There is much confusion about vegetarian and vegan wines and we would like to help clear up the uncertainty with this short article.

Wines are made from grapes right? How can grapes not be vegan? All perfectly logical so far, however, the average wine drinker likes a clear wine without any cloudiness or additional tartrate crystals which can build up as part of the malolactic fermentation process.  To prevent this, winemakers use proteins to filter these residues from the wine to produce a clear, bright and visually vibrant drink. This is referred to as the “fining” process.

Now here’s the rub. The most common materials used to achieve this are egg protein, casein (a milk protein) or Isinglass ( a fish bladder protein). All of which help to give you a clear, lively & bright wine.

Luckily other agents are available so the “fining” process can be achieved and vegan or vegetarian status can also be maintained.  Bentonite is a product derived from Volcanic ash which can be used although it is very strong and can destroy flavour development so must be used carefully.

Charcoal is another permitted option (in white wines only) and although very neutral can also remove flavour due to it’s exceptional filtering properties.

Of course we could leave wines unfined. There is a growing amount of “natural” wine available which follows this route. The main issues that are associated with an unfined wine are that in addition to the cloudiness and other visual impediments, there stands a risk of flavours and odours developing which the consumer may not appreciate. There is also a higher amount of residue which lowers yield thus making the wine more expensive.

 

How do you know if a wine is vegan/vegetarian?

Sadly not every winemaker shouts about this. Perhaps there is a fear that the consumer who cares less about the agents used and more about the flavour thinks the wine will not be as good. In our experience this argument does not hold as many award winning wines can also be vegan/vegetarian.

Look on the label and you may see a vegan/vegetarian label or symbol. Look also for “unfiltered” or “unfined” as this means that dairy or animal products will not have been used.

Or of course ask us!

We hope that the above guide will help you when choosing wines. Furthermore, we have prepared a list below of the wines that we sell which have either vegan or vegetarian status.

Vegan & Vegetarian Wines

List of our wines which are suitable for vegans, vegetarian. Those that are organic wines are also listed.

Wine Colour Producer Wine Name Varietal Blend ABV% Vegetarian Vegan Organic Biodynamic
Red Bodegas y Viñedos Merayo Bodegas y Viñedos Merayo Merayo Mencia Mencía (100%) 13.5 Yes Yes No No
Red Iona Iona Mr P Pinot Noir Pinot Noir (100%) 13 Yes Yes No No
Red Domaine de la Berthète Domaine de la Berthète Côtes du Rhône Rouge Grenache Noir (55%), Syrah (30%), Carignan (10%), Cinsault 5% 14 Yes Yes No No
Red Bodegas Manzanos Bodegas Manzanos Finca Manzanos Gran Reserva Tempranillo (85%), Mazuelo (15%) 13.5 Yes Yes No No
Red Bodegas Caudalía Bodegas Caudalia Paal Syrah Syrah (100%) 13.5 Yes Yes No No
Red Tenuta Olim Bauda Tenuta Olim Bauda Barbera d'Asti Barbera (100%) 14 Yes Yes No No
Red Guillaume Gonnet Guillaume Gonnet Rasteau Grenache (80%), Syrah (20%) 14.5 Yes Yes No No
Red Cascina Adelaide Cascina Adelaide Barolo Nebbiolo (100%) 14 Yes No No No
Red Bodegas Manzanos Bodegas Manzanos Finca Manzanos Reserva Tempranillo (80%), Garnacha (10%), Graciano (10%) 13.5 Yes Yes No No
Red Bodegas Manzanos Bodegas Manzanos Finca Manzanos Crianza Tempranillo (90%), Mazuelo (5%), Garnacha (5%) 13.5 Yes Yes No No
Red Vida Orgánica Vida Orgánica Malbec Malbec (100%) 13 Yes Yes Yes No
Red Espinos Y Cardos Espinos y Cardos Los Espinos Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Sauvignon (100%) 13 Yes Yes No No
Red Andean Vineyards Made in Mendoza Malbec Malbec (100%) 12.5 Yes No No No
Red Ehrmanns Beefsteak Club The Meaty Malbec Malbec (100%) 12.5 Yes Yes No No
Red Yalumba Yalumba Y Series Shiraz Shiraz (100%) 13.5 Yes Yes No No
Red Yalumba Yalumba Y Series Merlot Merlot (100%) 14.1 Yes Yes No No
Red Earthworks Earthworks Shiraz Shiraz (100%) 13.5 Yes Yes No No
Red Stellar Organics Running Duck Shiraz Shiraz (100%) 14 Yes Yes Yes No
Rose Torreon de Paredes Valdemoro Cabernet Rosé Cabernet Sauvignon (100%) 12 Yes Yes No No
Sherry Williams & Humbert Pando Dry Fino Sherry Palamino (100%) 15 Yes Yes No No
Sherry Williams & Humbert Dry Sack Medium Sherry Palamino & Pedro Ximenez 19.5 Yes Yes No No
Sherry Williams & Humbert Walnut Brown (Oloroso style) Sweet Sherry Palamino, Pedro Ximenez and Moscatel 19.5 Yes Yes No No
Sherry Williams & Humbert Winter's Tale (Amontillado) Medium Sherry Palamino & Pedro Ximenez 19.5 Yes Yes No No
Sparkling Joseph Perrier Joseph Perrier Brut Vintage Chardonnay (50%) Pinot Noir (41%) and Pinot Meunier (9%) 12 Yes Yes No No
Sparkling Joseph Perrier Joseph Perrier Brut Rose Chardonnay (25%), Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier (75%) 12 Yes Yes No No
Sparkling Joseph Perrier Joseph Perrier Cuvee Royale Brut Chardonnay (35%) Pinot Noir (35%) and Pinot Meunier (30%) 12 Yes Yes No No
White Mabis Mabis Biscardo Pinot Grigio delle Venezie Pinot Grigio (100%) 12 Yes Yes No No
White Iona Iona Chardonnay Chardonnay (100%) 13 Yes Yes No No
White Mabis Mabis Biscardo Soave Classico Garganega (85%), Trebbiano Di Soave (15%) 13.5 Yes Yes No No
White Bodegas Manzanos Bodegas Manzanos Finca Manzanos Blanco Fermentado en Barrica Viura (60%), Chardonnay (40%) 13 Yes Yes No No
White Tenuta Olim Bauda Tenuta Olim Bauda Gavi di Gavi Cortese (100%) 12.5 Yes Yes No No
White Vida Orgánica Vida Orgánica Sparkling Chardonnay Chardonnay (100%) 13 Yes Yes Yes No
White Torreon de Paredes Valdemoro Sauvignon Blanc Sauvignon Blanc (100%) 13.5 Yes Yes No No
White Yalumba Yalumba Y Series Chardonnay Chardonnay (100%) 13 Yes Yes No No
White Yalumba Yalumba Y Series Viognier Viognier (100%) 13.5 Yes Yes No No
White Stellar Organics Running Duck Chenin Blanc Chenin Blanc (100%) 13 Yes Yes Yes No