What is Vegan wine?
Published by Bianca Wilshin - 16th Feb 2020
Have you heard the term Vegan wine recently and wondered if it’s the same as regular wine?
Or do you follow a Vegan lifestyle and want to know if your favourite drop is in line?
You’d be forgiven for thinking every wine is Vegan. I mean it’s just grape juice and a bit of yeast ‘doing the wild thing’ when you leave them alone together, isn’t it?
Well, yes. That’s basically how wine has been made for thousands of years.
But that doesn’t mean all the wines you buy are Vegan.
Why aren’t all wines Vegan?
It’s what happens to the wine after it’s made but before bottling that makes the difference.
When a wine’s just been created, it looks a bit cloudy because of the natural sediment floating around. Most wines will clear up by themselves but it’s a slow process and waiting for that to happen is not always possible.
So winemakers have typically added ingredients to ‘fine’, or clarify, it more quickly. These processing aids bind to the sediment, cleaning up the wine before being filtered out again. And these are traditionally made from egg, fish or milk.
So you can see the challenge for people following a Vegan lifestyle.
Another way to clarify wine
But the times they are a-changing. Winemakers now have animal-friendly alternatives they can use that do the same job as the traditional fining agents. And some winemakers just choose to wait for the sediment to settle naturally making it ‘unfiltered’ and ‘unfined’ wine. Wines treated in either of these ways should be suitable for a Vegan diet.
How do I find Vegan wines?
Because it’s not a legal requirement in Australia to state on the label if animal-based fining agents have been used, it can be confusing. Although you should see any that have been used mentioned under mandatory allergen advice.
So the best way to be sure you’re drinking Vegan wine is to buy Vegan classified wine.