How to Make Sure Your Wine is Vegan
Whether you’re dining out, or cooking at home, sometimes you could really go for a glass of wine. But, it can be a challenge trying to determine which on the menu or shelves are vegan-friendly by yourself. You may thinking, “Wine is made from grapes—what could not be vegan about it?” Actually, for better or for worse, as the wine industry advanced, so did their methods for clarification and preservation. To put it simply: animal products are used every now and then in wines for differe
Now let’s start out with what’s most likely on your mind: “What the heck do they put in wine that’s not vegan and why?” Well, wine makers often use animal products like egg whites, gelatin (an ingredient derived from collagen obtained from various animal body parts), casein (a protein derived from milk), and isinglass (a substance derived from fish bladders) to “fine” their wines. This means that these ingredients are used as filters, removing large particles that float around in the wine that make it appear foggy. Weird, right? Either way, we can probably all agree that we don’t want wine that looks like cloudy tap water, but also don’t want it to include animal products either.
Luckily, there’s a couple vegan-friendly fining agents out there! These days, bentonite (a form of clay), activated charcoal, and good ‘ole time are used in the wine industry. As it turns out, time allows wines to clarify themselves, but alas, time is money and no industry can get enough of that.
So you could probably just look for ingredients like other food products then, right? Sadly it’s not that easy, as unfortunately, most wine labels don’t list their ingredients or mention if they’re vegan-friendly. And colors and types of wine don’t help determine if it’s vegan or not either, as animal-based fining agents can be used in red, sparkling, or white wines. So, what are you to do? For one, if you’re looking for wine to bring home, and know a local wine store with a highly knowledgeable staff, you could try that, as they’ll likely know more about their wines than a clerk at your local grocery store. But what’s even better is that there’s a comprehensive online encyclopedia of all the world’s beer, wine, and liquor that determines if it’s vegan, vegetarian, or otherwise. This Holy Bible of vegan booze is called barnivore.com and it probably has information on every wine carried by your local grocery store. In fact, Barnivore currently classifies 4,952 wines!
Barnivore functions through people contacting different alcohol companies and simply asking them about their products’ ingredients, filtration processes, and overall vegan-friendliness. When companies respond to the person who asked, people reports their findings to barnivore.com, oftentimes using direct quotes from company spokespersons. To ensure accuracy, Barnivore also allows people to double-check the status of listed alcohols.
So the next time you’re lost in a daze, staring at the menu at a restaurant or at the shelves of wine at your local grocery store, whip out your phone, look up the name of any wine on barnivore.com, and pick out vegan wine like an expert.
Ryan is a cook, writer, and musician born and raised in Tampa, FL. With years of recipe testing for his Asian-American food blog, No Eggs or Ham, behind him, he strives to sharpen the image of vegan food by highlighting chefs who push the boundaries of plant-based cuisine. Unlike the advice your mom lent you, he encourages you to play with your food every chance you get!
More from VegOut
Black-Owned Vegan Food Truck Outgrows Parking Lot in Less Than a Month
While many businesses have struggled to adapt to changing times and restrictions, Romeo’s Vegan Burgers, a food truck based in Charlotte, North Carolina, is facing a different problem. Even though they’ve only been open for two months, Romeo’s has amassed such a dedicated following that they’re having trouble finding a place to park their truck that has enough space for their customers!
Ben & Jerry’s Releases Vegan Version of Their Iconic Phish Food Ice Cream
Ben & Jerry’s just dropped a non-dairy rendition of their popular Phish Food ice cream flavor. DAY = MADE!
Online Vegan Market to Donate $10K in Plant-Based Protein to Food Banks
At a time when many people are unsure of where they will find their next meal, Vejii is promising to help. The new online vegan marketplace has pledged to donate up to $10k worth of vegan protein products to food banks across the country.
JUST Egg to Launch Vegan Egg Bites in Grocery Stores
Eat Just (maker of JUST Egg) has announced they will be releasing vegan egg breakfast bites this spring (think mini, bite-sized vegan quiches!). Just Egg Sous Vide—cooked in the traditional sous vide way by vacuum sealing the food, submerging it in water, and preparing it at a precise temperature—will come in four internationally inspired flavors.
Matthew Kenney to Open Vegan Chocolate Shop in NYC
Matthew Kenney Cuisine (MKC) is launching a line of artisanal chocolates, just in time for Valentine’s Day!
NadaMoo! Opens Pop-up Shop in NYC
You can now get the popular vegan ice cream on Bleecker Street in NYC!
9 Spots for Vegan Italian Food in Los Angeles
Get your Italian food fix at one of these LA restaurants! Where are our carb lovers at? Who are we kidding—just about every vegan loves carbs. While most Italian restaurants offer a handful of vegan options like pasta with marinara sauce, veggies, bread, and salads, that can get a little boring. That’s why we’ve gathered a list of spots that serve next-level Italian food. We’re talking about vegan shrimp scampi, tiramisu, deep-dish pizza, and more!
7 Vegan Mayo Brands That Taste Better Than the Real Thing
For vegan BLTs and mashed chickpea salads, having a good plant-based mayo on hand is key. And with the variety of creamy vegan spreads available, there’s no reason to reach for the egg-based dressings again. Check out our list of seven vegan mayonnaise options to try out next.
Next Level Burger Just Opened a Vegan Fried Chicken Chain
Next Level Burger—America’s first vegan burger chain—just launched its new concept: Next Level Clucker. The San Francisco flagship opened its doors on January 21 to serve its vegan fried chicken in all forms. Customers can opt for wings or nuggets by the bucketful, sink their teeth into a fried chicken patty sandwiched between two buns, or dive into a colorful cobb salad topped with chopped CrispyCluck chicken. Similar to Next Level Burger, the menu also features non-dairy milkshakes, crinkle-cut fries, and a kids’ menu.
12 “Beefy” Store-Bought Vegan Burgers to Try in 2021
Vegan burgers are going mainstream! Beyond and Impossible brands drove “beefy” plant burgers into the mass market, causing a major shift in how meatless patties were received by the general public. Many big-name companies followed with 100% vegan options of their own added to their old-school lineups. So whether you’re vegan, veg-curious, or just here for the great food, here are 12 burgers to side up with your tots and fries.
Subscribe NowOrder the magazine!