Did you know that not all wine is vegan? I know what you're thinking - "how could you possibly need animal products to produce wine?".
Why isn't all Wine Suitable for Vegans?
Wine isn't vegan because of step in the fermentation process called fining. This process is all about removing unwanted elements in the wine which may effect the appearance and taste of the final product. During this process, a product which usually consists of egg whites and milk casein is added to the wine. This then binds to the unwanted product, allowing it to be easily removed.
Winemakers producing vegan wine instead use plant based products during the fining process or don't do it at all which results in a wine that looks cloudy as the sediment hasn't been removed.
How to Find Vegan Wines
You might think that vegan wines are only available from specialist wine shops or expensive organic independent brands but it is actually much more accessible than you think.
Vegan wine is becoming more and more common however it's hard to figure out which wines are vegan and which ones are not. Usually (but not always) non-vegan wine will state on the label that it may contain egg and milk products and more often than not vegan wines will show some variation of a 'suitable for vegans logo' on the label but not always. I know, annoying right?
If it's not always stated on the label or made obvious in the supermarket it gets frustrating having to quickly google "is X wine vegan" in a shop with terrible wifi and 4g signal. I personally prefer to look online before I go to the supermarket and simply search 'vegan wine' and make a list of options to look out for or even take screen shots of the vegan options to make the shopping experience much easier.
Alternatively, here's a list of my tried and tested vegan wines. There are more vegan options at each store but I have not had the chance to try every single vegan wine but these are the ones I have tried and enjoyed! These mainly consist of sauvignon blanc, chenin blanc, merlot and carbenet sauvignon as these are my absolute favourites.
- ASDA Extra Special Chenin Blanc 2020 £5.50 - watch out because only the Chenin Blanc is vegan in the ASDA Extra Special Range.
- ASDA McGuigan Cabernet Sauvignon £7.00
- Co-Op Fairtrade Chenin Blanc 2020 - £4.80 - Check the front of the label because the one I purchased has a 'vegan' symbol but the one online does not say it's vegan.
- Tesco Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon - £3.89
- Tesco Mountain Vineyards Sauv. Blanc - £5.00
- Tesco Finest Breede River Sauvignon Blanc - £7.50 - the picture online doesn't match what the bottle actually looks like in store. See below for what it actually looks like as of 2020.
- ALDI Italia Sangiovese Romagna 2019 - (approx £4.00)
- Sainsbury's Laughing Llama Cabernet Sauvignon - Approximately £5.00 - all Laughing Llama wines are vegan!
- Toro Loco Merlot - Approximately £3 - I am pretty sure this is from Aldi!
In general, I think Tesco and Aldi have the best range of vegan wines whilst ASDA and Lidl do not or they're not as easy to find there.
I will continue to add the list when I find more vegan wines that I love so make sure you add this post to your bookmarks and keep coming back to see the latest updates.
What are your favourite vegan wines?