An introduction to Vegan Wine

‘Vegan wine’ what is it, and what on earth does it mean? To someone new to the vegan concept, a vegan diet revolves around not consuming any animal products; not just the meat, but anything that comes from an animal such as milk or eggs. A vegan lifestyle is slightly different, as this is where somebody avoids all animal exploitation of any kind, for example purchasing leather items.

So… since when have grapes been sentient beings? Wine in itself (fermented grape juice) is vegan, but it’s the ‘fining’ process in which a lot of wines fall under the non-vegan friendly category. Fining agents are used to remove protein, yeast, cloudiness and any organic particles that could affect the flavour and colour of the wine, ultimately clarifying it. Common fining agents include:

  • Casein (milk protein)
  • Blood and bone marrow
  • Isinglass (gelatin from fish bladder membranes)
  • Chitin (fiber from crustacean shells)
  • Fish oil
  • Egg albumen (derived from egg whites)
  • Gelatin (protein from boiling animal parts)

These fining agents, although removed, can leave residue and are therefore not suitable for a plant-based diet. However, many companies are keeping up with demand and supplying large ranges of wine that are unfined or fined using suitable agents such as limestone, silica gel or plant casein to name a few. Don’t be misunderstood though, your favourite wine will still be just as good as these agents don’t contribute to flavour at all.

Even though there are growing numbers of ethical fining agents, there is an increasing number of natural winemakers who encourage the wine to remain in the most natural state possible, as when refined they believe unique flavours can be dimmed. We offer an extensive selection of unfined wine and we’ll be happy to help you explore your palette and discover your preferred wine.

With veganism on the rise there is more demand for ethical and sustainable wines than ever before, which is why at The Hook we decided to up our vegan wine game.

We did our research and found trustworthy suppliers that we rely on to import our vegan wine, which is popular even amongst our meat eaters. Our eco-friendly stock varies from Shiraz, Malbec, Chardonnay, Sancerre to Rosé and even bubbles, free from animal products and sustainably sourced!

Wines are clearly marked for our plant based guests at The Hook, but if you’re unsure if your wine is vegan, simply ask your waiter for the unfined/unfiltered wine options as these wines have not gone through the fining process and will be free of all animal products. Keep your eyes peeled for new vegan wines we have arriving soon!