Grapes are great—but if you’re 21+, fermented grapes are next level—I’m talking about wine, people! Vino, foot-juice, grape squeezins—ya feel me? Grapes are vegan, duh, but if I know humans—and I think I do—they’ll find a way to make vegan stuff not vegan.
You may not have realized that some wines are made using animal-derived products. Ya see, during the winemaking process, some brands filter the liquid through things called “fining agents”—usually blood and bone marrow, casein (milk protein), chitin (fiber from crustacean shells), egg albumen (derived from egg whites), fish oil, gelatin (protein from boiling animal parts), and isinglass (gelatin from fish bladder membranes). Gwoss.
The good news—not all wine hurts animals. There are several common fining agents that are animal-friendly and used to make vegan wine. Loads of places, like local organic or health-food stores, local organic winemakers, co-ops, and most regular wine or liquor stores, carry vegan wines or will order them upon request.
An extensive list of vegan wines is available at Barnivore.com, and here are a few companies that sell vegan wine online:
- Charlie & Echo
- Cooper’s Hawk Vineyards
- Fitzpatrick Winery
- Frey Vineyards (my favorite!)
- Organic Biodynamic Vegan Wine
- Palmina Wines
- The Vegan Vine
- Wrights Vineyard Winery
But hey, listen—it’s not about being perfect. We don’t want you to stress out at restaurants and bars and send waiters and bartenders on epic missions to check the filtering process or micro-ingredients. This will make being vegan seem difficult and turn off everyone you’re with from vegan living. That’s just not going to help animals in the long run.
A better approach is to pick a few vegan brands that you like and buy them from stores for sipping at home and do the best you can when you’re out.
If you’re more of a beer person, that’s fine—I’m not mad at you. I just don’t really get what your deal is. Just know that most beers are vegan, but some are also filtered through animal parts.
If you’re drinking beer or wine, you’re probably doing so because you’re having a good time. Don’t let the filtering process kill your buzz—just try to be on the lookout when you can. Cheers!