how to tell if wine is vegan

How to Tell if Wine is Vegan: A Simple Guide

If you’re a vegan or a vegetarian, you probably already know that wine isn’t always vegan-friendly. In fact, many wines are made with animal-derived fining agents that are used to clarify the wine and remove any sediments or impurities. Fortunately, there are ways to tell if a wine is vegan before you unwittingly consume animal products.

In this guide, we’ll explain what makes a wine vegan and how you can check if a particular wine is vegan. We’ll also discuss the vegan certification process for wines and answer some common questions about vegan wine. Whether you’re a seasoned wine connoisseur or a new vegan trying to navigate the complex world of wine, this guide will help you make informed choices about what you’re drinking.

What Makes a Wine Vegan?

Not all wines are vegan; some winemaking techniques involve the use of animal-derived products. If you are looking for vegan wine, it’s essential to understand what makes a wine non-vegan. Here are some of the most common ingredients that can make a wine non-vegan:

Ingredient Non-Vegan Source
Fining Agents Animal-derived, such as gelatin and isinglass (fish bladder)
Colouring Agents Carmine (crushed beetles)
Flavourings Some artificial flavors can be non-vegan, as they may contain animal products like dairy or honey.

Fortunately, there are also many vegan-friendly alternatives used in winemaking:

Ingredient Vegan Alternative
Fining Agents Plant-based, such as bentonite clay, activated charcoal, and pea protein isolate.
Colouring Agents Natural alternatives can be used, such as beetroot juice
Flavourings Natural flavors are often used in vegan wine, such as extracts from fruits, flowers, and spices.

By choosing vegan wines, you can enjoy delicious wine without any animal products.

How to Check if a Wine is Vegan

If you’re not sure whether a wine is vegan or not, there are a few things you can do to find out. The easiest way is to look for a vegan certification label on the bottle or check the winery’s website for information on their winemaking process.

However, not all vegan wines are certified, so it’s always good to know what to look for on the label. Here are some key words and phrases to keep an eye out for:

Non-Vegan Ingredients Vegan-Friendly Ingredients
Gelatin Bentonite Clay
Isinglass Activated Charcoal
Egg Whites Carbon
Casein Vegetable Proteins

If the label doesn’t provide any clues, you can always contact the winery directly and ask if their wine is vegan-friendly.

Another helpful resource is the Barnivore website or app. This website lists thousands of wines, beers, and spirits and indicates whether they are vegan, vegetarian, or neither. It’s a great tool to use when you’re out shopping or trying new wines at a bar or restaurant.

Vegan Certification for Wine

For those who want to be absolutely sure that their wine is vegan-friendly, there are several certification labels to look out for. These certifications are issued by independent organizations that have set strict criteria for what can be labelled as ‘vegan’.

Vegan Society Label

The Vegan Society is a UK-based organization that certifies products as vegan. Wines that have the Vegan Society label have been thoroughly checked to ensure that no animal-derived products have been used in the winemaking process. This label is recognized worldwide and is a reliable indicator of a wine’s vegan status.

Certified Vegan Label

The Certified Vegan label is issued by Vegan Action, a US-based non-profit organization that promotes veganism. Wines that have this label have met strict criteria, including a prohibition on the use of animal-derived fining agents. This label is also recognized internationally and can help consumers identify vegan wines from around the world.

It’s worth noting that not all vegan wines carry a certification label, as some winemakers may not see the need to go through the certification process. However, if you are unsure about a wine’s vegan status, looking for one of these labels can give you peace of mind.

FAQ: Common Questions about Vegan Wine

As awareness about the benefits of veganism continues to grow, more and more people are switching to a vegan lifestyle. This has led to an increase in demand for vegan products, including vegan wine. Here are some of the most common questions that people have about vegan wine.

Is organic wine always vegan?

No, just because a wine is organic doesn’t mean it’s vegan. While organic wines are made from grapes that are grown without the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilisers, they may still use animal-derived fining agents in the winemaking process.

Is natural wine always vegan?

No, natural wine is not always vegan. Like organic wine, natural wine is made with minimal intervention and without the use of additives. However, it may still use animal-derived fining agents or contain other non-vegan ingredients.

Can I still enjoy wine if I’m vegan?

Absolutely! There are many vegan-friendly wines available, and once you know what to look for, it’s easy to identify them. You can also use apps and websites that provide a list of vegan-friendly wines.

What are some vegan-friendly wine regions?

Some of the most vegan-friendly wine regions in the world include Australia, New Zealand, California, and South Africa. These regions are known for their vegan-friendly production processes and offer a wide range of vegan wines to choose from.

What are some vegan certifications for wine?

Some of the most recognised vegan certifications for wine include the Vegan Society label and the Certified Vegan label. These labels indicate that the wine has gone through a rigorous certification process and is free from animal-derived fining agents and other non-vegan additives.


Choosing vegan wine is easy once you know what to look for. By checking the label, using apps and websites, and choosing wines with vegan certifications, you can enjoy a delicious glass of wine without compromising your ethical values.

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