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Vegan wines, still very much little known

November 06, 2022 Tags: 0 comments
A few weeks ago we attended, as exhibitor, the Manchester Wine Festival. This was our second participation and we brought with us a selection of wines, including vegan and organic. We were the only wine merchant in the room offering vegan wines, more and more small wineries like the ones we work with, nowadays, choose to produce vegan wines so our range includes plenty.

Standing behind the table, we could hear people’s comments, and noticed that they were attracted by the vegan wines, everyone wanted to taste them, they were always the first and sometime the only wines people would taste. There was a visible interest but it was due to a lack of knowledge, very few knew what a vegan wine was, in fact only one person knew what differentiate a vegan wine from a non vegan.

Listening to the comments, vegan wines were perceived as better wines compared to non vegan, healthier, exactly like organic wines were once perceived or these days natural wines. Unfortunately, vegan wines are none of the above, but what is a vegan wine?

Wine is made by grapes therefore is, in theory, a vegan product. However, it is during the wine making process that derivatives of animal origin that additives or as technological adjuvants such as egg albumin or casein can be used. Hence, the adjective “vegan” refers to the wine making process more than the grapes used in making the wines. Wines produced through traditional wine making processes that use derivatives of animal origins cannot be considered vegan, despite these derivatives of animal origins have been used for centuries.

These substances, used to filter or clarify the wine and subsequently eliminated by sedimentation on the bottom and removed, do not end up in the bottle, there isn’t a contamination, however, for a wine to be called vegan, the addition of any derivatives of animal origin must be excluded “tout court” as prescribed by the vegan diet. For the clarification and filtration process, to obtain vegan wines, winemakers use products of vegetable or mineral origin such as cellulose or diatomaceous earth adjuvants.

Now that we know what vegan wines are, we can try to answer the next logical question, are vegan wines better than non vegan wines? No, they are not. The same way organic wines are not better than non organic or natural wines are not better than non natural wines or DOCG wines are not better than table wines. Vegan wines are just wine produced differently, wines that allow vegans to enjoy a glass or two of wine.
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