Grapes are used in the making of wine and since this has nothing to do with any animal products or extracts, then you might assume wine is safe for consumption across the board. But it’s not so much the ingredients in wine that can be non-vegan - it’s the process used to create the wine.
- 'Fining' - What it Does to Wine
During the making of wine with the use of freshly-pressed grape juice, other ingredients can sneak in, such as seeds, that create sediment which winemakers wish to eliminate. To do this, they make use of different substances in a process known as fining. This filters the liquid so that the wine is pristine and clear by the end of the process.
What substances are used in the fining stage? These are usually animal proteins, such as gelatin, casein (which is a protein found in milk), egg whites, as well as isinglass (which is taken from fish’s swim bladders).
- Where to Get Vegan Wine
When choosing wine at the store, how will you know if it’s vegan? How can you ever be sure, just by looking at bottles, that the wine in question has not undergone a non-vegan fining process? Luckily, PETA offers a list of many vegan wines that you can enjoy without worrying about the implications. Winemakers of vegan wines make use of non-animal fining with the use of clay or synthetic fining agents, such as silica or plant casein. So, the next time you’re throwing a party and want to purchase some vegan wines, check out their list.
- Is Organic Wine Okay?
Although you might think that organic wine is synonymous with being vegan, this is not true. Organic wine can be better for you - it gives a miss to the use of pesticides and preservatives such as sulphur dioxide that are used in the making of wine - but it might make use of animal ingredients, so it’s always worth doing your research before purchasing it.
*Image courtesy Gordan Jankulov / Dollar Photo Club