Weird but true: not all wine is vegan.
Yes, you read that correctly. But how can a product made of fruit not be vegan you ask? Well, it’s not a matter of the fruit but instead a winemaking process!
Sediment is a natural result of the winemaking process. At some point all wine will have sediment in it, it’s up to the winemaker to choose if they want to leave the sediment in the wine or if they’d rather remove the sediment by way of filtering and fining.
If they choose to remove the sediment they can either pursue one of two options. The first is a more prolonged process of letting the wine rest in a vessel, naturally and slowly the sediment will settle in at the bottom. If time is of the essence, then winemakers can accelerate the process by fining the wine – and this is where a wine can lose vegan status.
Fining wine often (but not always) involves the use of animal by-products like isinglass (fish-based gelatin product), gelatin, egg whites or casein therefor rendering the wine non-vegan. These products will bind to the very fine sediment making it much easier to filter out both the sediment and the fining agent. Just make things more complicated, animal by-products are not always used, and there are other options for winemakers to use like bentonite. But as with many things wine, the information isn’t always readily available on the label.
If you’re vegan and you choose to pursue drinking only vegan wine, here are some tips:
– Look for wine labelled as Vegan (aren’t we helpful!), usually found on the back label
– Look for wines that state they are either ‘Unfined/Unfiltered’
– Get scrolling on barnivore.com
– Visit us and we can show you some fantastic, vegan producers like Frey, Purato, Omen and Tandem to name a few
If you’re vegan and you’re not going to stress about drinking only vegan wine, we won’t tell!