Picking out a bottle of wine should be easy, but when you’re vegan, it’s no easy feat. But it’s about to get a whole lot easier with this guide to choosing vegan wine.
From an organic biodynamic winery to an up-and-comer whose pinot noir is flying off shelves, these are the vegan wine brands you need to try.
How To Tell If Wine Is Vegan
When I first went vegan, I was shocked to learn what is used to process many wines. Fish bladders, egg whites, gelatin, casein?! Count me out. Even many of my non-vegan friends were disgusted to learn what may be lurking in their glass of vino.
These animal byproducts are used to clarify wines during the fining process. But it’s totally unnecessary.
Vegan wine uses bentonite clay (the most popular option), carbon, limestone, kaolin clay, plant casein, silica gel, or vegetable plaques instead. These earth-sourced agents are just as effective at producing delicious wine.
The best source for researching if your wine is vegan is Barnivore. You type in the brand of wine and then if Barnivore has knowledge, it’ll come up with a “Vegan Friendly” or “Not Vegan Friendly” indication.
Unfortunately, not all the info is up to date and a lot of brands are missing. Barnivore is definitely a great resource but I’ve found it’s best to compile a list of wines that are indeed vegan so you don’t have to repeat this lengthy process.
I’m making it easy for you by sharing 5 brands of wine that are definitely vegan and can be found at most grocery stores.
Vegan Wine Brands
1. Frey Wine
Image via Frey Wine
Frey Wine is organic, biodynamic, and produced in Mendocino County without added sulfites or synthetic preservatives. The clean winery boasts a wide range of varieties including merlot, cabernet sauvignon, pinot noir, zinfandel, sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, and even rosé! Frey wines can be found at Sprouts Farmers Markets and Whole Foods Markets.
I recommend the sauvignon blanc which has crisp, fruity flavors. Pair a glass of sauvignon blanc with this vegan pesto and a plate of vegetable crudités and crackers.
Image via Meiomi
Meiomi wine is one of the hottest brands at the moment despite its relative newness to the market. Meiomi wines are produced along the coast of California in Sonoma, Monterey, and Santa Barbara. Currently, the winery offers two varieties; pinot noir and chardonnay, which can be found at a variety of grocery stores and wine shops.
While I have tried and loved both, the pinot noir is a must. It’s perfect for those who are new to red wines since it’s not overly bitter and is somewhat sweet. But even wine connoisseurs can’t resist this pinot noir’s exceptional flavor. Pair it with a vegan lasagna for a hearty Italian meal.
3. La Crema
Image via La Crema
La Crema, a Sonoma-based winery, is not only vegan but also employs sustainable practices. Its vineyards are CCSW-Certified (Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing.) It offers a variety of wines available at most grocery stores and wine.
I recommend the chardonnay which is smooth and almost buttery in taste. It pairs perfectly with this beet and turnip gratin.
4. Wilson Creek Winery
Image via Wilson Creek Winery
Temecula-based Wilson Creek Winery started in 1996 and has gone on to produce a number of uniquely flavored sparkling wines. You can find Wilson Creek Winery’s wines at many stores including Sprouts Farmers Market, Total Wine, and Cost Plus World Market.
My personal favorite is the best-seller, Almond Sparkling Champagne. The sweet wine pairs wonderfully with these vegan crepes for a delicious dessert.
5. Girasole Vineyards
Image via Girasole Vineyards
Girasole Vineyards produces organic vegan wines out of Mendocino, Calif. The wines proudly display “vegan-friendly” on the back of every bottle so no research is even needed. Girasole Vineyards’ wines can be found at Whole Foods Markets.
I have tried the chardonnay and really enjoy the light flavors and mild fruity aromas. Pair any one of their wines with an array of vegan cheese for a delicious happy hour.
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