If you are a vegan or are trying to embrace a more plant-based lifestyle, you’ve probably learned quickly that the things that seem animal product free sometimes aren’t, and it’s never a bad idea to do a little recon before you snack or sip.
For instance, did you know that one of the main ingredients in gummy bears is gelatin and gelatin is derived from the collagen of animal body parts? There’s plenty of sneaky examples like this out there, so make sure you’re reading your labels before you buy and asking the necessary questions when eating out.
What might also
come as a surprise is that a staple favorite, filling millions of glasses
around the world and dating back all the way to 7000 BC, sometimes doesn’t get
the vegan stamp of approval – you guessed it, we’re talking about wine.
One of the main reasons that wine is so tricky is because we all know what goes in it— grapes! Because we all know this, it’s easy to pass it off as a safe plant-based bet, especially considering that wine bottles aren’t required to have an ingredient list. In reality, wine isn’t often a single ingredient product at the commercial scale.
Why is this so?
Let’s have a quick little wine lesson while we’re at it. Wine is born out of
grape juice mingling with yeast. This pairing creates a fermentation, and the
mixture will need to sit until the right level of sugars are converted into
alcohol. The fermentation process can be as short as a week, but typically
winemakers will continue adjusting and manipulating their wine before it hits
the bottle. The bottles are then aged for months or even years before they’re
technically grapes alone have all the required elements for the winemaking
process (yeast naturally occurs in grape skin), they are usually assisted by
additional components to improve consistency and influence flavor. A few common
extras are added sugar to boost alcohol content, sulfur dioxide to prevent
oxidation, and calcium carbonate to reign in acidity.
Post-fermentation, wines will look fairly cloudy due to sediment. To combat this, the clarifiers and fining agents are introduced. This is where it gets tricky for those following a vegan lifestyle. Traditionally used clarifiers include things like isinglass (fish bladders), albumin (egg whites), casein (animal milk protein), gelatin or even plastics.Whatever is added will be filtered out before bottling, but it still renders wines made through these practices unsuitable for those following a plant-based diet.
When looking for cruelty-free wines, the major difference between a vegan bottle and a non-vegan one really comes down to what kind of clarifiers and fining agents are used.
The upside is that a lot of wine is naturally vegan, and there are plenty of resources out there to make sure you know what you’re buying and drinking. Before you go get your next bottle or stop for a drink and aren’t sure what’s vegan approved on the menu, check out BevVeg! It’s a free app that will let you know whether or not your beer, wine or liquor is filtered through or contains any animal products. Barnivore is another great option for doing a little research— it’s an online vegan alcohol directory that covers over 47,000 products.
Of course, if you’re in the Fort Lauderdale area, you can always stop into Vegan Fine Foods and get some peace of mind that your wine is 100% animal product free. Vegan Fine Foods carries a wide variety of Vegan wines!
Dear Customers: Thank you for your continued support of Vegan Fine Foods. We recognize that with the fast-changing COVID-19 situation, this is an unprecedented time for everyone. We want you to know that you have our commitment to continue providing you with the high-quality plant-based products and excellent customer service you depend on. We want […]
If you are a vegan or are trying to embrace a more plant-based lifestyle, you’ve probably learned quickly that the things that seem animal product free sometimes aren’t, and it’s never a bad idea to do a little recon before you snack or sip. For instance, did you know that one of the main ingredients […]
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