Have you ever found yourself wandering the aisles of a wine shop trying to narrow down which bottle to bring home for dinner? If so, I’m about to make selecting wine much quicker for you! Turns out many wines are not vegan.
Wait. Isn’t all wine vegan?
Not exactly. Some wineries use animal products to blend and clarify the wine. Think egg whites, gelatin, fish bladders, and milk proteins. Plus, a lot of vineyards use animal products in their fertilizers – things like fish emulsion, blood, and bone meal. Not exactly cruelty-free.
Who would’ve thought, right?
Also, some wines are blended with animal-derived substances, otherwise known as fining agents. These substances can be anything from gelatin from fish bladder (isinglass) to casein (a milk derivative) to bone marrow. Worse yet, there is no regulation enforcing wine makers to list ingredients on their labels! In the United States, where wine labels are under the jurisdiction of the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, not the Food and Drug Administration, nutritional and ingredient labels are not required.
Vegan Friendly Wine Guide
On a brighter note, I did some research and the following list of wines are all vegan. Yes, you can still enjoy a glass of Pinot with your vegan pasta. Or bubby on a special occasion 🙂 I personally like to buy all my wine from 90 + Cellar wines, which buys very popular varieties from famous wineries, re-labels them with their label and sells them for much less! I’ll be doing some further research to find out if they carry any of these vegan wines in the near future so make sure to check back!
If you’re a fan of chardonnay, I think you’ll fall in love with this crisp viognier (pronounced “vee-own-yay”) from the historic Barossa region in Southern Australia. With plenty of body, it’s interesting enough to drink on its own, but also pairs well with a whole host of spicy dishes. Pairs perfectly with this recipes for Spicy Chipotle Pasta. In fact, most of the wines from this winery are vegan!
Did you know Christie Brinkley’s has a line of 100% organic Prosecco and sparkling wines? She does! They’re blended from grapes grown in Treviso, Italy.
There a a few vegan varieties from this vineyard! Favorites include, Chenin blanc (South Africa, 2007), cabernet Sauvignon (Chile, 2007), Blossom Hill Signature Blend White (U.S., 2006), and shiraz (South Africa, 2007).
Cooper’s Hawk Vineyards
This winery—all the way from my cottage region close to Ontario, Canada—creates red, white, and rosé varieties.
Fento Wines La Liebre y la Tortuga, Honest Grapes
Created on the Spanish-Portuguese border, this has all the characteristics you’d expect from an albariño – fresh zest, lively citrus, aromatic herbs – and is good value for money. Perfect for summer parties 😉
Produced by the well-respected Varner twins, Foxglove showcases fresh citrus notes with a rich, long finish. To enhance the complex subtleties of this elegant wine, enjoy with caramelised butternut squash or sweet potato, finishing dishes with a generous handful of toasted nuts. I like to drink it with this Lemon & Garlic Pasta, which I sprinkle with pine nuts.
All wine varieties from this California vineyard are vegan!
Grüner Veltliner 2016 Ebner-Ebenauer, Roberson Wines
Located in Austria, this small vineyard is run by a husband-and-wife team, creating this popular and super-fresh white. This delightfully balanced wine is delicious as an aperitif or you can pair it with briny artichokes, ripe avocado salsa or grilled asparagus.
LIV Vinho Verde Rosé, Portugal 2015, Borough Wines
Pairs beautifully with a fresh, summer salad! It’s a light and dry rosé from Portugal. The owners of this family-run vineyard believe in minimal intervention, allowing the surrounding landscape and nature to shape how the final bottle tastes.
Moët & Chandon Champagne
This French winemaker has been making bubbly for over 270 years! It continues to be 100% animal-derived ingredients free after all the years.
Based in beautiful Santa Barbara, this winery’s Vermentino 2015 white wine was once poured at a White House state dinner!
San Leo Brut NV Glera Italian Prosecco, Waitrose
With over 700 vegan wines to chose from, you’re pretty much guaranteed to find an animal-free vino you love from Waitrose! A popular choice is sold at your nearest Whole Foods, and quite often is their best-selling prosecco! It’s crisp and fruity with a freshness you can beat. The fizz makes it perfect to pair with juice at your next soiree.
Seghesio Family Vineyards
Located in sunny Sonoma County, California this award-winning vineyard has been producing vegan wines since 1895!
My mother’s favorite and a staple in my home. Not my personal cup of tea (ahem, wine) but good in a pinch! Enjoy many vegan varieties from the affordable Sutter Home blends. Chose from Riesling, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Gewürztraminer, and Chenin Blanc!
Taste the Difference Beaujolais-Villages Coteaux Gratiniques, Sainsbury’s
You can’t go wrong with Sainsbury’s! They boasts over 245 vegan wines, all of which are clearly labelled as such. This Taste the Difference wine from Mont Brouilly (north of Lyon in France) is bursting with juicy red berries. It is especially light and delicate, goes very well with lunch!
Thomson & Scott Skinny Brut NV, Harvey Nichols
Interestingly, the founder of this wine grew up on a vegetarian, sugar-free diet. She also grew to love champagne and thus created a range of “skinny” sparkling wines! They are a delicious blend of pinot noir and chardonnay grapes resulting in an elegant, aromatic fizz with a nutty finish.
The Thumbprint Cellars winery in Sonoma County, California, features a vegan variety that is loved world-wide!
The Vegan Vine
The Vegan Vine is grown and blended by the family-owned Clos LaChance Winery. This collection of theirs was inspired by a vegan family member who wanted a variety that was animal-free to suit their lifestyle!
Vinalba Malbec Bonarda
You might think “meaty” malbecs are off limits if you’re avoiding animal products, but I personally feel it’s suitable with any red pasta or “meaty” veggie dish, such as portabella mushrooms or eggplant. Smooth and balanced, expect a rich cherry taste and deliciously smooth finish. Make the most of this best-selling Argentinian – uncork and allow it to breathe for approximately 30 minutes prior to serving.
Wrights Vineyard and Winery
Based in New Zealand–Wrights winery’s current owner is a third-generation winemaker. With that type of experience, you can’t lose!
Vinavanti Urban Winery
Vinavanti is the first and only certified organic winery in San Diego County.
Zalze Shiraz Grenache Viognier Western Cape, South Africa
This last wine reigns from South Africa and has become very popular here in the US. Pairs particularly well with vegan summer BBQ flavors and dishes.
Next time you’re running late for dinner or a party, you’ll be able to reach for these award-winning bottle with confidence!
Make life easier at the wine store! Download and print my Vegan Wine Guide!
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