of September and the temps are still topping 90 degrees here, so a fresh Pinot Gris is in order.

The 2013 Cline Pinot Gris smells like pears and apples and tastes like them, too. It’s spritzy and hits every corner of your mouth on the swig.

IMG_20140719_183631 (1)

According to the winemaker, the minerality of their wines comes from the cool growing location. The wine is a bit creamy at the end and kind of tangy, like the flavor of grape skins.

Nuts & Bolts:

  • Winery: Cline
  • Type: Pinot Gris
  • Origin: Sonoma
  • Vintage: 2013
  • Price: $14
  • Alcohol content: 14.5%
  • When to drink: On a day when you have to stand in front of the fridge to keep cool. While you’re in there, grab a chilled bottle of the Cline Pinot Gris. Don’t blame me if your energy bill jumps.