How come there is a categorisation ‘Natural Wine’, isn’t all wine natural? It’s one of the most natural products in the world, ingredients: Grapes, so then why would we need to specify that a wine is natural and why wouldn’t it be vegan or vegetarian?
The other day I bought a very expensive jar of extremely world friendly peanut butter, ingredients: Peanuts (99.5%), Salt (0.5%) – that’s it! I went home and looked a popular and healthy big brand jar and the ingredient list read: Peanuts, Stabiliser E471, Cane Sugar, Peanut Oil, Sea Salt. You see, for commercial reasons, producers need to add stuff to make it legal and practical to produce in large volumes.
That is why sulphites are such a big subject in the wine industry, but I’ll come to that another time.
Other substances added/used in modern wine production might be:
- Yeast (yeast nutrients and enzymes) – this does occur naturally but some yeasts have been developed specifically for the industry with differing tolerances and life expectancies etc. The enzymes and nutrients help the fermentation process.
- Antioxidants – such as Sulphites (Sulphur Dioxide or SO2), used during and after fermentation process and as a preservative preventing oxidation and secondary fermentation of the wine.
- Stabilizers – these can come in chemical form and are added to knock off the nasty army of wine spoiling proteins that have survived the wine making process.
- Organoleptic management (Great word!) – this can be in the form of adding wood chips, even powder or lactic acid – flavour altering additives.
- Filtration and Fining – and this is where you might find a wine slips out of the vegetarian or vegan category.
So what are these products used in fining? They are called processing aids and commonly they are:
- Casein (a milk protein)
- Albumen (egg whites)
- Gelatin (animal protein)
- Isinglass (fish bladder protein)
There are other ways of filtering and fining wine using micron filtration that do not require animal products and some wines are neither fined nor filtered, so they are certified Vegan.
Around half of our range is certified Vegan and vegetarian, you can see the range of wines here >
We can also offer our personalised wine service using any of our vegan range, so if you know a vegan wine drinker then we have the perfect gift idea for them! Check out our personalised label design service here >