With current health trends, a lot of people are looking for any and every way to cut their caloric intake. Many have joined the lifestyle of veganism and if not completely, some have opted for experimenting with alternative options. This does not exclude the beverage realm. When it comes to alcoholic choices, there is a huge desire for vegan wines.
But what makes a wine vegan? Vegan wines are wines made without animal products. This means winemakers do not use traditional fining products such as gelatin, albumin, casein, and isinglass also known as dried fish bladders that are used to remove floating particles from the wine. Instead, they allow the particles to sink naturally to the bottom or use a non-animal fining product like bentonite to remove them.
One would think that all wines are vegan, but that is completely the contrary, as it may start off that way through the fermentation processes but the fining process can change the status. Fining is the process of removing unwanted material from wine after fermentation. It is part of the clarification and stabilization process and involves adding a substance to the wine that will flush out certain elements that may cause a wine to look hazy or affect its aroma, color or bitterness. Fining is not an absolute necessity as wine can go through the clarification process without this step if it is simply allowed the proper timing in the appropriate conditions.
In some countries using animal products in the fining process, winemakers are required to label the wine as such. Bentonite, charcoal or “vegetarian gelatin” are commonly used now by winemakers to complete the vegan fining process. It’s true not all wines are fined but as all winemakers are different, it’s best to always research the winemaker and their methods. How does the everyday consumer know whether a wine is vegan? The go to is to check the label or simply Google the fining/fermentation processes for said wine.
This brings me to one of my favorite varietals, Prosecco. Prosecco is a go to for a lot of vegans as almost all Prosecco sparkling wines are vegan. At TCB, we love our Adami!
This is a crisp wine and great for a casual drink. The Adami winery has specialized in Prosecco production since around 1933. This Prosecco is very popular and very tasty. It’s also vegan! I’ve attached a wonderful French 75 cocktail recipe that can be created using this wine.
Vegan Strawberry French 75
3 cups strawberries, chopped
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
3 oz gin
1 bottle of Adami Prosecco
- Add the strawberries and lemon juice to a blender. Blend until it becomes a smooth puree.
- Divide the puree between 6 glasses.
- Add a 1/2 oz of gin to each glass.
- Top with champagne and serve.
Are you ready to expand your wine knowledge? We have several upcoming wine classes that dive deep into how to taste wine and understand what you like (and perhaps don't) in a wine. Join us for:
- TOMORROW: Virtual Unlock the Secrets of Wine Saturday, March 12 6pm CST
- Single Vineyard Expose: Understanding Wine through Soil Saturday, March 19 6pm at the Mart
- Virtual Single Vineyard Expose: Understanding Wine through Soil Saturday, March 19 6pm CST
- The Vineyards of France Saturday, March 26 6pm at the Mart
- Virtual The Vineyards of France Saturday, March 26 6pm CST