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Vegan Wine vs Non Vegan Wine

Vegan Wine vs Non Vegan Wine

There has been a huge rise in veganism in the last couple of years - more people are becoming aware of the health benefits of a vegan diet, the environmental benefits, and the other positives of becoming vegan.

This means that there are more vegan products on the market in 2022 - as retailers and manufacturers are catering for the growing vegan demand.

However, some foods and drinks can take you by surprise. You may be shocked to hear that not all wine is vegan - in fact, many vegans will happily drink wine without realising that it may contain animal products.

If you want to steer clear of any animal products, researching different food and drink products is key - and wine is no exception. We’ve got you covered - keep reading to learn more about vegan wine, non-vegan wine, and the differences between the two.

Organic Wine Range

Non-Vegan Wine

You may be wondering when exactly a wine becomes unsuitable for those with a vegan lifestyle. In short, animal products are added to the wine just after the wine has been fermented.

Fermentation is the key part of the winemaking process - it’s the part of the process that produces heat, bubbles, and the best ingredient of all, alcohol. Grapes are full of natural sugar - especially if they’ve spent longer on the vine (to create late-harvest wine). During the fermentation process, yeast grows with the grape juice in a fermentation tank - triggering a chemical reaction within the sugars.

However, after the fermentation process, the resulting wine can appear cloudy, hazy, and even have sediment floating within the wine. The floating molecules can be tannins if it’s red wine, or it’s likely to be tartrates or phenolics.

Although the molecules are completely natural and harmless, the majority of people prefer a clearer wine without sediment floating around. There’s nothing wrong with drinking wine that is cloudy in appearance, and it’s completely harmless to consume the small molecules you may find. However, most vintners will put the wine through the fining process.

Vintners will fine the wine to stabilise the wine and to clear any excess sediment. This produces the clear and smooth wine most of us recognise and love. The fining process can also be a way to eliminate any unwanted flavours or aromas, as well as eliminate any organic particles (e.g protein or yeast).

Wine becomes non-vegan when fining agents are used that contain animal products. Although it’s far less common in 2022 for vintners to use animal products when fining the wine, it still occurs.

Some animal products that may be used to filter the wine may include gelatin, fish oil, fish bladder, bone marrow, blood, egg whites, chitin, and casein.

The fining agents don’t remain in the wine - they get removed (evaporated or filtered out) once they’ve done their job of filtering the wine. However, although they are filtered out and only used in minuscule amounts, the final product will be unsuitable for those with a vegan diet.

 

Vegan Wine

More and more people are drinking vegan wine. The number of vegans in the UK has risen dramatically in recent years - with just 150,000 vegans in the UK in 2014, over 600,000 in 2019 - and many more in 2022.

But what exactly is vegan wine? Vegan wine is wine that hasn’t been in contact with any animal products - more specifically, wine that hasn’t been filtered using animal product fining agents.

Many people simply assume that all wine is vegan, but unfortunately, this isn’t the case. As previously established, it’s the fining agents that make a wine non-vegan.

Thankfully, in 2022, many vintners will use fining agents that don’t contain animal products to filter the wine. Some alternative fining agents that are frequently used in vegan wine include kaolin (clay mineral), silica clay, silica gel, or pea gelatine.

Some vintners will also avoid putting the wine through the fining process at all - in fact, many organic vintners will avoid putting the wine through the fining process.

Vegan wine tastes just like regular wine - there is no difference in flavour as the animal products used in many wines don’t contribute anything towards the taste. This is because they are filtered or evaporated away at the end of the process anyway, leaving vegan wine tasting the same as regular wine.

Many people believe that vegan food and drinks don’t taste as good as products with animal products, but this isn’t usually the case - and certainly isn’t the case for vegan wine. In 2022, vegan food is as tasty as ever, and there are even quality meat substitutes.

Chances are, you’ve tried vegan wine before and haven’t even noticed. Many vegan wines aren’t marketed as vegan, so it can be difficult to know which wine is suitable or not.

Although vegan wine doesn’t taste any different to regular wine, you may notice some differences if you try vegan wine that hasn’t been through the fining process at all. This is because unfined or unfiltered wine often has stronger flavours - which is why it’s mostly seasoned wine lovers that opt for organic and unfiltered wine.

 

How Can I Tell Whether Wine is Vegan or Not?

It can be difficult to tell whether a bottle of wine is vegan - this is because not all vintners and wine manufacturers will include the animal products used during the fining process on the label of the wine.

As the fining agents are filtered or evaporated out after they’ve done their job, they don’t need to be included in the list of ingredients. The animal products used as fining agents aren’t additives to the wine - they are only processing agents. This means most vintners won’t include them on the labels, making finding the perfect bottle of vegan Prosecco, Pinot Noir, Merlot, or Malbec feel like an impossible task.

In 2022, you can find supermarkets with aisles dedicated to vegan produce - more and more retailers are providing vegan options to account for the rapid rise in veganism. Wine aisles will often have a section for vegan or organic wine, which is a great place to find the perfect bottle of vegan wine to kickstart your weekend.

However, if your local supermarket doesn’t have a designated vegan section in your wine aisle, then you need to know what terms to look out for. Firstly, look for a wine that hasn’t been filtered as this is a sure way of knowing that no animal products were used. The terms ‘sins-filtrar’, ‘non-filtre’, and ‘non-filtrato’ mean non-filtered in Spanish, French and Italian.

One of the best ways of finding quality vegan wines is by searching on the internet, or asking what the best wines are in vegan groups on Facebook - or even searching through threads online. The vegan community is huge, and vegans are more than willing to help out other vegans - and that includes helping them to find the best vegan wine.

Why not try our very own ThinK Wine, which is vegan, organic, and low-calorie. It’s the perfect wine for any occasion, whether you choose Prosecco or Sparkling Rose wine.

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