Living an ethical, plant-based, vegan life – though rewarding – can be tricky. And never trickier than at 5pm on a Friday when reaching for a well-earned glass of wine. Because it’s a sad and sorry fact that not all wines are vegan. We know.
But why is this? Surely grapes + sugar = vegan-friendly? Well, apparently it’s just not as simple as that. We asked Isabelle Legeron, a Master of Wine and founder of RAW WINE to explain…
"Some winemakers use what are called 'processing aids’ to ‘fine’ their wines in order to remove residual cloudiness. The aids can be made from clay or pea protein but can also be derived from egg, milk and even fish. This is why some wines are not suitable for vegetarians or vegans."
Okay, so how can we tell if a wine is vegan-friendly?
"Unfortunately you can’t always tell from the label if a wine is vegan-friendly. I would say most artisanally made, low-intervention wines are suitable, but the best way to be sure is to buy wine from an independent wine store with knowledgeable staff. At RAW WINE we require full disclosure from producers and we share this information with visitors."
We’d also add that a spot of online shopping can make your vegan wine hunting a tad easier too, with outlets like Ocado and Waitrose enabling you to search specifically for vegan wines. In the meantime, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite vegan-friendly wines so you can make a toast to wine time, without the worry.