Is all wine suitable for Vegans?

Is all wine suitable for Vegans? In order to answer this, I think it is best to answer another question first. Why is some wine not suitable for vegans or indeed vegetarians? Wine is just made from grapes and yeast, yes? Well, when yeast multiplies and dies it forms a sediment in wine that can make it cloudy. There can be other impurities too, very small pieces of grape skin, pips, leaves, and stems can be present in a wine after fermentation.

Larger impurities can be removed using mechanical filters but to remove the haze from the yeast winemakers use a variety of techniques. Number one is gravity. Over time the particles will naturally fall to the bottom of the tank or barrel, but this is very time-consuming and expensive. To speed up the process winemakers can add certain permitted additives which depending on the country the wine is made in, may or may not be required to be listed on the label.

These include egg whites, a protein made from milk called casein, and isinglass which is made from fish bladders. Yes, fish bladders. If any of these products are used the wine would very definitely not be suitable for a vegan. However, there are alternatives such as bentonite clay, carbon filters and plant gums, and casein which are all suitable methods for vegans. Alternatively, you can try low-intervention or natural wines.

Published by Christian Gott - An Island Chef

I am a food and drink writer, chef, one-time publican and restaurant manager, and qualified ASET trainer with over thirty years of experience in hospitality. I now live and work in the Channel Islands with my beautiful family. I’ve worked on six islands and in probably just about every type of business you can imagine, from beachside burger joints to world-famous pizza restaurants and in more than a few really good food pubs, historic country inns, and a former RAC Blue Riband UK Hotel of the Year. I have helped to create a small informal dinning group, been a group executive chef for eighteen diverse bars and eateries, demonstrated at food festivals, and contributed to the Real Food Festival Cookery Book, national and local publications, and podcasts. I am a proud member of the Guild of Food Writers and the British Guild of Beer Writers.

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