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What Makes Wine Not Vegan?

Picture yourself in a charming vineyard, surrounded by lush grapevines, as you raise a glass of wine to savor its flavors. While wine is often associated with natural elegance and the essence of the earth, there is a lesser-known aspect that may surprise you – not all wines are as vegan as their grape origins suggest. Behind the idyllic scenes of winemaking, there are some hidden elements that may mean your favourite wine is not quite vegan. In this article, we get to the bottom of this fascinating revelation and shed light on the factors that can lead to certain wines not meeting vegan standards.

1. The unexpected: wine is not always vegan

What makes wine not vegan?

The devil is in the details – or, more accurately, in the fining process. Here we will delve into more detail as to why this is.

Traditional fining agents often come from animal sources, which involves the addition of fining agents to remove unwanted particles, such as protein, tannings, and sediment, from the wine. Some traditional fining agents are not plant-based and include substances like casein (a milk protein), albumin (egg white, and gelatin (derived from animal collagen). Secondly, Isinglass, derived from fish bladders, is especially effective at clarifying white wines. While the isinglass itself doesn’t remain in the final product, it’s use also disqualifies wines that employ it from being considered as vegan. Finally, Collagen, found in connective tissues of animals, and chitosan, derived from crustacean shells, are also used as fining agents. Both substances can help to remove impurities from wine. However, as they origin from animal sources they are also non-vegan.

Can all wines be vegan?

In theory, all wines could be vegan. If a wine is produced without animal-based fining agents or without fining altogether, it’s vegan. The trend of ‘unfined’ wines is gaining momentum. While these wines may appear a little cloudy and carry some sediment, this doesn’t affect the taste. In fact, some argue that unfined wines offer a more authentic wine experience, letting the natural characteristics of the wine shine through.

For me, this natural cloudiness in an unfined wine is an echo of the wine’s journey from vineyard to glass. A nod towards a more natural and sustainable winemaking process. It’s a sentiment that resonates strongly with me as I navigate the exciting world of vegan wine, both as a purveyor and an enthusiastic consumer.

2. The intricacies of vegan wine

Perhaps you’ve come across the term “vegan wine” during your adventures in wine-tasting or casually spotted it on a sophisticated wine label. But then the inevitable question comes, “What is vegan wine?”. This term, while not exactly new to the wine scene, is still a mystery to many wine lovers. As such, it’s worth delving into, not just for the sake of the vegans among us, but for anyone who’s intrigued by the fascinating world of wine and the varied practices within it.

What qualifies a wine to be vegan?

For a wine to wear the vegan label, the fining process must involve non-animal-based fining agents. It surprised me, as it may surprise you, to learn just how many wines are fined using substances as part of this process. Traditionally, fining has been performed using substances like albumin (egg whites), casein (a milk protein), gelatin (animal protein), and isinglass (fish bladder protein). These animal-based products are used to bind with the unwanted particles in the wine, which are then easier to remove.

However, vegan wines bypass these traditional fining agents. Instead, they use alternatives such as activated charcoal, bentonite clay, or silica gel. These substances can effectively remove the impurities, resulting in a wine that is as clear, bright, and long-lasting as its non-vegan counterparts.

How to tell if wine is vegan?

The query ‘how to identify a vegan wine’ is one I’ve often encountered during my interactions with customers and wine enthusiasts. As mentioned above, identifying vegan wine can be tricky. Mainly, because the use of animal products in the fining process doesn’t typically appear on a wine’s label. Therefore, it can be difficult for consumers who are looking to make ethical and informed choices.

Regrettably, not all wineries indicate the vegan status of their wines on the label, which can make it a bit challenging for the conscious consumer. This can either be due to the winery choosing not to overtly advertise their vegan status and dissuade certain customers or the costs and oversight required by a third party in order to obtain this certification.

But there are ways to get around this. You can look for wines that are explicitly labeled as vegan or research wineries known for their vegan practices. Additionally, check with trusted wine vendors who are knowledgeable about the production methods behind their offerings. At Scutella Wines, we pride ourselves on our commitment to providing customers with clear and comprehensive information, making their wine selection process as informed and enjoyable as possible.

3. Our dedication to vegan Sparkling Red Wine

Is Sparkling Red Wine generally vegan?

Not all Sparkling Red Wines are vegan, but the good news is, many are! As with still wine, the vegan label for Sparkling Red Wines depends on the fining process. The bubbles in a sparkling wine are created by a secondary fermentation process that doesn’t typically involve animal products. Therefore, it’s not uncommon to find vegan-friendly Sparkling Red Wines. Particularly among contemporary winemakers who are more likely to use non-animal-based fining agents.

As a wine enthusiast and professional, I’m excited about the growing popularity of vegan wines. At Scutella Wines, we offer some of Australia’s finest, exclusively imported vegan Sparkling Red Wines for our Swiss customers. The beautiful palate, intricate bead, and rich flavours of these Sparkling Reds is something that all wine lovers should experience. Plus, they make the perfect accompaniment to any celebration or gourmet feast. You can find out more here about each of our fantastic Premium Wineries for Sparkling Red Wine.

Popular vegan Sparkling Red Wines

For an example of a vegan Sparkling Red, consider the lush Shiraz from Down Under, a gem we have recently discovered and brought to Switzerland. Bursting with the flavours of ripe blackberry and plum, it displays a perfect balance between its robust structure and vibrant sparkle. These attributes reflect the passionate, sustainable craftsmanship of the local, family-owned wineries we partner with.

Another favourite of mine is a vegan Sparkling Merlot, also from the renowned South Australia. Its rich, ruby hue hints at the sumptuous, complex flavours within. Expect delightful notes of ripe berries, dark chocolate, and a whisper of toasty oak. These are all enlivened by a delicate, lingering sparkle. It’s a vegan wine that offers a truly immersive tasting experience.

Certified vegan wine

At Scutella Wines, we believe in transparency and authenticity. We have performed our due diligence with each of our wineries to reassure our customers that no animal products were used at any stage of the winemaking process, from the vineyard to the bottle.

So when you buy wine online from us, you can be confident that it is 100% vegan, giving you peace of mind and allowing you to enjoy your wine to the fullest. So next time you wonder, “Where can I find vegan wine near me?” remember that the answer lies with Scutella Wines – your trusted source for vegan, sustainable, and quality Australian Sparkling Red Wines in Switzerland.

We are the only company in Switzerland that exclusively imports and distributes Sparkling Red Wine from Australia. What’s more, we are true to our principles and focus only on vegan-friendly wines, making us a unique resource for vegan wine lovers. From the comfort of your home, you can explore our selection and find the best vegan wines, whether for your personal enjoyment, a gathering with friends, or a special occasion.

4. Final thoughts: The value and variety of vegan wine

From vineyard to glass, the journey of wine is one steeped in tradition, craft, and the love of a good pour. Our exploration of vegan wines has taken us from understanding the ins and outs of vegan winemaking to appreciating the complexities of vegan-friendly Sparkling Red Wines. The decision to choose vegan wine not only aligns with ethical dietary choices but also opens up a world of rich, diverse flavours.

At Scutella Wines, we pride ourselves on being the singular source in Switzerland for Australian Sparkling Red Wines, including a specially curated selection of exclusively vegan options. We’ve dedicated our efforts to collaborate with local, family-owned Australian wineries that share our commitment to sustainability. From this, we ensure that every bottle we import is a testament to responsible winemaking and uncompromising quality.

Our mission is to make these exceptional wines accessible to you, from the convenience of online shopping to home delivery across Switzerland. We offer detailed wine profiles, pairing suggestions, and wine tasting notes, promising a holistic wine-buying experience that is as gratifying as the wines themselves.

To all the vegan wine enthusiasts out there, we extend an invitation to explore, taste, and celebrate the finest vegan wines Australia has to offer, brought exclusively to Switzerland by Scutella Wines. Here’s to unforgettable flavours, sustainable choices, and the timeless pleasure of a well-crafted wine. Cheers!

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