Judging a Wine By the Label? Think Again!

Plantie Picks

Penfolds Bin 389 Cabernet – Shiraz

It’s a perfect marriage between Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. This Australian beauty, with its deep purple hue, is smooth and easy to...

You might think that a wine bottle label holds all the information you need: it’s a Cabernet, it says “natural” under that, and the cute picture of a duck sells it for you. But wait, not every wine with a “natural” advertisement is going to live up to your plant-based lifestyle. In fact, the way wine is often processed isn’t even vegan friendly.

One of the processes to make wine uses additives called fining agents. These clarify the wine and remove substances that make the liquid cloudy. The problem is these agents are often animal-based proteins, which can include casein, gelatin, or even egg whites! And even though they’re filtered out before being corked, the residual leftover of the matter isn’t solely plant-based. The thing is, they aren’t chemicals, and therefore, the misleading title of “natural” can be applied to the bottle.

Because winemakers aren’t legally obliged to put their ingredients on a label, you’ll need to do your research before you hit the stores. It might seem a bit overwhelming, especially because most people think the only ingredient in wine is grapes. Don’t fret. Plantie is here to help you find a refreshing Riesling, a cruelty-free Cabernet, or the most magnificent Moscato with our advice below.

Research.

researching-wine
Caio | Pexels

Though they might not have to publicize it in stores, most companies will inform you of their processes on their websites. If they use the phrase “fining” or “clarification” you know it’s probably not okay for your consumption. Nevertheless, some of the ingredients they use would be safe for your lifestyle.

Related Article: Five Ways To Ease Into a Plant-Based Lifestyle

Learn the lingo.

learning-wine-lingo
Damir Spanic | Unsplash

If it’s “unfined,” it’s fine to drink. A bottle labeled “unfined” or “kosher” will not have been through the fining process. However, if it is fined with bentonite, which is basically clay, that will hold up to plant-based standards.

Related Article: A Q&A Session with a Plant-Based Transformational Coach

Understand the outcome.

Helena Lopes | Pexels

Unfined or unfiltered wine might be a bit cloudy and have residual sediment. Though some people might find this difficult to drink, there are others that claim the depth of taste is better. If you do find you aren’t partial to the sediment, you can always strain your own wine using a coffee filter and some patience.

So if you’re looking for a nice hostess gift or a pairing with your olive and cracker plate, use our tips above to do some research, or check out Plantie’s vegan wine list which has dozens of options. Find your new favorite vino today!

Featured

Living a CBD-infused lifestyle: From the kitchen to the yoga mat

Since it was federally legalized in 2018, cannabidiol — more widely known as CBD — has gone full craze. Medicinal use has...

The Flexitarian Diet: What, Why & How To Eat Less Meat

If you’re looking to eat healthier but don’t want to give up meat, you may want to consider adopting the Flexitarian Diet....

10 Superfoods to Get You Through the Winter

Searching for a way to enhance your diet throughout the blustery months? Look no further! Superfoods are nutritional powerhouses that help your...

Ceremonial Cacao: A Conversation About It’s Use and Effects

Cacao is a plant of deep ceremonial importance to the native peoples of Central and South America. It’s stewed in spiritual, cultural...

How To Have a More Sustainable Christmas Tree

In the sustainability contest, fresh Christmas trees might seem like a clear winner against plastic alternatives, but forested evergreens aren’t all they’re...

More For You