Unfortunately for vegans, the process of wine production usually involves the use of various animal derivatives. If you want to live a vegan life and still enjoy one of the most popular alcoholic drinks in the world, you need to learn how to recognize vegan-friendly wine.
Many people are unaware of this fact, but as wine is produced it undergoes a clarification stage. This is performed in order to remove any sediment that has gathered in the wine, making it smoother and clearer for human consumption. In order to clarify the wine, a fining agent must be used. There are many different fining agents, but a lot of them derive from animals in some way. Some examples of fining agents include gelatin, fish bladder extracts, shells from crustaceans and egg whites. Naturally, a vegan diet forbids the consumption of any of these products as they all come from animals in some way. Therefore, wine that has been produced in this way is not suitable for vegans.
Unfortunately, this isn’t always evident on the bottle of the wine itself. The current legal standards only require winemakers to label the presence of fining agents on their bottles if they pose an allergy risk. This isn’t always the case, so many wines are currently available in stores without detailed labels that actually show what went into them. Fortunately, some vegan-friendly alternatives to the traditional fining agents do exist and some winemakers are taking advantage of these products. Vegan-friendly wines can use clay or carbon for clarification or simply bypass the use of fining agents altogether.
In spite of this, it can still be difficult for vegans to find the right wines for them. Without proper labels on the bottles, it can be hard to know what actually went into the production of any given wine. Fortunately, a website called Barnivore has been created to perform this very task. Barnivore contains an easily navigable database, listing all of the wines that are perfectly suitable for vegetarians and vegans. It even goes one step further by showing vegan-friendly beers and liquors too. For now, this site is a work in progress but it can still be a big help. Winemakers all around the world in countries like the USA, Argentina, Italy, and France are all starting to produce vegan-friendly wines. With a bit of research online, you can easily find the right wines for you.