Wine has been one of humanity’s favorite beverages for thousands of years, with some cultures even worshipping gods associated with wine, such as Dionysus of ancient Greece. Once a drink only for the wealthy, wine is now served everywhere from quaint bistros to five-star restaurants and at dinner tables throughout the world.
In recent years, those dedicated to a healthy lifestyle and a natural diet have found even more reasons to raise their wine glasses: Wine has been found to improve our overall health if drunk in moderation, and it has a low calorie count when compared to other beverages that contain alcohol.
Don't be fooled by the myriad benefits of wine if you avoid animal products in your diet, however. Just because wine is fruit-based and rich in antioxidants, it’s necessarily vegan. In fact, most wines can’t even be classified as vegetarian!
The good news is that, whether you regularly enjoy a glass of wine after work or only imbibe during special occasions, you don’t have to compromise your plant-based, healthful lifestyle. Feel good about the ingredients in your vegan rosé wines or vegan champagne and find your new favorite right here.
The Culprit: Fining Agents
Whether white, red, or rosé, making wine is a delicate process that involves fermenting grapes and other fruits, and then filtering and/or clarifying the beverage to achieve the desired taste and appearance. Wine can also be made with rice, flowers, or thick sugars such as honey.
Past generations of winemakers either kept their wines au natural, or simply used the process of time as a natural filter. As wine ages over several weeks or months, it becomes less cloudy naturally. The modern wine industry has found ways to speed up the fining process, however, with the use of "fining" or clarifying agents, most of which contain animal-based ingredients.
Fining agents improve a wine’s clarity by reducing yeasts and proteins that may be present after fermentation. Additionally, clarifying agents are used to eliminate tannins, which can cause a wine to taste acidic and feel heavy, and can help maintain flavour consistency.
But vegans need to be aware of the origins of filtering agents that may be present: While clay and carbon are sometimes used in the finishing processes of natural wines and vegan prosecco, the majority of substances used as fining or clarifying agents are animal-based. They range from casein, a milk-based protein, to fish oil and bone marrow, according to PETA.
Wines are classified as vegan or vegetarian in the same manner as food. If an animal-based filtering agent, such as gelatin, is used in the finishing process, a wine is considered "normal." Vegetarian wines include those filtered with casein or egg albumen, which is derived from egg whites. Finally, vegan white wines are those that do not contain any animal-based ingredients, in either the fermentation or finishing process.
Differences Between Vegan Wine and “Normal” Varieties
So how can you determine if the prosecco you’re serving with tonight’s meal is, in fact, vegan? Unfortunately, wine manufacturers and distributors are not required by law to include fining agents on their ingredient list, so it can be difficult to discern whether a store-bought wine is vegetarian or completely free of animal-based ingredients. Even the label "organic" on a bottle doesn’t mean that you’ve found a vegan prosecco, champagne, or wine.
A wine’s appearance is not usually an accurate indicator of the presence of animal-based ingredients, either. For example, red wines filtered with gelatin are essentially indistinguishable from vegan red wines that were filtered via a clay-based agent.
So what’s a vegan wine lover to do? Sure, you can do an Internet search before heading to the grocery store or specialty beverage shop, but the process can be time-consuming. Your local store may not even carry an animal-free version of your favorite varietal, especially if you’re hunting for vegan rosé wines or whites.
That’s where we come in. We’re dedicated to selecting the best-tasting, certified vegan wines from across the globe. Whether you’re looking for a variety of vegan red wines to complete the menu for an upcoming dinner party or a bottle of vegan champagne to keep on hand for an impromptu celebration, we have you covered.
With our help, you can browse through numerous vegan wine options and rest assured that your wine is delicious, finely crafted, and completely free of animal-based ingredients. Best of all, we deliver the best vegan wines directly to your door.
Find Your New Favorite Wine
We invite you to explore our vast selection of vegan wines today. You’ll find crisp and exciting vegan white wines from vineyards in California, budget-friendly vegan red wines made in Australia, and wines from every country imaginable including India!