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Today I LearnedToday I Learned is a feature where The Takeout writers share something they learned today.  

I’m quite the wine fan, but I thought I was breaking ground a few years back when I embraced rosé in the summertime (years before “rosé all day” became a thing). So I was straight-up startled today when something unusual came across my Twitter feed: blue wine.

Food Insider notes that the hue is considered “blasphemous” by certain oenophiles. While some winemakers add the unusual shade via blueberries, FI talks about a company called GIK that extracts “a pigment that comes from the skin of a red grape that’s called anthocyanin,” which brings the “bright neon blue hue.” The Spanish company bills itself as the “world’s first blue wine.”

Falling further down the wine-shade wormhole, I then discovered another controversial wine shade: orange. “Orange Wine Needs to Go Away” pleaded Bon Appetit a few months ago, pointing out that the orange shade is “only one color in the vast style, and color spectrum, of skin-contact wines,” which are white wines made like red wines, fermenting the grape juice in contact with the grape skins. Because the shades are based on how long the grape ferments, they can range from “from golden-straw yellow to vibrant amber to Tony the Tiger orange.”

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Despite the novel shade, orange wine didn’t really take off right out of the gate (hence the article headline). But the Sonoma Index-Tribune recently reported on popularity of an orange wine varietal from Jordan Kivelstadt, founder and head winemaker at Kivelstadt Cellars in Glen Ellen, California, and CEO of Free Flow Wines: “I felt there was a lot of the orange wine out there domestically, that wasn’t very good. I wanted to do it right. So, we made a gateway orange skin fermented wine where consumers could appreciate it.” He reports that his 2017 Wayward Son Orange Wine sells out as soon as it’s released.

Next time I visit the wine store, I’m definitely going walk up and down the aisles to see how many shades there are outside from the traditional pinot gris to pinot noir. And will probably still stock up on a bunch of rosé, which is shaping up to be my favorite wine shade so far.

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