After a fabulous evening being introduced to Edinburgh’s newest wine company Vegan Tipples, I got a few questions about why all wine isn’t vegan – surely it’s just grapes right?
It’s not quite that simple.
Many wines are made using animal-derived products when they are filtered through substances called ‘fining agents.’ These include the gelatin from both animal parts and fish bladder membranes, egg albumin from egg shells and fish oil. They are used to remove the protein, yeast, cloudiness and colourings of the wine.
Thankfully, animal-friendly fining agents can also be used in this process and the most commonly used substances for this are natural limestone and bentonite clay. This means those following a plant-based diet can also enjoy wine!
There’s an extensive list of vegan wines on this website, Barnivore, a great tool I learnt about at our wine tasting with Vegan Tipples. Vegan wines taste no different to those that aren’t vegan, it’s just the process of cleaning the wine that’s different so it doesn’t affect the taste. As red wine drinkers I was very pleasantly surprised by a sparkling chardonnay that we tried, a beautiful glass of bubbles that tasted similar to a champagne.
Look out for labels on wine bottles telling you their wine is vegan-friendly, check on the Barnivore website or browse the selection on Vegan Tipples next time you’re choosing a wine and let me know if you find a special one.