Wine is made from grapes, so you’d think that all wine must naturally be vegan, right? Not so. The winemaking process may include animal product additives like eggs, fish or milk, causing a real dilemma for vegans.
What is vegan wine?
Have you heard the term vegan wine recently and wondered if it’s the same as regular wine? Perhaps you follow a vegan lifestyle and want to know if your favourite drop is in line with your own principles?
You could be forgiven for thinking every wine is vegan. I mean, wine is just grape juice and a bit of yeast ‘doing the wild thing’ when you leave them alone together, isn’t it?
Well, yes. And no. Wine has been made this way for thousands of years. But that doesn’t mean all the wines you buy are actually vegan.
We’ve teamed up with Naked Wines so you can become acquainted with some of the best independent winemakers Australia and New Zealand has to offer, and try some outstanding vegan wines for yourself.
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Why aren’t all wines vegan?
It’s what happens to the wine after it’s made but before bottling that makes the difference between whether or not a wine is actually vegan.
When a wine is created, it often looks a bit cloudy because of the natural sediment floating around. Most wines will clear up by themselves but it’s a slow process and waiting for that to happen is not always possible.
So winemakers have typically added ingredients to ‘fine’, or clarify, it more quickly. This processing helps bind the sediment, cleaning up the wine before being filtered out again. These additives are traditionally made from animal products such as egg, fish or milk.
Which adds a conflicting dilemma for those following a vegan lifestyle.
Another way to clarify wine
But change is afoot in the wine industry. Winemakers now have animal-friendly alternatives they can use that do the same job as the traditional fining agents. Additionally, some winemakers still choose to wait for the sediment to settle naturally making it ‘unfiltered’ and ‘unfined’ wine. Wines treated in either of these ways should be suitable for a vegan diet.
How do I find genuine vegan wines?
Because it’s not a legal requirement in Australia to state on the label if animal-based fining agents have been used, it can be confusing. Although you should see any that have been used mentioned under mandatory allergen advice.
So the best way to be sure you’re drinking vegan wine is to buy vegan classified wine.
To make it even easier for you, you can purchase a case of vegan wines from Australia and New Zealand’s best winemakers through Naked Wines. If you haven’t tried them before, we’ve even unlocked $100 off your first case, delivered straight to your door! Claim your voucher via the link below