Vegan Wine – why isn’t all wine vegan?

Why wouldn’t all wine be vegan wine? It’s just fermenting grapes, right? While this is in essence true; to obtain a clear wine most winemakers use a clarification process. Wine will naturally have tiny particles in it. Gradually the particles settle and the wine can be syphoned off leaving behind the residue. Repeating this process several times over months or years to gain a clear, crisp wine.

Why use finings in vegan wine?

Add finings to wine speeds up the clarifying process. Finings attract small particles creating larger ones that are easier to filter out. Subsequently haziness improves as the finings remove soluble tannins and proteins.

Because most finings are animal based, they are not suitable for Vegans. For example casein, a milk protein, albumen (egg white) are common finings. As is Gelatine from animal skin and bones or isinglass from fish bladders. However fined vegan wines are widely available. Vegan finings include Bentonite clay, activated carbon, silica or kaolin for example. On the other hand they can be natural and left to settle over many months.

Unfortunately including finings on a wine label is not a legal requirement and therefore very few labels state . In short it is not always straight forward to see which wines are vegan. As a result The Co-op, Waitrose, Tesco and Marks and Spencer are leading the way by clearly marking which of their wines are vegan. Moreover M&S announced in November 2019 that all their own brand wines will be 100% vegan by 2022.  A great resource for checking if your wine, or beer for that matter, is vegan is Barnivore.com.

Do you fancy trying your hand at making a boozy treat? Why not check out our super easy Candy Cane Vodka or our decadent Chocolate Hazelnut Liqueur. You know the score, please drink responsibly. Cheers!

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