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What Makes Wine Not Vegan?

We all know that wine is made from grapes, so where do the animal products come in? It all comes down to what is known as the ‘fining process’. During this process, certain animal products are added to nonvegan wines to improve clarity and color and to filter out impurities.

  • Fish: Sourced from fish bladders (yuck!), a fining agent called isinglass is used to remove impurities and other insoluble materials from nonvegan wine before bottling. 
  • Eggs: Albumin, or egg white, binds to tannins in nonvegan wines and is used to remove any unwanted bitterness. 
  • Milk: Casein, a protein derived from milk, is used in white wines to reduce the level of phenolic compounds linked to bitterness and browning. 
  • Gelatin: Sourced from animal hooves, gelatin is used like albumin to reduce bitterness. 
  • Insects: Yes, really! Cochineal beetles are sometimes used to improve color in red wines. 

What Makes Vegan Wine Vegan? 

Vegan wine or vegan-friendly wine is a wine that has been processed using 100% plant-based materials. 

Instead of using conventional animal-based fining agents, vegan vintners let particles naturally sink to the bottom of the barrel, or use new plant-based fining agents made from pea protein or clay. 

How to Select the Perfect Vegan Wine For You! 

We are proud to stock an amazing array of organic vegan wine so that you can buy vegan wine online with no stress. The only problem is we’ve got so many fantastic choices, it might be hard to choose which is the best plant-based wine for you! 

Here are a few things to consider when picking out the perfect vegan wine… 

  • What’s the occasion? 

Here at PlantX, we have vegan wine for every event, big or small, fancy or casual. Maybe it’s a summer soiree where you need plenty of festive fizz? Or perhaps it’s an intimate dinner party that calls for a sophisticated red, or a sunny garden party where refreshing rose or sippable white will be flowing? Whatever the occasion, we’ve got you covered. 

  • Will there be food? 

Consider what you’ll be nibbling on alongside your vegan wine and create the perfect pairing. Is it a hearty vegan stew or a creamy vegan risotto? See our vegan wine pairing tips below! 

  • How much do you want to spend? 

We are passionate about offering the best vegan wines for all budgets. That’s why our diverse collection of vegan wine brands offers a huge range of price points, from a lively little white for $3.99 to an award-winning Condrieu for $116.89 and everything in between! 

How Do I Pair Vegan Wine With Vegan Food? 

Despite so many people opting for a plant-based lifestyle, most wine pairing suggestions still revolve around meat, fish, cheese, and chocolate! This can leave us vegans feeling confused about what to pair our vegan wines with. However, pairing vegan food with vegan wine is actually a lot simpler than you might think. 

Here are a few top tips you can follow to create the perfect pairing, every time! 

  • Check out what the original nonvegan wine pairing ideas are and consider what the vegan equivalent would be. Does it go great with grilled meats? Pair with your vegan BBQ tofu skewers and eggplant steaks! Does it pair with creamy pasta or risotto? Just whip up a dairy-free dish with cashew cream or vegan cheese and you’re sorted! 
  • Are you making dishes that originated from a wine-producing region? Consider sourcing a plant-based wine from the same region, pairing Spanish-style vegan tapas with a fruity rioja, or Italian-inspired pasta or vegan pizza with a full-bodied chianti. 
  • It’s all about BALANCE. Pair lighter foods like salads with light and refreshing vegan wines, while heavier dishes can stand up to bolder vegan wines. Serve salty food with acidic, fruity vegan wines, bitter food with low tannin wines like pinot noir, rich food with high tannin reds such as cabernet sauvignon, and sweet food with vegan dessert wines.
  • Did you know we actually offer food pairing suggestions with most of our vegan wines? Check out the Frequently Asked Questions on each of our vegan wine product pages for some seriously delicious ideas! 

Vegan Wine: PlantX Top Picks 

  • Pacific Redwood - Pinot Noir (2020)

Light, subtle, and fragrant, this vegan wine is food-friendly, medium-bodied and made with the finest organic grapes. Serve it with pasta dishes, eggplant bake or grilled veggies. 

  • Pizzolato - Moscato IGT (NV)

Light, crisp, fruity, and floral, this organic vegan wine is perfect for serving with summery fruit desserts. At 6.5% ABV, it’s also a great mixer for cocktails, or a lighter option when you’re having a chilled one! 

  • Frey - Natural Rosé (NV)

This organic vegan wine offers the delicate aromas of strawberries and wild roses. Perfect with creamy pasta, or light plant-based bites, enjoy this biodynamic wine with friends on sunny summer evenings. 

  • Big Guy Wine Cellars - Cabernet Sauvignon (2017)

Bottled and cellared in Napa, CA, this full-bodied vegan wine is smooth, balanced, and rich. Easy-drinking, fruit-forward, and with an edge of smokiness, enjoy this table wine with a plant-based BBQ. 

  • Frey - Chardonnay (2019)

Vivid and fruit-forward, with notes of apple, pear, and caramel, this sustainably-produced vegan wine is perfect for serving with root veggies. Pair it with a creamy butternut squash risotto, roasted carrots, or crispy scalloped potatoes. 

  • Basa Lore - Txakoli Hondarrabi Zuri (2020)

This Basque-country dessert wine is fresh, light, and velvety, with notes of white flowers and citrus fruits. Pair it with vegan Basque cheesecake for a delicious Spanish-inspired dessert. 

Can Vegans Drink Wine? 

With a little help from PlantX, vegans can 100% drink wine! Because scouring the grocery store shelves for vegan wines can be overwhelming, we’ve created our very own 100% vegan liquor store, packed with vegan wines from the best vegan wine brands in the world! 

Buy vegan wines online and say goodbye to worrying about fish in your zinfandel or milk in your merlot. With rich reds, refreshing whites, lively roses, and sophisticated sparklers, we’ve got vegan wines for every plant-based party and cruelty-free cabaret! Cheers! 

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Know if a Wine is Vegan? 

While nonvegan wines are not required to be marked as non-vegan, vegan wines will often have a vegan label. You can also check the label for the words ‘unfined’ or ‘unfiltered’, meaning no fining agents have been used. Many natural organic vegan wines are also unfiltered and therefore cruelty-free. And of course, you can rest assured that all the wines here at PlantX are 100% vegan! 

Are Vegan Wines Sulfite-Free? 

Sulfites are vegan so not all vegan wine is free from added sulfites (some sulfites are created naturally through the wine fermentation process). However, here at PlantX, we have plenty of organic wines and sulfite-free wines to choose from. If you have a sulfite allergy or you’re looking for sulfite-free wine, be sure to check in each product description where we will always state if a wine is free from added sulfites. 

Does Vegan Wine Contain Tannins? 

All wine contains tannins. Tannins are small astringent biomolecules that are derived from the skin, seeds, and stems of the grapes. They enter the wine during the crushing stage. Tannins are responsible for the cheek-puckering quality that young red wines have, as well as lending weight, structure, texture, and mouthfeel to the wine. Tannins are 100% vegan, natural and safe to consume.

Does Vegan Wine Give You A Hangover? 

Unfortunately, just like nonvegan wine, vegan wine might give you a hangover if you drink too much! Some folks think that organic wine or sulfite-free wine will result in less of a hangover. And it’s true that if you are sensitive to sulfites, you might not have as much of a reaction from drinking a sulfite-free, or low-sulfite wine. However, consuming an excessive amount of alcohol will most likely result in a hangover, whether it’s vegan or not!