• Vino & Veggies

Is your wine vegan?

Updated: Jun 18, 2019

"Wait. What? Wine isn't vegan?" This is usually the response I get when I tell people I sell vegan wine. I actually had no idea either until a few years ago! And how would we know? Wine bottles are not required to have ingredients listed however, there are some in rare cases where the winery will choose to label their bottles "vegan." Amen to these wineries! But they are few and far between so finding vegan wine can feel like mission impossible.

Most mass produced wine goes through a clarifying process called “fining.” Young wines typically look slightly cloudy in their natural state due to proteins, tannins, and tartrates. Most people can't even notice these small imperfections and these substances are completely harmless. However, for aesthetic purposes many vintners use fining agents to improve clarity.

These fining agents are generally animal byproducts such as casein, egg whites, gelatin, pig hooves and fish bladder. Yuck! Fortunately, as more consumers are demanding for more organic, natural wine there are more wineries practicing sustainable wine making. There are several common fining agents that are animal-friendly and used to make vegan wine. Carbon, bentonite clay, limestone, kaolin clay, plant casein, silica gel, and vegetable plaques are all suitable alternatives.

Another alarming fact I’ve learned is that you could be drinking dead birds (among other things). Yup. Mass produced vineyards that use large machinery take everything off the vine and dump it in the barrel. And I mean EVERYTHING. Not just underripe grapes but insects, animals and birds nests. Another reason why hand picked grapes are so important!

Quality wine should be as natural as possible. Scout&Cellar wines all come from vineyards that practice minimal processing and intervention. Wine as nature intended. Order vegan wine here!

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