By Mike Pomranz
Updated January 20, 2017
© Gïk

The world’s hottest new wine has suddenly been reduced to the world’s hottest “other alcoholic drink.” Apparently, regulators in Spain and the European Union don’t think “blue wine” should be allowed to call itself “wine.”

As I’m sure you recall (the headlines and imagery were hard to miss), blue wine – a product from the Spanish brand Gik – took the world by storm this past summer thanks to its eye-catching bright blue color. What made Gik’s unique product particularly intriguing is that despite sporting such an unnatural hue, blue wine is said to be made from 100 percent organic and natural ingredients. The base of the wine comes from a mix of red and white Spanish grapes, and the color is derived from anthocyanin and indigotine: The former comes from the skin of red grapes, and the latter is a plant-based dye.

But according to Forbes, what’s bothering regulators in Spain and the European Union isn’t what blue wine is, but what it isn’t. According to the government, technically, “blue wine” can’t be a “wine” at all because it doesn’t fit into any of the 17 categories that define wine under EU law. As a result, Gik is no longer allowed to call its product “wine” in the EU; instead, the Spanish brand must file its not-quite-vino under the category of “other alcoholic beverages” and label it as “99% wine and 1% grape juice.”

Needless to say, Gik isn’t happy that its popular new product (that has reportedly already sold 100,000 bottles in 25 countries) is suddenly wrapped up in international bureaucracy. So the company is fighting back, including posting a petition on to support #FreedomOfColor. “When we created Gik, our aim was to innovate in the most traditional sector of our country: wine industry,” the brand writes in the petition. “Finally, the Spanish wine lobby, helped by some public institutions, stopped our revolution by imposing prohibitions and sanctions.” Gik says they’ve even been forced to tweak the recipe to meet current regulations. “This is unfair for all you who trust us, because you have the right to enjoy the original product,” the company writes.

Still, though it appears Gik has lost the battle, the blue wine makers haven’t necessarily lost the war. Blue wine is still available for purchase; it’s now just being called a “blue drink.” Yeah, not so classy, is it? Now it sounds like what you were having the night that fraternity told you to never come back to its parties.