Did you know..?
Did you know wines aren’t vegan?
All young wines are hazy and contain tiny molecules such as proteins, tartrates, tannins and phenols. Because we like our wines to be clear and bright, it needs to be clarified. This clarification process is called ‘fining’.
Fining agents help separating these haze-inducing molecules from the wine. The fining agent acts like a magnet – attracting the molecules around it. They turn solid around the fining agent, creating fewer but larger particles, which can then be more easily removed.
Traditionally the most commonly used fining agents are casein (a milk protein), albumin (egg whites), gelatin (animal protein) and isinglass (fish bladder protein). These fining agents are known as processing aids. They are not additives to the wine, as they are taken out along with the haze molecules.
Fining with casein and albumin is usually acceptable to most vegetarians but all four are off limits for vegans because tiny traces of the fining agent may be absorbed into the wine during the fining process.
Luckily for all the vegan wine-lovers, there are several common fining agents that are animal-friendly and used to make vegan wine. Carbon, bentonite clay, limestone, kaolin clay, plant casein, silica gel, and vegetable plaques are all suitable alternatives.