Vegan Wine is a Thing!?

by Feb 10, 2021Uncategorized0 comments

Since wine is just made from grapes, it is almost automatic to assume that it’s completely vegan. However, the reality is a little bit trickier when you actually learn more about how today’s wines are being processed.

This can be very important as we are in a more lifestyle-conscious world. Those trying to pursue a vegan diet might be in for a surprise when they learn that a lot of today’s wines still use some form of animal product in their process.

That is why vegan wines are a growing trend, as it highlights the non-vegan elements of older winemaking processes and has prompted many brands to consider alternatives.

But first, you might be wondering just where exactly animal products have been used in the industry for so long?

Fining and Clarifying

Most people generally think that the winemaking process consists of pressing grapes and then putting them through fermentation, followed by aging.

The truth though is that there is actually another major step after fermentation and that it is called fining (or clarifying). This is because wine, even after pressing and fermentation, still contains particles that come out hazy.

On one hand, hazy wine isn’t actually as bad as it looks. These particles are usually harmless little proteins, tannins and other smaller molecules that just couldn’t be filtered in the press. You can drink it safely. But on the other, looks are still a major selling point when it comes to a wine’s prestige. Fining is the chemical procedure where certain agents are used to gather up these particles, make them easier to remove and result in a much clearer product.

Alas, even some of the oldest and most traditional winemaking methods use agents that are 100% animal products such as egg whites. Therefore, that means even wine is not always as vegan as most people presume.

The Rise of Vegan Wines

The problem of clarifying agents was a difficult reminder that even the most traditional methods of winemaking were not enough to satisfy the needs of vegan customers. It also did not help that the ingredients used in clarification are not usually listed on the bottles.

Fortunately, there are a growing number of brands who are rapidly adapting other types of agents such as bentonite clay. It also explains as to why these brands work to really distinguish themselves in their capacity to make vegan vintages by declaring it on their labelling.

Furthermore, it bears repeating that hazy wine still makes for a good drink if you’re not particular about looks. So if you’re dabbling in some homemade wine yourself and don’t mind the hazy look, you can just skip the clarifying process altogether!

Improving the Vegan Wine Option

On a final note, you might also want to consider going beyond just picking up a vegan wine bottle for your next special occasion. After all, what is the point of getting one if it doesn’t go well with your choice of vegetable dish and dessert?

All in all, it can be a bit disappointing for vegans to learn that wine still has a chance of being touched by animal products but the good news is that they already have options. And the best part is, the new methods produce vintage that tastes just as good as the old.