It may seem incredible but…did you know that a wine can be vegan-friendly or non-vegan-friendly? Many, when they hear about wines – and natural wines in particular – take for granted that they are always produced with ingredients not derivated from animals: after all, grapes, with all its beneficial properties, is a fruit, right?
Sure, but it’s not the full story. Let’s do some clarity.
Why some wines are not vegan
Despite what one might think, a wine may not be vegan: but how is it possible? Wine is created using grapes, which is a fruit. Sure. However, it can happen that after resting in the tanks, the wine is cleaned of all impurities to limit the creation of tannic deposits, clarified and stabilized to transport it. This traditional practice, called “protein collage”, uses products of animal origin, for example, fish gelatin, egg albumin, casein or jelly.
It is precisely this operation that leads a wine to be vegan or not: the use of animal substances is the discriminating factor and since there is a possibility that these substances remain in the bottle, the wine has to be declared not suitable for vegans.
Can wine be vegan?
Of course: the operation described above is only one among the different techniques that can be used in this production phase. There are others that allow achieving the same results without using substances of animal origin, thus creating completely vegan-friendly wines: among these the most commons are the use of bentonite, which is a vegetable glue, or of algae powder.
How do I know if a wine is vegan?
Some think that vegan wine is somehow a non-alcoholic wine and different from the full and tasty wines we are used to. Nothing could be more wrong: a vegan wine is similar in every aspect to a normal wine. As we have seen, the difference is all in a small step in the production process, a step that can, however, be put into practice without ruining or changing the taste of the final product. This also applies to natural, organic and biodynamic wines: these three terms, which as we have seen are not synonymous with each other, are not synonymous of vegan wines as well. In short, a bottle of natural wine is not necessarily vegan, even if it often is.
Thanks to the battle of trade associations and the growing demand from consumers, today the absence of animal products within wines is increasingly declared on the label.
On the Natural Vine online store you will have no problem recognizing vegan wines: look for the “More information” tab for each wine and find out immediately if the wine chosen is suitable for vegans. And as always, if you have any doubts, do not hesitate to contact us: it is a pleasure to answer your questions!