Certain food and drinks may contain hidden animal products, which you may not know at first. This is particularly the case with wine !
Most of us think that the composition of wine is always vegetable based, being a product of the vine, but it is not always the case ! Many winegrowers use animal products. These are used to filterresidues suspended in the wine during the clarification process.
Being from Bordeaux, it would be silly for us not to be able to taste good vegan wine…. Follow our guide, we tell you everything about vegan wine! 😉
Which ingredients are used to make wine ?
As we said, wine is not always vegan. This is due to the clarification process. It’s an operation which aims to make the wine clear. The principle : remove suspended particles, using finings and then filtering.
To achieve finings, a substance is introduced into the tank. It then agglomerates with suspended particles and settles at the bottom. The agglomerated particles are then more easily filtered. These substances are most often animal products : fish glue (or isinglass), casein (milk protein), egg white (or albumin) or pork gelatin. The ingredients used are not always directly indicated on the bottle.
Can other methods be used ?
It is possible to make the finings without having to use products with animal origin, in particular thanks to vegetables proteins : wheat, peas or even potato. Wheat protein is underdeveloped due to gluten, but pea protein has great success today. These vegetable glues are used to make vegan wine. Products of mineral origin can also be used for finings.
Another method of making vegan wine is to simply not use finings. Some winegrowers choose not to stick their wines so as not to impoverish its quality. But today, about 95% of wines are fined and filtered.
And hat’s not all ! There are some nuances to make.
What is a vegan wine ?
No longer using animal products during the clarification process makes the wine vegetable based. To go further, some winegrowers decide to make their wine completely vegan. Not only there is no animal product present in their wine, but also in all stages of production and winemaking.
For vegan wines, manure in the vines is therefore prohibited as well as horn dung; biodynamic preparation used to make crops more resistant and regenerate the soil.
Wich labels for vegan wine ?
There are several labels :
- The international label V européen guarantees the absence of animal products in the wine as well as in all stages of production and winemaking.
- The Italian label Qualità Vegetariana guarantees the absence of animal products in the entire field and throughout the process. This includes labels and packaging.
- The British label Vegan Society only guarantees the absence of animal substance in the finished product.
- The label Eve provides multiple levels of certification. Level 01 guarantees the absence of animal products in the formulation, manufacture and packaging. Level 02 also guarantees the agricultural method.
Keep in mind that some wines have no label even though they are vegan.
Are organic wines always vegan ?
Organic wines are not necessarily vegan. The specifications for organic farming prohibit the use of certain products of animal origin, such as gelatin. That said, it does allow the use of egg white and casein. Some winegrowers are committed to a global approach and also exclude animal products from their manufacturing process.
On the other side, some vegan wines are not organic. Chemical fertilizers can be used during vine cultivation.
Where can we buy vegan wine ?
Vegan wine is exploding. Finings methods are being modernized so that products from animal suffering are no longer used.
You can find complete online directories to find vegan certified wines and alcohols, such as the website vin-vegetalien.com.
A couple of castles, some of which are prestigious, therefore take steps to exclude animal products from their wines.
You can find some at the Château Dauzac. Ranked in 1885, the Margaux Grand Cru is one of them. It is the first classified great vintage to have adopted a 100% vegan finings method, to continue in its approach of innovation and respect for the environment. Very committed, Château Dauzac achieves sustainable agriculture using organic fertilizers and harvesting by hand. The farm is moving more towards organic farming and biodynamics.
We had the chance to shoot one of our Wedding collection in its magnificent park . It was perfect highlight our shoes and the magnificent dresses from the brand My philosophy.
A guide of vegan wines
On their website, Peta tells you about a couple of vegan wines. The magazine VegNews also did a selection of wines made without any animal products. Their selection is often updated to keep you informed.