Vegan Wine: 3 Top Reasons to Switch
You don’t need to be a connoisseur to know that wine is made from grapes. Sounds pretty all-natural, right? Well, even the most seasoned wine lover may be surprised to hear that despite its fruity origins, not every bottle of wine is automatically vegan. So let’s break down the facts – what is certified vegan wine, what’s so great about it, and where are the best places to get your hands on some.
What is vegan wine?
With plant-based diets becoming more prevalent, there is a growing population of wine drinkers who are also choosing to go vegan. So, first question: how can fermented grape juice be anything but vegan?
To be clear: all wine starts out 100% vegan-friendly. Yeast converts grape juice sugars into alcohol. It’s only towards the end of the winemaking process that animal by-products can make an appearance. This happens during a clarifying process known as “fining” that is used to remove any hazy appearance in your wine (caused by naturally occurring molecules). There’s nothing wrong with the wine being hazy, but we wine lovers are used to pouring out a beverage that is clear and bright. It’s the same difference between cloudy and clear apple juice.
To achieve this, winemakers usually filter and refine the wine while in the barrel or tank using a range of animal by-products to render the wine crystal clear. Common fining agents include isinglass (gelatin made from fish), egg whites, or cow’s milk by-products. While all fining agents are removed along with the molecules before the wine is bottled, tiny traces of them may be absorbed into the wine during the filtering process. This means all wine made with animal fining agents is off-limits for vegans.
So how do you make a wine vegan-friendly?
It’s pretty simple: you substitute the fining agent from animal-based to mineral or plant-based. The most effective vegan fining techniques include using Bentonite clay or ceramic filters. These days, wineries are challenging themselves to continually think up new and groundbreaking ways to create vegan, sustainable, and delicious wine. Really, the possibilities are endless.
Why Make The Switch? | 3 Reasons to Drink Vegan Wine
1) Vegan wine does not contain anything animal-derived
As with all vegan foods, you can be sure that no animals were harmed in the making of your favorite beverage. If you buy a certified vegan wine, then you can rest assured that the wine was produced with no use of animal-derived materials during the winemaking, fining, or filtering process..
2) It’s a wine that suits your lifestyle
With health, more humane treatment of animals, and combating environmental changes being front-of-mind for so many, vegetarian and vegan lifestyles are enjoying a welcome increase in uptake. The thing is, many wines are made using a range of products made from animal products and are therefore not suitable for vegans. Luckily, vegan wine offers a real solution for anyone searching for a product that is entirely free from animal derivatives.
3) There is an official certification called BeVeg
With greenwashing being a 21st-century problem, there is good news for wine drinkers wanting to rest assured that their vegan wine is indeed 100% vegan-friendly! Enter BeVeg – a new US organization, founded by a vegan, that certifies wine to ensure that the entire winemaking process is suitable for vegans. As the world’s leading vegan verification and certification firm, BeVeg ensures the quality and quantity of commodities conform to the internationally recognized vegan standards in scope. In short, they do all the research so you don’t have to. To check if your wine is the real deal, simply look for the BeVeg Vegan Certified logo sticker on the front or back of the bottle!
Where can I buy vegan wine?
1) Visit a fine wine store:
Most will be able to tell you whether or not their wines are vegan, or point you in the direction of where you can find wines that are. Fine wine shops typically have a direct line of contact with producers, so you can trust their confirmation is the real deal, however, usually, the selection is limited to just a few vegan wines. Remember to also check for a BeVeg or other official accreditation to confirm your choice.
2) Your local grocery store:
If you have a keen eye then head to your local grocery store and check thoroughly for the right accreditation on wine bottles to see whether the wine is vegan. There should be at least one option, but if not, why not suggest your grocer consider stocking some vegan-friendly options?
3) Kind of Wild Wines:
Check out Kind of Wild Wines, order directly from the website, and have it delivered straight to your door! The wines are certified vegan through BeVeg and have full FDA certification as organic wine. We believe that vegan wine doesn’t mean sacrificing taste or quality. In fact, the vegan winemaking process enhances both of these things.
“For practicing vegans, it was important to us that they know there is great wine available to them that meets their needs and still tastes every bit as delicious as any other wine on the market”, says Kind of Wild co-founder Adam Sager. “We wanted to differentiate Kind of Wild wines by ensuring that we had the proof to back up our vegan claims. Ensuring quality and accreditation is second nature to us now.”
Put simply: You don’t have to observe a plant-based diet to enjoy a glass of vegan wine, but your body and the planet will certainly thank you if you do.