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More about Half Bottles of Vegan Wine

The key aspect of the winemaking process that is of interest to vegan or vegetarian wine lovers is that of fining. When wine has completed its fermentation it is usually allowed to settle in a tank or barrel. There are many particles and protein molecules that are in suspension in the wine at this time, from the grapes themselves as well as from the yeast used for fermentation. Fining is the process whereby the winemaker adds something to the wine which attracts these particles, causing them to group together and settle to the bottom of the tank. These fining agents are then removed from the wine along with the sediment. This is achieved by racking – where the clear wine is drawn off from the tank or barrel, as well as through filtering.

Is fining essential?
Fining is not a necessary process in terms of the quality of the wine, and many winemakers will tell you that unfined wines often have more character. So why not simply leave all wines unfined? There are a number of wines, especially up-market red wines, that are bottled without fining and are described as 'unfiltered and unfined'; we particularly like these as we consider them to have more complexity. Wines that are unfined throw a sediment over time which is removed by decanting (or careful pouring to leave the sediment behind in the bottle).   However almost all white wine is fined. The reason for this is simple – unfined white wine will be slightly cloudy and will not have that vibrant clarity that consumers expect to see in their glass.

Why can fining be a problem for vegans and vegetarians?
Historically, many fining agents have been animal products or derived from animal products. Centuries ago the blood of oxen was even used for fining, but this rather horrible sounding practice has all but disappeared. The more common animal-linked fining agents used today are albumen, from egg whites; Casein, a milk protein; gelatine, from animal skin and tissues; or isinglass, from the bladder of the sturgeon fish. These may sound like odd things to use in wine making but, as mentioned above, these agents are added to the wine and then removed again, so should not be considered as an ‘ingredient’. However the contact with the fining agents and possible trace remainder in the wine can be a concern for vegetarians and vegans when it comes to selecting their wines. It can also be of concern to those who are very lactose intolerant where milk Casein has been used as the fining agent.

Vegan friendly wine
Many winemakers now use bentonite as their fining agent. Bentonite is a clay-like mineral substance, which is acceptable to vegan and vegetarian wine lovers and to those who are lactose intolerant.
Free delivery on all wine club and 12 half bottle purchases
Vegan wine
The key aspect of the winemaking process that is of interest to vegan or vegetarian wine lovers is that of fining. Historically, many fining agents have been animal products or derived from animal products. The more common animal-linked fining agents are albumen, from egg whites; Casein, a milk protein; gelatine, from animal skin and tissues; or isinglass, from the bladder of the sturgeon fish. These may appear to be odd things to use in winemaking but these agents are added to the wine and then removed again, so should not be considered as an ‘ingredient’. However, many winemakers now use bentonite as their fining agent. Bentonite is a clay-like mineral substance, which is acceptable to vegan and vegetarian wine lovers and to those who are lactose intolerant. For more information about fining, please click the link at the bottom of this page.

The wines listed below are all certified as being suitable for vegans.
Picture of Ribafreixo (375ml), 2018, Barrancôa Vinho Branco

Ribafreixo (375ml), 2018, Barrancôa Vinho Branco

White, Old World, Antão Vaz blend from Alentejo, Portugal


£6.80
Picture of Jasci Donatello (375ml), 2016, Montepulciano d`Abruzzo

Jasci Donatello (375ml), 2016, Montepulciano d`Abruzzo

Red, Old World, Motepulciano from Abruzzi, Italy


£7.75
Picture of Jean Bousquet (375ml), 2016, Malbec

Jean Bousquet (375ml), 2016, Malbec

Red, New World, Malbec from Argentina


£8.65
Picture of Giol (375ml), 2017, Pinot Grigio

Giol (375ml), 2017, Pinot Grigio

White, Old World, Pinot Grigio from San Polo di Piave, Italy


£8.85
Picture of Chateau Gachon (375ml), 2016, Montagne St Emilion

Chateau Gachon (375ml), 2016, Montagne St Emilion

Red, Old World, Merlot based blend from Bordeaux, France


£9.45
Picture of Chateau Musar (375ml), 2011, Red

Chateau Musar (375ml), 2011, Red

Red, Old World, Cabernet-based blend from Lebanon


£16.55
Picture of Dm Jean Pascal (375ml), 2017, Puligny-Montrachet

Dm Jean Pascal (375ml), 2017, Puligny-Montrachet

White, Old World, Chardonnay from Burgundy


£22.20
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