Wine Director, Vegan Wines
Founder, Vegan Wines
Online Wine Club
Hear, hear! The wine in your glass is not vegan, not even vegetarian. Ah! there, we piqued your interest, didn’t we?! Read further to know how, why, where of vegan wines.
Many of us are fond of wines. But if you’ve embraced vegan lifestyle, you’ll obviously be aware of alternatives for everything from meat to dozens of dairy-free milk. Even vegan eggs have been invented. On the other hand, if you want a glass of wine with your plant-based meal, you may be surprised that your favorite sparkling white, orange, sparkling, rosé or dry red wine, even if certified organic, have been produced with animal-derived ingredients!!
Frances Gonzalez is the founder of Vegan Wines, the first vegan online wine club in the United States. She runs the business with her partner, wine director and in-house chef sommelier, Sunny Gandara and together they are passionate about educating people about vegan wines and why you should be concerned and curious about what you are drinking.
“On a vacation visiting a vineyard in France, I heard the words “egg whites” when the winemaker was talking about how wines were made. As a long time wine lover and vegan, I was shocked, because I thought wines just come from grapes. Quickly my vacation turned into a research trip. One thing led to another and lo and behold! Vegan Wines was born!”, Frances Gonzalez
Wine brands that are vegan and that we
recommend are Querciabella (Tuscany, Italy), Dom Perignon,
Laurent Perrier, Bokish Vineyards (CA), Ballentine (CA),
Fogline Vineyards (CA), Proulx Vineyards (CA),
Hermann Wiemer (NY), Artner (Austria) and so many more!
What makes a wine vegan and why is this important?
Many winemakers utilize animal-based fining agent to clarify the wine such as egg whites (albumin), fish bladders (isinglass), casein (milk protein) or gelatin. Vegan wines are either un-fined or use non-animal agents such as bentonite (clay), ceramic filters or activated charcoal.
At Vegan Wines, we take the additional step and require and verify that no animal ingredients are utilized in the fertilizer or soil (like fish meal and bones).
Egg whites, whey and gelatin are moreexpensive
than using clay or not fining at all, thereby encouraging
many wineries to go vegan.
Identifying vegan wines:
Unfortunately, wine labels typically do not indicate whether the wine is suitable for vegans or what fining agents were used. This information is still not required to be included on the bottle by law. This is why we recognized the need for this service, and we personally visit each winery and speak with the winemaker and vineyard managers to ensure that the wines are 100% vegan from the soil to the glass.
Vegan wines do not taste different at all. In fact many world acclaimed wines are naturally vegan, customers cannot tell by tasting. Using animal ingredients in the fining process and in the soil is just an old tradition and not necessary or vital one to the quality of winemaking.
From health perspective, whether you care about wines being vegan or not – many of the animal based fining agents are allergens (milk, eggs, etc.) and is not a very hygienic way to produce wines. From environmental perspective, producing vegan wines has less impact on the environment. Last but not the least, on the ethical side, vegan wines do not contribute to harming or the death of animals. On this note, bottoms up! Santé! zum Wohl! cheers!