A few months ago, we told you about Gik, the bright-blue Spanish wine that took the internet by storm and racked up more than 30,000 preorders in the U.S. -- but never shipped due to a regulatory snafu that kept it overseas. Well, we've got good news for you: Gik is finally coming stateside.
As Eater reports, Gik has finally gotten the green-light for sale in the U.S., first in Florida, then, if everything goes as planned, expanding to New York, New Jersey, Washington, Michigan and, later, California and Nevada. It hasn't been an easy road to your glass for Gik, which endured something of a regulatory ordeal in its home country of Spain.
The wine, which is made with the must, or juice, of both red and white grapes from La Rioja, Zaragoza, Castilla-La Mancha and León, with two natural substances -- anthocyanin, organic pigments found on grape skin, and indigo dye -- giving it its unmistakable neon-blue hue.
Spanish company Gik hit markets in Europe in 2015, but in 2017, regulators discovered Gik was in violation of a Spanish regulation that says only red or white wine can be sold in local markets. Since Gik is technically both red and white wine, its makers faced a ?3,000 fine -- about $3,580 U.S. -- and were forced to alter the label, no longer able to call their product "wine."
Instead, according to the new labeling, Gik is an "other alcoholic beverage" and contains "99 percent wine, 1 percent grape must' -- a hairline distinction its makers find unfair.
However, when it comes to America, Gik will do so as a blue wine, though timelines will vary from state to state.
"Depending on the state, the process is different and also a little slower," co-founder Aritz López said. Gik's makers have been hard at work with local importers in each state to help them represent the brand before the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.
To get the word "wine" or the label, the local distributors have helped Gik "get the Certificate of Label Approval, and all licenses for our manufacturing process and ingredients," López said.
And on the home front of Spain, López said Gik's warm reception with wine drinkers was, unfortunately, not enough to change the laws. However, an online petition currently circulating hopes to change that.