Can we talk about this blue wine thing? Because it’s freaking embarrassing. Mother Nature Network mentioned this beverage from Gik (does that get pronounced like “geek” or rhyme with “ick?” I can’t tell, I’m old) that has been crafted for you, the Millennial, because you like “wine” but “don’t care about the rules.” How about the laws of nature, you care about those at all? Because you are probably the last generation that has a snowball’s chance in Scottsdale of even contending with those.
So we need you to step it up, okay?
I am old enough to remember when Al Gore invented the Internet, but young enough to understand how it works. In other words, I’m in my 40s. And honey-babies, the last thing I think wine should ever be is pretentious, precious, or too big for its winey little britches. It can be sublime and exciting, it can be not a big deal; it can be either fabulously hooked into ancient traditions or fabulously maverick, and all that, but let’s be honest – it turns into pee, whether it came from the hottest, Haute-est chateau in Champagne or the eucalyptus tanks of Oenovoldemort Sean Thackrey or the most exclusive invitation-only fetishists in St. Helena, or the Hallowed Vaults of Two Buck Chuck. Pee. Now that we have that sorted, let’s talk about fake wine.
From the Gik website: “GIK represents the innovative side of life, because that’s how we are. We believe in the creative rebellion, we build new things, break with the past and create our future. We will never have a fixed office; Internet and our mail box have become our real office.” Do I need to unpack that for anyone? Gik, we get that your “office” is in cyberspace, cuties. Now: where do you grow your grapes? In your minds?
Blue is the last color humans evolved a word for, and might have been the last color we came to perceive. Most ancient civilizations did not have a word for “blue” – some modern ones still don’t, and have trouble perceiving it. The Egyptians are believed to be the first people to coin a word for blue, and significantly they were the first to develop blue dye. In The Odyssey, Homer describes the Mediterranean as “wine-dark.” And you know what, he didn’t effing mean blue.
I can’t stand snobbery. Not in wine and not in much of anything. So it pains me to have to point this out. Blue wine isn’t chic or cool or defiant or insouciant or clever – it’s dyed. Oh, it also contains an undisclosed artificial “non-caloric sweetener.” In this day and age you don’t have to be a hoary old hippie with 10 miles of armpit hair to explain why that’s a drag. My generation and the one before it have busted ass trying to get stuff like this out of your millennial tummies so you don’t all get tumors and endocrine disorders, but that’s almost beside the point. This planet is actually gasping under the lung-crushing weight of artifice and inattention to consequence. I’m not just talking about fracking. Hip-Distanced-Irony is coming for you just as hard as environmental degradation. You guys are going to be making the interest payments on that. Not me. Not my folks. You.
Please let’s not be assholes about this. Embrace the Real. Because whether or not you are willing to take note of Real, trust me when I say it has it’s raptor-eyeball trained on you. This is not an impassioned plea to Think About the Rainforest – do what Selfie-People do, and think about yourselves. Yes, think about how increasing your emotional, mental and physical distance from what goes down your pie-hole and where it came from and how it got to you might be affecting your health and well-being. But also, think about yourself as an embarrassing fashion victim who has been allowed to grow up without ever developing this rather important ability known as discernment. Are there people who take wine too seriously? Absolutes. Have studies given them a public wedgie on numerous occasions by, for example, putting red dye into white wine and letting somms and snarkers pontificate on the Clear Expression of Cabernet Franc they are tasting when they’re actually drinking Pinot Grigio? Yeppers. Does hawking a wine that is deliberately dyed a color previously reserved for tampon and diaper ads flip all that snootiness and exclusivity the bird? Yeah, in a way. Kind of.
Is it potentially slightly-surreal fun?
I’d even go with yes, if it were well-made wine. Gik is dosed with artificial sweeteners and dyes and the people who manufacture it are not transparent about their practices, which is not usually a good sign. And they are much more interested in their image than their product, which is never a good sign. So please know that this insouciant, genre-defying toilet bowl cleaner you think is subversive is not subversive. It’s just lame.
Gik: I am now speaking to you, whatever you are. You want to be innovative in the wine world? Develop a disease-resistant rootstock. Creative rebellion? Create new cultivars that will resist the effects of climate change for a while longer. Look at ways of reducing water footprint in wine production. Those are innovations. Selling syrupy swill that looks like it should be the official beverage of Game of Thrones’ White Walkers and calling it risk-taking and independent and “disruptive”? That’s not innovative. That move was innovated by PT Barnum (Google it).
Get over yourselves, fellas. Rule-breaking is not something you invented. And the ones you’re breaking are embarrassingly trivial.