Before you take a swig of that delicious Chardonnay to go along with your yummy Savory Vegetable Pot Pie, ask yourself: was this wine made in part with the swim bladder of a fish?
Yea, I had no idea that most wines are “clarified” or “fined” – a process that, according to Voxy, removes “bitterness or other unwanted components from the young wine, using milk, egg whites or fish products.” As a result, those not interested in making animal products a part of their diet may unknowingly be consuming some of the leftover fining agents.
“Our driving philosophy has always been to let the grapes speak, with as little interference as possible, Daniel Schwarzenbach, owner of Blackenbrook winery in New Zealand told the site. “We are able to produce vegan wine because of the design of the gravity-fed winery and the processes we use.”
“Vegan wines are quite often of a higher standard because they have been produced with a lot of care,” he added. “It’s not the easiest or cheapest way to produce wine but it means we preserve the character of the grapes by treating them as gently and respectfully as we can.”
According to Voxy, demand for vegan wine has surged as more and more consumers become interested in what exactly goes into the drinks and food they enjoy. Unfortunately, wineries are not required to print their fining agents on bottles – so, finding out what exactly is in that wine you’re about to enjoy can involve a bit of investigative work.
Luckily, there are helpful lists online already identifying some brands that consider themselves “vegan”. VegNews has one here, Barnivore breaks down the good and bad, and the Vegan Wine Guide lists over 400.
Are you a vegan wine drinker?