In its pure form, wine is simply grape juice combined with a special variety of yeast and allowed to ferment. Unfortunately, many winemakers speed things up by using a small amount of animal ingredients to capture sediment in the wine. This practice of using foreign ingredients to capture sediments is called fining.
Animal Products Sometimes Used in Winemaking:
- Isinglass (from fish bladders)
- Gelatin (from boiled cow or pig body parts)
- Albumin (egg whites)
- Casein (animal milk protein)
Fortunately, many winemakers use either vegan fining ingredients, or they skip the fining practice entirely by giving the wine some time to settle before decanting it into bottles.
Annoyingly, winemakers do not disclose fining ingredients on the label. But luckily, you can use the Internet to look up the status of most of the top brands. Just visit Barnivore, which has researched and cataloged vegan alcohol of all types. If you come across a wine that isn’t listed in Barnivore’s database, you can email the vineyard and ask.
Some popular vegan-friendly wines:
- Charles Shaw (red wines only)
- Frey Vineyards
- Lumos Wine
- Red Truck Wines
- The Vegan Vine
- Yellowtail (red wines only; not white or rosé)