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What wines are vegan?

What wines are vegan?

Many people don't realise that a lot of wines aren't vegan. We talk to Simon Wilson, a Learning Partner for Australian liquor retailer BWS, to get his expert advice on choosing vegan-friendly wine.

What wines are vegan?

What is vegan wine?

Simply put, Vegan wine has not used any animal products in the production of the wine. This is achieved either by using vegetable/mineral substitutes to refine/clarify the wine or where the winemaker takes a “minimal-intervention” approach and does not use and “fining” agents at all in the production.

Why have things like eggs, gelatin and milk proteins traditionally been used in winemaking?

During the process of clarifying and stabilising wine, known as “fining”, agents are added to clarify colour, reduce bitterness and avoid cloudiness which can make the wine unappealing in the glass.

How can you tell if the wine you’re buying is vegan?

This is where is gets tricky when you are browsing the shelves as they are not often called out heavily on the label.

Wines produced after 2003 in Australia will most likely provide an allergy statement such as “Produced with egg” or “contains milk product,” however, it’s often in small writing on the back label somewhere. If no explicit information is clearly stipulated on the wine label, it’s often safer to assume the wine is not vegan.\

Many producers are calling out their “Vegan” approach now either proudly on the label or on their brand websites also.

Are we seeing vegan wines in all styles now, or just a selected variety? Which ones and why?

As many producers are removing the need for use of animal products as fining agents you will often find their whole range is available as vegan-friendly. From crisp Pinot Grigio through light and fresh Pinot Noir and rich gutsy Shiraz most varieties would now have a vegan-friendly option available.

How does the quality of vegan wines compare to regular wine?

The quality of the wine is not determined by its vegan nature. The taste of wine is predominantly down to the region, quality of grapes and the skill of the winemaker!

Are there any really good vegan wine producers at the moment people should look out for? Why are they great?

There is a great movement for many producers to produce wines that are both Organic and Vegan-Friendly such as the Craftsman Organic range, and the Farmhand organic. When it comes to producers, two of my go-to’s are Yalumba and Chapel Hill both taking great care of the grapes and requiring minimal to no fining in the winery.

Why is the Vegan market growing, do you see the growth continuing and why?

Many consumers are becoming more conscious and making ethical decisions in all products they consume. Sustainability is a key driver why many consumers will choose to buy a vegan-friendly wine to reduce their “footprint” on the environment.

This coupled with the rise of veganism as a dietary choice will continue to see the growth of the vegan wine market and more producers calling it out loudly on their wines.

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