Wine is a beloved beverage enjoyed by millions around the world.
Whether you’re sipping on a glass of red after a long day at work or toasting a special occasion with a bottle of bubbly, wine is often the drink of choice to help unwind and celebrate.
But if you’re a vegan, you might be wondering whether your favourite bottle of wine is truly vegan-friendly.
While wine is made from grapes, it’s common knowledge that not all wines are vegan.
In this blog post, we’ll find out why some wines are not vegan and provide you with everything you need to know about choosing vegan-friendly wines.
What Does Vegan Wine Mean?
At its core, veganism is a way of living that seeks to exclude the use of animals for food, clothing, or any other purpose.
So how does this relate to wine?
Contrary to popular belief, wine is not always vegan, and it’s not just down to the grapes.
The winemaking process often involves the use of animal-derived products like egg whites, fish bladders, and gelatin to clarify the wine and remove impurities.
When wine is produced without the use of animal products, it is referred to as vegan wine.
The good news is that more and more winemakers are catching on to the vegan trend and producing vegan-friendly wines.
But with so much variety out there, how do you know what to look for?
What to Look For: Vegan Wine 101
To determine whether a bottle of wine is vegan or not, it’s essential to look on the label but sometimes beyond the label.
Unlike food products, wine does not have to list its ingredients, making it harder to know exactly what goes into your wine.
Fortunately, many winemakers are now proudly displaying “suitable for vegans” or “vegan-friendly” labels on their bottles, so start by keeping an eye out for these.
If the wine label does not explicitly state that it is vegan, your best bet is to do some research.
Check the winery’s website or contact them directly to ask if their wines contain any animal-derived products.
Alternatively, you could check with a vegan wine retailer or look for wines certified by vegan organisations like The Vegan Society.
What to Avoid: Animal-Derived Wine Products
To be confident that you’re drinking vegan-friendly wine, it’s important to know what to avoid.
Here are some animal-derived products commonly used in winemaking:
- Gelatin – this is a common clarifying agent derived from animal collagen
- Fish bladder – also known as isinglass, this is often used to remove impurities from wine
- Egg whites – used to clarify and remove sediments from the wine
- Casein – a milk protein used for aging wine barrels
While it might seem disheartening to discover that some of your favourite wines contain animal-derived products,
it’s worth noting that not all winemakers use these ingredients, and vegan-friendly options are more widely available than ever before.
It’s worth noting that vegan wines are not limited to any particular grape variety or region.
However, some winemakers are more likely to produce vegan wines than others.
Biodynamic and organic winemakers, for example, are often more likely to use natural alternatives to animal-derived products in the winemaking process.
Additionally, more boutique wineries and smaller producers may be more inclined to use vegan-friendly methods and ingredients.
Which Wines are More Likely to be Vegan?
Interestingly, vegan wines are not just better for animals – they’re also better for the environment.
Vegan winemakers often use more sustainable and eco-friendly practices, like reducing water usage and avoiding harmful pesticides and fertilisers.
Is wine vegan? Not always, as some winemakers use animal-derived products.
However, vegan-friendly alternatives are becoming increasingly available.
To find vegan wines, do your research, look for suitable labels, and don’t hesitate to ask questions.
By choosing vegan wine, you can support sustainable and eco-friendly practices while reducing animal cruelty.
Whether you’re a vegan or curious about vegan options, vegan wine is a tasty beverage that everyone can enjoy.