Judging a Wine By the Label? Think Again!

Plantie Picks

Montonale Orestilla 2017

This excellent wine from Italy is difficult to define, but in simpler terms, suffice it to say it has some of the...

Inniskillin Vidal Icewine 2016

Take dessert up a notch with this delicious ice wine. This one definitely has the “Wow!” factor with an explosion of aromas...

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

Managing Circadian Rhythms: Are You Working With or Against Your Natural Sleep Cycle?

Anyone who’s ever Googled “Why am I so tired?” or taken a biology class has heard about circadian rhythms. They’re our bodies’...

The Lowdown on Intuitive Eating: What It Is and How to Do It

Move over diet culture! You've had your time in the sun, and we're done with you. We're on to bigger and (much)...

Trouble Sleeping? Try Adding These 6 Foods to Your Diet

It may feel as if caffeine can solve your every problem, but nothing beats the natural buzz of a good night’s sleep—but...

Why Self-Care Isn’t Selfish (But It Can Be Boring)

Do you roll your eyes at the phrase “self-care?” You’re not alone. We don’t all have time for bath bombs and face...

Tips and Tricks for Succeeding in Veganuary (And How to Thrive Plant-Based Year-Round)

If you're reading this, there's a good chance you've heard of Veganuary — and if not, don't worry. That's why we're here. 

More For You