Food & Drink

A guide to choosing vegan-friendly wines.

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Who likes beer? Liquor? … what about wine?? Because I know I do! I also know I have never really thought about what goes into make wine and the ingredients. I always thought it was just grapes and special yeast that sat and fermented.

So raise your hand if you thought all wine was vegan (or at least vegetarian) {raises hand}

Well we are all wrong.

Apparently not all wine brands are patient to let the ingredients do their thing, Instead they add animal byproducts to speed things up. This practice is known as “fining” and some of the ingredients they use are:

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  • Isinglass (from fish bladders)

  • Gelatin (from boiled cow or pig body parts)

  • Albumin (egg whites)

  • Casein (animal milk protein)

 

WHO KNEW?! And also EWW…Fortunately, many winemakers use either vegan fining ingredients, or they skip the fining practice entirely by giving the wine some time to settle before decanting it into bottles. Thank you lord for those people because I’m thinking I need to go through my wine rack and see what's going on.

I will note that those annoying, inpatient winemakes sometimes don’t disclose whether the wine has been fined or filtered and wine labels typically do not indicate whether the it is suitable for vegans or vegetarians, or what fining agents were used. There has been much lobbying to change the US wine labeling laws to include ingredient listing. But so far it is not compulsory.

Where can I buy vegan wine?

More places than you might think. The only thing I’d say is that you’ll probably encounter less stress and more luck ordering online than traipsing up and down the aisle of your local supermarket squinting at illegible labels.

 PIctured above is the site Barnivore. I have looked in the Wine section and it clearly labels what wine is Vegan friendly and what wine is NOT Vegan friendly. 

PIctured above is the site Barnivore. I have looked in the Wine section and it clearly labels what wine is Vegan friendly and what wine is NOT Vegan friendly. 

So how will we know if it’s vegan you ask?

Not easy I am afraid. After calling around to a few local stores asking if they had any vegan-friendly wines. For the most part I was met with a confused answer such as 'what do you mean?'. But do not give up. There is help by one of the best tools in the world - The internet!! Just visit , which is a website Barnivore where you can search over 39,000 types of wine, beer and liquor to see what exact ingredients are in them. It’s literally a boozy directory of alcohol that doesn’t use any animal derivatives. If there’s a brand you already like you can type it into the search bar and it will tell you which (if any) of its wines are safe to guzzle!

 

 

Not being vegan myself, I have previously been unaware of the difficulty in telling whether a wine is vegan-friendly or not. I would love to hear from our readers on their experiences looking for vegan wines.


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