Do you love wine and your vegan lifestyle? No problem, you can be both a wine lover and a vegan. It’s easy if you know where to look.
But wine is just grape juice, why would it not be vegan friendly? Winemakers and wine drinkers prefer their wines clear. Young wine is hazy due to proteins, tannins, and other natural particles floating around.
Most wines self clarify if left long enough. Most winemakers don’t want to wait that long, so they do some processing. It’s in the processing of the wine where non-vegan ingredients get introduced.
Fining agents added to clear the haze, a process called fining, are often casein (milk protein), albumin (egg whites), gelatin (animal protein), or isinglass (fish bladder protein). None of these agents are vegan friendly. These agents pull the particles out of the wine, with the final step being agent and particles filtered out.
Unfortunately, during the fining process, the wine can absorb small amounts of the above agents. The wine becomes unsuitable for vegans. Some winemakers skip these traditional agents, using clay-based or activated charcoal-based agents.
The trend toward more natural winemaking techniques means more wines being allowed to self clarify. The wine label, in this case, often says “unfiltered.” Labels don’t indicate the fining process if used.
What’s a wine-loving vegan to do? You ask before visiting a cellar or attending a wine tasting. Locating a vegan wine in the grocery or liquor store presents a challenge.
Your smartphone comes to the rescue at the grocery. Download the Barnivore app, a site cataloging all sorts of vegan liquor, including wine. Luckily, the list is alphabetical and can be sorted by region, because there are over 4000 wines.
In a hurry? Top vegan wine producers quickly found on shelves are red wines from Charles Shaw, known fondly as “two buck chuck” at California Trader Joe’s. Frey Vineyards offers a mind-boggling number of highly recommended varieties, all vegan friendly as their fining process contains no animal byproducts.
Red Truck Wines, a winery with good ratings, offers fifteen vegan-friendly varieties. Would you like to ditch the bottles and corkscrew and enjoy good wine, too? Are you looking for easy carry vegan-friendly wine for outdoor activities or parties?
Give Besa Mi Vino a try. It’s an award-winning wine in a can that’s vegan, organic, and low in sulfites. It’s also gluten-free and doesn’t skimp on the alcohol at 12.5%.