Not everyone is aware of the fact that most wines are in fact not suitable for vegans. Although veganism is increasing all over the world, there still remain particular areas on which consumers are not well informed, and alcoholic drinks are definitely one of these areas.
In fact, the majority of wine is not vegan. Why? Most wines are clarified before they are bottled, in order to make the liquid brighter and thus more appealing to the consumer. To achieve this, a fining agent is added to eliminate molecules such as yeasts and proteins. According to Camille Augey, of The Vegan Cellar in France, the most common fining agents are gelatin (often made from animal bone and cartilege), isinglass (obtained from fish bladder), casein (milk protein), and albumin (egg whites).
Which kind of wines are suitable for vegans?
The good news is that several vegan-friendly alternatives exist, such as bentonite (clay) and pea or potato protein. Many winemakers also choose not to fine their wines at all; with time, they become less cloudy on their own, it just takes longer (typically a few months).
Where can consumers purchase vegan wines?
You can probably find vegan wines in any store that sells liquor. The problem is, unless you are a wine expert and willing to go through the time-consuming process of reading labels, visiting winery websites, and/or contacting winemakers, you may find it almost impossible (in France anyway) to tell which wine is vegan and which is not. If you’re lucky, a very knowledgeable vendor may be able to assist you. Sharing a nice bottle of wine with your friends and family when you’re vegan should not be so difficult. That’s where The Vegan Cellar comes in.
Tell us about The Vegan Cellar.
Making vegan wines easily available in France is our mission. As a vegan, a wine graduate and an engineer, I decided to create an online store entirely focused on wines that do not contain any animal products. Of course, all food pairing suggestions are 100% plant-based. A nice change from the usual “This red wine goes well with red meat and cheese,” and “This white wine is perfect with fish and poultry”!
Sustainability is another primary concern at The Vegan Cellar. This is why although not all wines are certified organic, only wineries with environment-friendly practices are selected.
The wines are shipped directly by their producers in transport packaging specifically designed for this kind of product.
How many wines do you currently offer?
Since the shop part of the website opened in May 2018, the portfolio has grown from 3 to 16 wines (five wineries). New ones will of course be added progressively from all French regions and price ranges.
For more information, contact Camille Augey at [email protected].