Did you know that wine contains animal products? Next time you’re invited to dinner and asked to bring a bottle, bring a vegan wine.
If you enjoy drinking wine, then you probably enjoy pairing a good bottle with a lovely dinner. But, did you know that living a cruelty-free lifestyle even extends into examining what you drink?
It turns out that some wines aren’t vegan. This is thanks to some animal-based ingredients that are used in the processing phase of wine production.
Are you planning a special dinner? Try this Stress-Free Vegan Lasagna Recipe
Why is wine not vegan?
It’s surprising to find out that all wine is not vegan-friendly. After all, wine is made mostly from grapes! But, in the process of creating the perfect bottle, winemakers sometimes use products that are derived from animals.
In these cases, wine is filtered through a number of “fining agents” to remove protein, cloudiness, yeast, “off” flavorings and colorings, and other organic particles that the vineyard doesn’t want in your glass. These fining agents can be derived from animals, and include:
- Blood and bone marrow
- Casein (a milk protein)
- Chitin (fiber from crustacean shells)
- Fish oil
- Egg albumen (which comes from egg whites)
- gelatin (a protein made from boiling animal parts)
- isinglass (gelatin made from the membrane of a fish bladder).
What makes wine vegan-friendly?
Vegan winemakers remove the animal-derived fining agents and use alternatives that are cruelty-free. Some alternate fining agents include:
- Bentonite clay
- Silica gel
- Kaolin clay
- Plant casein
- Vegetable plaques
Is organic wine free from animal products?
No, just because a wine is certified as organic, doesn’t mean it’s vegan-friendly. Organic winemakers use natural and organic animal-derived fining agents, such as isinglass, albumin, casein, and gelatin, to remove impurities.
It’s best to check for a vegan certification even if the wine is organic.
How to find vegan wine
If you live near a store that has a great wine range, they may well have a few vegan brands available. Be sure to ask them. If they are clued up on wine, they’ll be able to help you. You might be able to order wine through them too.
You might also find wines at your local vegan or health food store. And, be sure to keep an eye open for local farmer’s markets that may have a vegan winemaker. You might be able to order online directly from the vineyard itself too.
You can find a comprehensive list of vegan wines at barnivore.com. Just enter your region and they’ll indicate which wines and vineyards are vegan.
The next time you’re looking for that bottle for dinner, look for vegan wines. Not only will you be able to stay on your plant-based journey, but you will also support winemakers who are producing cruelty-free wine!