Believe it or not, wine isn’t always vegan friendly. In fact, many wines are clarified using fining agents made from animal products. The clarification process allows the wine to be removed of protein, yeast, cloudiness, and other organic particles.
According to PETA, the most common animal-derived fining agents used in for the clarification of wine include blood and bone marrow, casein (milk protein), chitin (fiber from crustacean shells), egg albumen (derived from egg whites), fish oil, gelatin (protein from boiling animal parts), and isinglass (gelatin from fish bladder membranes).
Luckily, there are wine fining agents that are animal-friendly. These include carbon, clay, limestone, silica gel, and vegetable plaques. Alternatively, vegans can also enjoy unfiltered wine — without the use of fining agents, this type of wine takes a few more months to reduce the cloudiness in the wine.
Another non-vegan ingredient in some wines is cochineal. Labeled on products as cochineal extract, carmine, and carminic acid, this red dye is made from hundreds of crushed up insects. It is important to note that Red #40 is bug-free. In order to avoid purchasing wines that are not vegan friendly, consumers should check wine labels and search Barnivore before heading to the liquor store.
Here are some of our favorite vegan wines.
This California winery offers vegan red and white wine that is expertly made on the premises. You can even stay at the winery’s lodge for a vegan wine-filled getaway.
This Ontario, Canada winery makes some of the best red wines we’ve ever had. According to Barnivore, all of Cooper’s Hawk wines are vegan. We recommend their 2010 Pinot Noir — it has a pleasant earthy taste with hints of cherry and raspberry.
Every bottle of wine produced by Thumbprint Cellars is vegan friendly. As if that weren’t enough, the decorative bottles are some of the prettiest we’ve seen.
The name says it all.
You can buy this vegan product online!
We fell in love with this wine during its 2015 appearance at Trader Joe’s. This Spanish wine is super fruity with a lovely finish. It pairs well with tapas and (vegan) Paella.
Every red wine in Yellow Tail’s collection is vegan friendly. Unfortunately, everyone’s favorite cheap wine does not yet produce vegan friendly white wines, although we are hoping one day they will!
This organic wine is made in the heart of Northern California. Every wine produced at this vineyard is vegan friendly, including their delicious whites!