More and more people are opting for vegan options, and wine is no exception. With more knowledge about veganism and healthy lifestyles, it’s easier than ever to make vegan wines, so more winemakers are using fewer animal-based fining agents and using alternatives.
Wine is made from fermented grapes, so you may be surprised to know that not all wines are vegan. There’s a common misconception that vegan options aren’t as tasty, but our wine and vegan prosecco collections certainly prove this wrong.
Our vegan-friendly wine is as delicious as leading brands, as well as being healthy and environmentally friendly.
Keep reading to learn more about vegan wine, including how it’s made, how it tastes, and why you should choose vegan wine.
What Is Vegan Wine?
Vegan wines are made without using any animal products at all, making it a healthier and more environmentally-conscious choice.
In standard wines, animal products tend to be used in the fining process. The fining process is a way of stabilising and clarifying the wines before they’re bottled. Fining a wine gives it the clear and fresh look we know and love and eliminates any unwanted flavours and aroma. It also gets rid of excess yeast and protein, and other unneeded organic particles.
The wine fining process involves filtering the liquid through fining agents. In the agents, you’ll usually find blood, bone marrow, casein (milk protein), fish oil, gelatin, gelatin from fish bladder, egg whites, and chitin (from crustacean shells).
Although these ingredients only make up a tiny percentage and will likely get filtered out or precipitate, many vegans and vegetarians will prefer to not purchase wines that go through this process.
Many vegetarian wine options will use milk protein or egg whites as fining agents. At ThinK Wine Group, our vegan wines include no animal products and are suitable for vegans and anybody else wanting to make a positive change.
Some alternatives to animal-based fining agents include kaolin (a type of clay mineral), silica clay, silica gel, pea gelatine, and kieselguhr (sedimentary rock). These are not only vegan but more natural, and arguably more healthy.
What is Unfined Wine?
Some winemakers prefer not to put their wine through the fining process as they believe it rids the wine of the natural flavour and texture.
When winemakers don’t fine their wine, their wines may appear cloudy and have sediments floating around or on the bottom, which is why many vegans prefer fined wine without the use of animal products as opposed to unfined wine.
Leaving wine to clarify naturally can take a long time. Instead of putting the wine through a fining process, the wine will rely on gravity to settle the sediment. It can take a couple of years in barrels before the wine is clear and ready to consume without any filtration.
Although this process is natural, many wine drinkers find that it’s too cloudy for their liking.
Why Choose Vegan Wine?
Veganism on the rise and vintners all over the globe are taking note and following suit by adopting a more natural approach or using alternatives to animal products in their winemaking process.
This is beneficial in several ways - it’s healthier, it’s better for the environment, and it’s suitable for vegetarians and vegans!
Vegan wines that are unfiltered will contain a variety of healthy and beneficial bacteria, which is great for your gut. This can also help you manage your weight and metabolism better.
Many vegan wines are also organic, which means fewer chemicals and preservatives in the bottle. Organic vineyards will avoid using herbicides and pesticides on their grapes, and avoid adding anything artificial in the filtering and bottling process, which means that the wine is less likely to cause any health problems (if drank in moderation!).
Organic wines also tend to have higher levels of resveratrol, which has anti-ageing properties, can help protect against cancer, and raise your life expectancy. Compared to standard wines, organic wines can have up to 32% more resveratrol.
No Animal Products!
Veganism is becoming more popular for a reason - more people are opening their eyes to animal cruelty and using animal products for unnecessary things such as fining wine.
Egg whites used in filtration tend to be sourced from chickens that aren’t free-range and live their lives in metal cages. The same goes for gelatin, bone marrow, milk protein and blood - cruelty is always involved when sourcing these ingredients, even if they’re sourced from free-range farms.
Animal-derived wines contain no animal products whatsoever, so you can enjoy every sip knowing you’re not participating in the animal farming industry and helping better the world.
One of the leading causes of climate change is animal agriculture - it’s one of the biggest polluters on the planet and is extremely wasteful.
Feeding grain and water to farmed animals on a huge scale as well as killing, processing, transporting and storing them requires a lot of energy and space - which the planet is lacking.
Forests are cut down on a mass scale to meet the demand of the industry, which not only means that our forests are dying but means that greenhouse gases aren’t getting absorbed, which contributes to global warming.
Drinking vegan wine and avoiding animal products entirely is a statement that you care about the environment and the future of our planet.
Does Vegan Wine Taste Any Different?
It’s pretty much impossible to tell the difference between standard wine and vegan wine, as the animal products don’t sit in the wine - they’re used in the fining process and will likely evaporate or get filtered out.
You may have even drunk vegan wine without realising it, as not all vintners will advertise or label the fact they didn’t use animal products while fining the wine.
Vegan wine tastes just like any other red wine or white wine- the only difference is that vegan wine hasn’t been touched by animal products - which is definitely more appealing.
It’s made the same way, with the same grapes and ingredients, so you won’t be able to tell the difference in taste.
Vegan Wine FAQ:
What Is The Difference Between Vegan Wine And Regular Wine?
Vegan wine is exactly the same as any other wine and it is made in the same way using the same grapes. The only difference is in how the wine is fined. Regular wines are fined using fining agents that can include gelatine which isn't a vegan-friendly substance.nVegan wines are either fined using natural substances such as bentonite clay to make the wine animal friendly and therefore vegan, or the wine is not fined.
How Do You Know If Wine Is Vegan?
Looking for a vegan wine is so simple. The best way to check if a wine is vegan is to look for the words "unfiltered" and "unfined" or you can check to see if it says vegan friendly on the bottle.
What's In Wine That's Not Vegan?
The only thing in wine that isn't vegan is the fining agents used. Some of the fining agents that aren't vegan friendly are bone marrow, casein and fish oil. The fining agents are used to remove protein and yeast to enhance the flavour.
Is Any Wine Not Vegan?
A lot of wines aren't vegan because of the fining processes. It is important that you check wine before you purchase it to ensure that it is vegan friendly.