Vegan Wines

Written by Blaire Chandler-Wilcox
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Wandering down the aisles of wine shops, you may have seen some wines clearly labeled as being "vegan." The first time I saw this particular label I actually rolled my eyes. "Right," I thought, "like anyone makes wine with animal products."

Yes, wine is made from grapes. But, sometimes wine producers put their wines through a process called "fining" which clears the wines of any particles that can't be removed through regular filtration. Some fining materials are made from animal byproducts, like gelatin, egg whites and isinglass, which is a protein found in some fish bladders. Though theoretically the fining process itself leaves no traces, some people prefer to drink wine that has had no contact with animal matter whatsoever.

Swearing to Sell the Fruit, the Whole Fruit and Nothing But the Fruit

Vegan wines are those wines which use fining agents that are not made from any animal by-products. However, not all wines that use non-animal fining agents advertise themselves as being vegan. Many popular wine producers, in fact, automatically use Vegan methods, not because they're vegan themselves, but because they simply prefer the methodology of other fining agents.

However, some forward thinking wine producers are labeling themselves as being "vegan" wines. There are clearly labeled vegan wines available from both North American and European producers. Further, some specialty online wine shops have created entire categories of vegan wines. These specialists on the subject are very helpful, since they often are aware of exceptional wines which don't identify themselves as being vegan, but which do in fact practice vegan fining.

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