Wines may be made from grapes, but that does not necessarily mean that all labels of this liquor are vegan. Traditional winemakers use animal-derived substances called “fining agents” in the filtering process of the wine.
Thankfully, most winemakers now use animal-friendly ways in making and filtering processes of the wine, which people with vegan lifestyles are happy about. Here is a guide of what you need to know about vegan wines.
Not all wines are vegan
As mentioned above, not all wines are vegan. The majority of the people do not know this fact because all they think is that since wines are made from grapes, then the product is already animal-friendly. There may be processes in making wine that uses animal-derived products.
An example of animal-derived products are the ones used in the filtering process of winemaking, called “fining agents.” For an extended period, wines become better on their own. But some winemakers need the aid of these fining agents to fasten the process.
The filtering process is used in removing yeast, unnecessary flavors, cloudiness, and other particles not needed in making wine. Young wines have particles and molecules that are not harmful but affect the smoothness and taste of the wine.
The known fining agents used by some winemakers are casein which is a milk protein, bone marrow, egg albumen, gelatin from boiling animal parts, fish oil, isinglass from fish bladder membranes, and chitin from crustacean shells. Although vegetarians can tolerate these particles, vegans do not.
Thankfully, several winemakers use animal-friendly ways of making wine. These days, winemakers use clay-based fining agents, like bentonite, which helps in refining out unwanted protein.
Activated charcoal is also used, which is a vegan and vegetarian-friendly product. Other than these two, limestone, plant casein, kaolin clay, and silica gel are also used as fining agents.
Aside from using fining agents, a lot of wineries around the world use the natural course of nature in making wine. They let the wine self-stabilize and self-refine by leaving these them untouched. These wines are labeled “unfiltered” or “not fined.”
How to tell if the wine is Vegan
The easiest way to know if the wine is vegan is by reading the label. The question now is how to tell if the ingredients are not mentioned in the bottle’s label?
This is not an easy task, but there are ways to look for vegan wine.
Many wine sellers specialize in vegan and vegetarian wines. There are even wine sellers that specialize in natural and biodynamic wines. Just search online or look for vegan-friendly wine stores, and you will be sure that these sellers will suggest the best vegan wine for you. Another way of knowing where to find vegan wines is to look for stores where vegan winemakers import their bottles.
Bottles to try
Here are some vegan-friendly wines you can try:
1. Toro Loco Organic Red
This red wine is organic. It is best consumed with vegan burgers and pasta. Although some natural products are expensive, this wine is an exception, costing at a little over $4 only.
This wine was launched by Christie Brinkley in 2016 and has been one of the most popular sparkling wines since then. It comes in a bright yellow color of medium intensity.
It is pleasing to the palate, with a surprisingly smooth and soft texture for a Prosseco. It also has hints of zesty lemon and lime flavor, with a dry texture. Touches of floral and green grass can also be tasted if you drink a glass of this sparkling wine.
3. Sassicaia wines
The Tuscans name Sassicaia wines as one of the best table wines a person should have. The wines undergo a malolactic fermentation, which is known to be vegan-friendly. After this, the wine is placed inside an oak barrel where it will age for two years before being bottled.
This wine has an intense red color, with a wide variety of red fruit taste. It has a full-bodied palate, but with soft tannins to make a satin-like and smooth finish. The strong yet smooth taste of this wine earned its name as one of the best Cabernet Sauvignon wines in the world.
4. Charles Shaw
A bottle will not cost you a lot, with bottles ranging from $2 to $4, thus called the “two-buck chuck.” This wine has just enough alcohol, which isn’t too strong. The brand has white wines and red wines that you can choose from.
5. The Vegan Vine
By the name itself, this bottle is vegan. The brand is a family-owned winery that dedicates to creating wines without harming the environment and the animals. The brand is co-owned by 4-time NBA champion John Sally, who is also a wellness advocate.
Many people are switching to the vegan lifestyle. However, there aren’t a lot of vegan-friendly products available in the market, including wines. Good thing that many winemakers nowadays practice vegan-friendly ways of making wine.
About The Author
We are a team of nutritional experts and vegan activists, who work 24/7 to bring you accurate, well-researched information that will empower you to make the right choices. Whether you are looking for in-depth nutritional advice, latest stories, or a mouthwatering recipe - this is the place!