IS WINE VEGAN?
The big question on everyone’s mind is can vegans drink wine? and is wine vegan friendly? Well, now you’re going to get your answer. Whether this question is for you perhaps if you’re thinking of switching to a vegan diet or even as a question for vegan friends of yours, the answer is not too complicated and there is a simple way to distinguish between what is and isn’t vegan. Now while most and many wines are actually completely plant-based and vegan friendly this does not apply to all wines and some contain hidden animal products used in the production process and here is how and why!
IS WINE VEGAN FRIENDLY?
We all know that the source of making wine comes from grapes and the fermentation process they go through so in actuality all wine can and should be vegan-friendly wine but unfortunately, this is not always the case as companies tend to add products that will help them speed up the process of wine creation even though they are not necessary ingredients that add much or any real benefits. When the winemaking process was first introduced additional products were needed to help the stabilization and fining processes however nowadays there have been many new developments and discoveries on alternative ways to achieve the same effect without causing animal harm and cruelty yet still producing the same quality and taste of wine we all know and love.
WHY IS WINE NOT VEGAN?
So what makes wine not vegan? The process in which wine becomes nonvegan friendly is during something known as the fining process by which wine is clarified. Once the wine process begins it is a long time before that wine stabilizes and all the molecules of proteins, tannins, and phenolics find out and this is where the addition of animal products comes into play. Raw and the most natural wines are not 100 percent clear however passionate drinkers much prefer a smooth and clear glass of wine, this can happen naturally but over time. To help this process happen quickly and efficiently wine producers use what is known as fining agents which help these molecules to stabilize. These fining agents come in the form of casein which is a milk protein, albumin which is egg whites, gelatin which is animal protein, and isinglass which is fish bladder protein. These additives do not change or enhance the flavor of wine but rather just quicken the process and eventually precipitate with the molecules.
HOW IS WINE VEGAN?
So if these fining agents are added to wines then do vegan drink wine at all? Well yes as this is not the case for every wine-producing company. Today many many wine producers using alternative fining agents that are clay-based. These include bentonite which is brilliant for efficiently fining out protein molecules as well as activated charcoal which is another natural and plant-based solution to helping stabilize wine in order to create a clear and smooth consistency. Since the movement towards more natural products hit the market many wine producers have opted to now use any additional filtration agents and thus you can now by many wines labeled ‘not fined’ or ‘not filtered’ meaning that they have self-stabilized through normal and natural processes of time.
VEGAN WINE LIST
When going shopping for wines it can be a difficult and sometimes near impossible task to figure out whether it is particularly suitable for vegans, this is because companies often do not label wine products with any indication of the ingredients used in the process and thus becomes an impossible task for those truly invested in keeping a completely plant-based diet and lifestyle.
Some vegan-friendly wines include
- Toro Loco Organic Red
- Saint-Auriol Corbières
- Pure South Pinot Noir
- Principe Corsini Le Corti Chianti Classico
- Granite Earth
Some vegan wine brands include
- Charles Shaw ( red wines only )
- Lumos Wine
- Frey Vineyards
- Red Truck Wines
- The Vegan Vine