SO, YOU’RE over a week into Veganuary and you didn’t know about the wine, right?
You didn’t know that a lot of red wine has fish blood in, not all of them, but far more than you were aware of. You didn’t know that some white wines use Isinglass, derived from a fish’s bladder, some wines can contain egg and get this, some even have charcoal.
Now, the charcoal might not affect you vegan diet but there is an issue surrounding the labelling of wines which hasn’t changed for a very long time.
What has changed is the fact that some wine makes are ensuring their product can be called vegan.
With European Union regulations allowing for more than 50 different flavourings, additives, preservatives and agents to be added to wine Voice Online decided to help out those who are longing for a glass or three this month as they get through Veganuary.
What’s the difference between vegan wine and non-vegan wine?
Veganism has become one of the fastest-growing consumer trends in the world and Veganuary is now absolutely huge. Owed to the popularity of the diet, as well as vegan restaurants, vegan wines have also risen in popularity. To accommodate this trend, many vineyards and producers have adapted their winemaking process to offer a greater choice in wines for those choosing a plant based lifestyle.
Although made from grapes, not all of your favourite wines are vegan. This is because some wines are produced using a process called fining. Fining agents, made from animal products such as gelatine or egg whites, are used to help remove tiny molecules of proteins, yeast and other organic particles in young wines. This process also helps the wine taste less bitter and make it visibly clearer.
Vegan wines replace animal-based finers with clay and vegetable based products such as pea protein. Every action or inaction in the winemaking process has a direct result, however the huge number of variables involved means it’s not fair to say if they taste better or worse. There are many expensive wines which haven’t been fined or filtered which are also vegan.
Wine, like most alcohol, doesn’t require a detailed list of ingredients so it’s not always easy to tell vegan wines apart. With the growing interest in vegan wines, many winemakers now actively label their wines as vegan, however some don’t. Fortunately, we have a vegan label on Winebuyers to identify every vegan-friendly wine – even if it’s not visible on the bottle! Good news for all the vegans out there.
Vegan wine suggestions
With over 700 vegan wines available at Winebuyers, there are plenty to choose from. We would recommend the following:
Grapes: Castelão, Trincadeira, Tinta Miúda
An intense ruby red in colour, this Portuguese wine is driven by red berry fruits. Round in the mouth, medium-bodied and a well-rounded finish with mellow tannins.
Grapes: Sémillon, Muscadelle
This unique and refreshing white wine bursts with the flavours and freshness of summer sunshine.
Pale lemon gold in colour, this French wine has flavours of warm lemon zest, white stone fruit and hints of honeysuckle on the nose, with white-stone fruit, galia melon and nectarine on the palate.
Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon
This low yield, single varietal wine is intense, full bodied with warmth and plenty of well-structured tannins. Pure varietal characteristic with great herbaceous, raspberry leaf notes.
This early ripening grape variety, a hybrid of Müller-Thurgau and Siegerrebe, produces a wine dominant with stone fruits. Bold aromas of verbena and fresh stone fruits lead to flavours of ripe peach, Mirabelle plum and baked apples on the palate.
Ageing in old French oak barrels results in a complex wine with a rich mouthfeel and buttery finish which pairs beautifully with roast chicken or wild mushroom risotto.
Dry and round with great structure, this English wine is very well balanced with a long finish.
Described as “a gift from God” by THE TIMES, this Prosecco has golden highlights and elegant textured bubbles. On the nose you will find young fruity notes with hints of apple. The palate is incredibly mineral and crisp with a light and refreshing finish. Pairs perfectly with canapes, but also with a range of fragrant and spicy dishes due to its refreshing acidity. Seafood risotto, mild cheeses and any tomato-based dishes, as well as fruit-based desserts pair beautifully.