A Vegan Wine Subscription
All of the wine we sell on Winepost is vegan. As vegans ourselves, it was important to us that we started a business that matched our values so whether you’re a vegan for health, environmental or moral reasons, or just a curious carnivore, you can rest assured that every single wine of ours is vegan.
At first glance, wine should be vegan right? It comes from grapes after all. To understand why it’s often not, we need to take a look at the winemaking process in detail.
Once grapes from the vineyard are picked and pressed, the juice is then poured into a container to be fermented. Technically you could ferment wine in basically any container, from an amphora made of clay to a giant concrete vat, but most wine today is made in large stainless steel tanks, while more expensive wine is often still fermented in oak barrels.
Yeast is then added to the grape juice to aid the fermentation process; this can be either cultured yeast (just like you would use for bread baking) or wild yeast that already exists on the grapes from when they were growing (just like you might capture when making a sourdough starter).
As a result of this fermentation process the grape juice/wine becomes cloudy, with tiny particles suspended in the liquid. This tends to be a mix of things like dead yeast and other byproducts of the process; things like tartrates, tannins, proteins and phenolics. Sometimes you might have seen this in the sediment left in the bottom of a red wine bottle.
Producers tend to want to remove this cloudiness from the wine, because it doesn’t look very appealing on the shelves and can sometimes affect the flavour of the wine. One option is to leave the wine for a long enough period of time that eventually all of the particles sink to the bottom. Understandably however, many producers don’t have the time for this and so instead use a combination of two processes, fining and filtration, to remove the haze more quickly. Fining has historically involved using animal products, hence making the wine not vegan.
Fining is a process in which a new substance is added to the wine that binds to the smaller particles floating in the liquid, therefore creating larger particles which are easier to filter out or to allow to sink to the bottom. The most common of these are egg whites, isinglass (obtained from dried out fish bladders) and gelatine. Once the bigger particles are formed, the wine can be filtered to remove the haze, making it clear and ready for sale. While some argue that there are no animal products left in the wine (and it’s therefore vegan), we disagree.
Vegan wines (all of the wines we deliver at Winepost) use materials in the fining process that have not been derived from animals. Bentonite (a form of pulverised clay) and pea protein are two of the most common ingredients used as an alternative for vegan wines. The wine can then be filtered as it would have been before. This doesn’t affect the taste and ensures no animal products are involved in the production of your wine at all.
If you haven’t already signed up to Winepost, sign up today! Every single wine subscription through Winepost is a vegan wine subscription from a company run by vegans, so whether you’re vegan, vegetarian or a meat-eater, we’re here for you.