Yep, it’s definitely still January and most people are still being “good”, whether you are becoming more mindful about eating and drinking, abstaining from booze, meat or dairy, January has become synonymous with healthy eating, no drinking and basically taking out all the good stuff!
Following on from last week’s blog which reviewed a fab selection of non alcoholic alternatives that hopefully got you through the second weekend of January (?), this week we thought we would continue our support of all things “new year” and have a look at some vegan friendly wine options for those of you stil enjoying the odd wee glass but partaking in “Veganuary”.
So, what makes a wine vegan and why exactly are all wines not vegan and vegetarian friendly anyway considering wine is produced from grapes? Historically, wine producers have always used animal derived products to act as a filter for organic particles that may be detrimental to a wine's colour, appearance, flavour and texture. These particles occur naturally in the wine making process and the majority of consumers would object to bits of grape skin and dead yeast cells floating about in their Friday night Sauvignon Blanc. The products traditionally used to filter the wines include isinglass (fish bladder), gelatin, blood or bone marrow, albumen, casein (milk protein) and fish or shellfish fibres. This practice has been used for hundreds of years and is really a great example of the ingenuity of the human race to think to filter a wine using bone marrow or fish bladder!
Times have changed dramatically over the last decade, with more and more awareness on the detrimental effects of consuming and using so many animal derived products and the ever increasing and changing demands of consumers, more producers are now choosing to use mineral and plant based fining agents such as bentonite clay and silical gel. Unfined and unfiltered ‘natural’ wines also fall into the vegan friendly wine category as nothing at al is added to these wines pre bottling. So, if you are following #veganuary but not #dryjanuary and fancy a wee tipple (let's be honest, doing both would be serious challenge!), here are a few vegan and vegetarian friendly wines to look out for.....
Aldi Organic Prosecco
In a very pretty bottle, with a very January friendly price tag and not to mention this is 100% vegan, what’s not to love about this delicious, organic Prosecco?! Made with zero insecticides and pesticides, produced using renewable energy and packaged in recycled materials as well as being extra dry, fresh, full of fizz and lemony punch, this is an absolute vegan wine win! Delicious on it’s own, with roasted veggies, falafel or chips.
Tesco Finest Côtes de Gascogne
A firm weeknight favourite here at Bibo HQ, this is cracking value and vegan friendly! From the South West of France and a blend of two white varieties; Colombard and Gros Manseng, this is packed full of zesty citrus, apple, pear and blossom. Dreamy with a creamy fish pie or veggie/vegan pasta.
2016/2017 Vinalba Malbec Bondara
From Mendoza in Argentina and a blend of two of the country’s signature grape varieties: Malbec and Bonarda. This is full bodied, rich, warming and exactly what the doctor (the wine doctor) ordered. 100% vegan although ironically best enjoyed with a rich, juicy, succulent steak (sorry!). Alternatively try with falafel, lentil and mushroom based dishes or a rich tomato pasta.
We would love to hear from you about some of your favourite wines and review them on the blog. Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or pop a comment below and we’ll get back to you. Enjoy x