Quite literally meaning 'blue wine' in Spanish. On our recent jaunt to Madrid, we stumbled into a small fine food store - The Txoko Conde De Miranda - mainly just to escape the chaotic crowd of the very popular San Miguel market right across the street. We were busy admiring the shelves of anchovies and olive oil when we spotted some locals drinking a curious blue drink from a wine glass at the store's bar counter. We may have dismissed it too quickly as a soft drink served in a fancy glass but a short conversation with the staff led us to the discovery that it was actually a chardonnay.
A chardonnay in the shade of a Smurf.
The following conversation ensued;
A: I am not drinking wine with food colouring! That's just silly!
B: It's not food colouring! I am trying a glass.
Store Staff: It's a natural fermentation process.... no food colouring!
A: Oh.. then I'll have a glass too!
After the air was cleared about the use of food colouring, we sat down with our glasses and got an interesting 101 from the staff about Marques De Alcantara - the producer of this curious wine. It has a 100% chardonnay base and takes on the first phase of white wine processing. The colour comes after with the introduction of anthocyanins extracted from the skin of red chardonnay grapes which also lends high acidity to counter the wine's strong fruity aftertaste.
It's fresh and fun and it's definitely one of those easy-drinking wines for aperitivos or pre-dinner stints. But the only hurdle for us is its attraction point too, the colour is just so distracting to the taste. Your mind just can't seem to process this is how a blue drink should taste like. But that said, what could be a better conversation starter at a party?
Check out the full range of blue wine here including a cava version; Marques De Alcantara