There are over 88 million vegans in the world, so it’s no wonder vegan wine is a hot topic. Wine, in its most basic form, is just fermented grape juice…right?
But during the winemaking process, various substances known as fining agents are often used to remove impurities and improve clarity.
These fining agents are frequently derived from animal products like:
- casein (a milk protein)
- albumin (egg whites)
- gelatin (animal protein)
- blood albumen
- isinglass (fish bladder protein)
So while the wine itself doesn't contain these ingredients, the clarifying process may use animal-based products to make certain wines non-vegan.
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Non-Alcoholic Sparkling Brut
Award-winning alcohol-removed bubbly white. Hints of lemon, peach and passion fruit with dry acidity. Better than champagne.TASTING NOTES: The vibrant combination of lemon, peach, and passion fruit create a rich flavor counterbalanced by full acidity creating a delightfully dry profile.FOOD… Read More
What makes vegan wine… vegan?
Vegan wine production starts much like any other wine: Grapes are harvested, crushed, and the juice is fermented, turning the sugars into alcohol.
However, fermentation leaves behind a cloud of microscopic particles, including dead yeast cells and proteins. To clear this up, winemakers use a process called fining. During fining, special agents are added to the wine that bind to these particles, making them easier to remove.
Fining agents are the key difference in vegan winemaking (also known as “vegan fining”). Vegan winemaking uses plant-based or mineral alternatives (instead of animal-derived products), such as:
- bentonite clay
- activated charcoal
- plant casein
Some wine producers skip the fining process altogether, allowing the sediment to settle naturally, which can also result in a vegan-friendly wine. The vegan “unfiltered and unfined” wine process gives it higher phenolics and a better aroma overall. (But there’s always the possibility of contamination.)
Biodynamic winemakers take it a step further and let the earth take over the biodynamic wine process.
How do you tell if a wine is vegan?
You can tell if a wine is vegan by checking the label. Vegan wines will usually have a vegan certification right on the bottle. If you’re unsure, contact the winery to ensure no animal products were used during fining.
You may also find out if a wine is vegan is by checking out this site to review over 53,000 different alcoholic beverages. The list includes different wine brands with organic wines, gluten-free wines, standard types of wine (chardonnay, pinot noir, etc.), champagne, and everything in between.
What is the vegan alternative to wine?
There is no definite alternative to wine for vegans. Just make sure to read labels and narrow down which wines are vegan and which wines aren’t.
What are the benefits of vegan wine?
Vegan wines can be healthier for you because they have fewer chemicals, more antioxidants, are lower in sulfites, and are overall better for the environment. They’re higher in resveratrol, a potent antioxidant.
Most of the time, vegan wines are also organic or, at least, made using organic winemaking practices. This means your vegan wine is probably exposed to fewer toxic chemicals like pesticides, herbicides, and other synthetic ingredients in non-organic wines.
As an added bonus, knowing your wine was created with no animal byproducts means you can rest assured it’s a cruelty-free purchase.
How To Find Vegan Wines
We have a few favorite ways to find vegan wines:
- Use online resources: Several websites and apps offer directories of vegan wines, including Barnivore, which has a large database of alcoholic beverages and their vegan status.
- Shop at specialty retailers: Some wine shops, health food stores, and online retailers specialize in vegan products and may have a selection of vegan wines.
- Check the label: Some wine labels may indicate that a wine is are vegan-friendly. Look for phrases like "vegan" or "vegan-friendly", or certifications from organizations such as Vegan Action or the Vegan Society.
- Directly contact the winery or producer: If you're unsure whether a wine is vegan, consider reaching out to the winery or producer. They should be able to provide information about their winemaking process and whether any animal products are used.
Remember, finding vegan wines may require a bit of research, but there are plenty of options out there!
Vegan Non-Alcoholic Wine
If your quest to find vegan wines is more about a healthier lifestyle, non-alcoholic wine is always an option. Surely wine is the perfect compromise for wine lovers seeking a healthier pour.