How to match wines to a vegan diet

An increasing number of wines are vegan, but which ones to pair with your healthy new year recipes?

There’s a lot of noise right now about vegan wines, as if they’re some huge new trend. In fact, these days a great many wines are already made in a way that makes them suitable, and have been for some time. The key requirement is that no animal-derived products are used in their production, ruling out isinglass (fish bladder), egg whites and milk protein during fining, a clarifying process.

But how can you tell? Well, almost all supermarket own-label wines make it clear, plus an increasing number of producers put the information on their labels, and organic sites such as Vintage Roots list wines that are vegan. Yet this doesn’t guarantee that vegans will regard them favourably. Just as food can contain plenty of E numbers, it’s perfectly possible for a commercial wine that’s made in huge quantities to use additives in the winemaking process. If that concerns you, look out for natural or organic wines that are not fined or filtered.

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