Have you heard of Veganuary? It’s a movement to encourage people to become vegan for January, or for the rest of the year for that matter.
Vegans choose to avoid eating animal products which include meat, eggs, dairy products and honey. They may also avoid wearing clothing derived from animals such as fur, silk and leather.
Many people choose a vegan diet for health reasons as well as because of concerns about animal welfare and the environment. Indeed, rearing animals for meat produces a lot more pollution than growing fruit and vegetables.
We’re doing our bit for Veganuary and have decided to try to be more aware of the wines we drink and choose vegan ones where possible.
But isn’t all wine vegan? I hear you cry. It’s just made from grapes or fruit, isn’t it? Well, yes, but sometimes animal products are used in the winemaking process to fine or filter wine before it’s bottled, to ensure the customer ends up with a clear, bright wine.
Products like egg white, blood, gelatin from pigs, Isinglass from fish and casein from milk can be used to fine or filter the wine. These don’t end up in the final wine but surely anyone who is vegan or relates to vegan principles would want to avoid the use of these animal products.
Vegan wines may be fined with non-animal derived products like bentonite clay, carbon, limestone, silica gel, plant casein or vegetable plaques.
If you’re keen to try vegan wine you could also look out for ‘Natural Wines’ which tend to be unfiltered. Natural winemakers aim to make wine that has undergone as little intervention as possible to ensure the wine is as nature intended.
Many vegan wines are certified as vegan by organisations like the Vegan Society but others do not have the benefit of this labelling. Perhaps they are made by small artisan producers who may not have reached the stage of getting their wines certified as vegan.
Luckily, online retailer Rude Wines have really done their research and have 185 vegan wines on their website. Although not all of these are labelled as vegan, Rude Wines’ buyer Gerald has personally checked with the winemakers that these wines have been filtered using non-animal derived products.
To make things even easier, they have just put together the ‘Scrumptious Vegan’ mixed case of 12 bottles that are entirely vegan.