In this episode we take a detailed look at wine. We talk to Will, from Selected Grapes, a wine retailer and connoisseur about the reasons why some wines are not vegan, he also gives us a few insights into how to find out if a wine we’ve not experienced before is vegan.
He explains that one of the primary reasons that wines are not vegan is due to the fining and clarifying process. It is then down to the finings agent used, which can often be egg whites or isinglass finings, made from the dried swim bladder of fish… Clearly neither eggs nor fish are vegan! And whilst the principle is that the fining agent bonds to the sediment and is then removed from the wine (so there is no animal ingredients in the wine by the time you drink it), because there have been animal products used during the manufacturing process these wines are not vegan.
Manufacturers like to have clear wine with no sediment for a few reasons:
- Longevity and quality. Many mass-produced wines need to be produced to be very stable, so there can be stored for long periods of time on the shells of shops. In order to stabilise the wine, the manufacturers like to remove as much sediment and possible.
- Clarity. This has led to wines being very clear which has then become synonymous with what wine should look like, crystal clear with no sediment. So, for fine wines the clarity is often driven by consumer demand, rather than any real need to have a clear wine, arguably wines with some sediment can actually be much better.
With red wines we would usually decant the wine slowly, leaving sediment in the bottle. White wines with sediment usually have more body, more flavour and to test this principle we decided to try a bottle of wine recommended by our guest. Listen to the whole podcast to hear what we think about a cloudy white wine!
During the podcast . We also talk about seasonal fruit and veg, this week it’s strawberries and we mention making strawberry jam as well as a strawberry chilli and pepper relish.