Just In Case You Thought Your Wine Was Vegan

on 01/05/15 at 10:20 am

Wine

wine-veganIs your wine vegan? It seems like an odd question: wine is made of grapes, grapes fall solidly under the “not an animal product” label, therefore it would seem that wine is a vegan-friendly beverage.

However, many people who adhere to a vegan diet refrain from consuming any food or drink that is processed using animal products as well as the animal products themselves. Unfortunately for vegans, some wines are processed using animal products.

The culprit: a process called fining.

The fining process, when it is used, allows wine makers to remove unwanted compounds from wine either before or after the juice is fermented. There are several reasons that a wine maker might elect to fine his wine, according to Jim Law, the owner and wine maker of Linden Vineyard in Virginia. One reason is to clarify the wine. Another reason might be to fine-tune the taste or correct an imperfection. There are other reasons, but most fining is done to address these two issues.

But before getting into the whys of fining, it’s helpful to know what the fining process does.