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National Vegan Day

November 1st marks World Vegan Day.   Vegan wines started as a philosophy rather than a market ploy.  Today, there is no “official" designation for vegan or vegetarian wines, as there are no laws in place mandating what is written on the labels.   However, 2016 saw the emergence of labels such as Label V and E.V.E Vegan in Europe

What is Fining?

Many wines around the world are clarified and stabilized using fining agents making the appearance clear and vivid and therefore more visually appealing.  The most commonly used fining agents are egg whites (albumen), caseins (a protein found in milk), boiled fish bladders (isinglass),  gelatin (animal protein), blood/bone marrow, fish oil and shellfish fibers.  These animal-derived substances  remove tiny organic particles of sediment in wines that cannot be removed by filtration.  Fining agents do not change the flavor of the wine. 

Vegan Fining Process

In lieu of animal-derived fining agents, vegan wines use suitable alternatives such as bentonite (form of clay or pea protein), silica gel, vegetable plaques, kaolin clay, limestone, carbon and plant casein to clarify wines. Today, more winemakers are choosing to use mineral and plant-based fining agents.

Organic wines aren’t always vegan and vice-versa. Although they are both environmentally friendly products, vegan wines and organic wines can be substantially different from one another. The specification for producing organic wines prohibits the use of animal-based products such as animal-blood based gelatin or albumin, however it permits the use of egg white and casein. An "organic" labeled wine is therefore not necessarily vegan.

AOC Wines

Vegan Wine Pairings

If you are vegan or just like eating less animal protein, there are several plant-based recipes and wine pairings.  

"When you have a vegan meal, focus on pairing with the most prominent flavors. For example, if you have spaghetti with a tomato sauce, focus on the acidic tomato flavors. If you have a vegan bowl with veggies, tofu, and a cashew based sauce, focus on the nutty creaminess of the cashew sauces . More specifics below:

Green Vegetables (avocados, kale, broccoli, green beans)
Pair with sparkling or light whites

Root Vegetables (carrots, squash, pumpkin, sweet potato, potato)
Pair with full-bodied white, aromatic white, rosé, or light red

Alliums (garlic, onion, shallots)
Dream big here. Will pair with almost anything

Nightshades (tomato, eggplant, bell peppers)
Pair with aromatic white, rosé, medium red, full-bodied red

Beans (black, lentil, pinto, white)
Pair with sparkling, rosé, light red, medium red

Fungi (Chanterelle, Crimini, Maitake, Shitake)
Pair with full-bodied white, light red, medium red, full-bodied red

Nuts (peanut, almond, pecan, cashew)
Pair with aromatic white, rosé, or dessert wine

Fresh Herbs (basil, cilantro, dill, mint)
Pair with sparkling wine, light white, full-bodied white, aromatic white, rosé, light red

Pepper (Chipotle, Chili, Ancho)
Pair with sparkling wine, aromatic white, rosé, or medium red

When pairing, go for balance between your food and wine pairings. Pair lighter wines with lighter dishes and bolder wines with heavier dishes. Match weight with weight, intensity with intensity, and aromatics with aromatics. Also consider the meal — as Karen MacNeil, author of the classic tome The Wine Bible, said, “Pair great with great, humble with humble.” You don’t need a fancy expensive bottle of wine every week (although it would be nice!)"  

Information by: Plant & Vine

Limited Sale on Vegan Wines

Ends November 6, 2020

2015 Cotes du Rhone Villages, Chateau La Cote
2015 Cotes du Rhone Villages, Chateau La Cote

2015 Cotes du Rhone Villages, Chateau La Cote

$0.00
$17.99
2018 Chinon Rose, Domaine Sourdais-Taveau
2018 Chinon Rose, Domaine Sourdais-Taveau

2018 Chinon Rose, Domaine Sourdais-Taveau

$18.99
2017 Cheverny White, Domaine de Veilloux
2017 Cheverny White, Domaine de Veilloux

2017 Cheverny White, Domaine de Veilloux

$19.99
2017 Bourgogne "Cuvee Maison Dieu", Domaine Rebourgeon-Mure
2017 Bourgogne "Cuvee Maison Dieu", Domaine Rebourgeon-Mure

2017 Bourgogne "Cuvee Maison Dieu", Domaine Rebourgeon-Mure

$21.99
Cremant de Loire Brut Rose NV, Chateau D'Avrille
Cremant de Loire Brut Rose NV, Chateau D'Avrille

Cremant de Loire Brut Rose NV, Chateau D'Avrille

$24.99
2015 Saint-Joseph Red, Domaine Boissonnet
2015 Saint-Joseph Red, Domaine Boissonnet

2015 Saint-Joseph Red, Domaine Boissonnet

$29.99
2013 Beaune Montee Rouge Chardonnay, Domaine Moissenet-Bonnard
2013 Beaune Montee Rouge Chardonnay, Domaine Moissenet-Bonnard

2013 Beaune Montee Rouge Chardonnay, Domaine Moissenet-Bonnard

$35.99
2013 Pernand-Vergelesses White, Domaine Denis
2013 Pernand-Vergelesses White, Domaine Denis

2013 Pernand-Vergelesses White, Domaine Denis

$41.99
2013 Pommard, Domaine Rebourgeon-Mure
2013 Pommard, Domaine Rebourgeon-Mure

2013 Pommard, Domaine Rebourgeon-Mure

$45.99
2013 Meursault Les Vireuils, Domaine Moissenet-Bonnard
2013 Meursault Les Vireuils, Domaine Moissenet-Bonnard

2013 Meursault Les Vireuils, Domaine Moissenet-Bonnard

$48.99