The food industry is much like any other business. It has to keep up with the market’s current needs to stay afloat. With customers’ growing demand for vegan products, even the wine industry has bent and provided. Aside from vegan food, you’ll be seeing various vegan wine choices lining up the shelves, too.
There’s not much difference between ‘normal’ wine and vegan wine. The only distinction between the two is the fining process. Regular wine uses animal-derived substances. Vegan wine, on the other hand, utilizes natural fining agents, which may come as bentonite clay, silica gel, activated charcoal, or pea gelatin.
On your next fancy dinner date, don’t just settle for vegan food alone when vegan wines are available for you to try. Let the list below be your helpful guide in wine options that fit your vegan lifestyle.
- Red Wine
Red wine is arguably the poster child for the popular liquor, and it’s no surprise that there are vegan options for it, too.
One of the most common red wine varieties is pinot noir. It’s made from a grape variety grown globally, usually in places with cooler climates. Despite the difficulties in cultivating and producing wines with this variety, pinot noir remains a top choice among connoisseurs and regular folks alike.
You can pair your ‘steak’ meals with a glass of Devil’s Staircase or any other pinot noir brand that’s vegan-friendly. You’ll know if what you’re drinking is made for vegans if the bottle has ‘unfiltered’ or ‘unfined’ on the label.
- White Wine
It’s pretty tough to find vegan options for white wine. Wine needs to be filtered to rid the liquor of unwanted flavors, aromas, and excess yeast or proteins after fermentation. With a bit of snooping around, however, you may find vegan white wine options that were filtered using vegetable- or mineral-derived substances. When browsing, always check the brand’s official website for more information, like their filtration process and sustainability measures, to ensure you’re getting actual vegan wine.
Vegan options tend to be pricey, and liquor is no exception to that. But, you might even encounter organic, quality white wine that’s not only vegan-friendly, but budget-friendly, too.
- Sparkling Wine
You might spot vegan sparkling wine options, like brut or blanc de blanc, in many big retail or small liquor stores near your area. So, you can have a tall glass of sparkling Moscato next to fried potatoes and onions, or a hearty bowl of soup. Others, however, might only be available online or abroad (sometimes straight from Italy).
Some vegan sparkling wines, like champagne, may have price points that shoot up from the usual. If you’ve got the budget for it or if it’s for a special occasion, buy yourself a few bottles and serve them on ice to your guests.
Tip: not everybody’s a fan of warm white wine. Thus, keep your champagne bottles nice and icy on a countertop wine cooler, or keep it chilled in the fridge before serving.
- Rosé Wine
Rosé is that blush pink crowd-pleaser that might even attract the kids (but keep it away from them until they’re old enough) during summer parties. It’s the perfect starter for wine newbies due to its sweet flavor and light taste.
It’s made with black grapes and may initially look like red wine, until the skins are removed after a while. Find one produced using organically-grown grapes, so you’re sure you’re getting the vegan variety. Well-known examples of rosé include:
- Rosado – a deep pink Spanish-style rosé with a light and fresh flavor
- Rosato – the Italian version that ranges from light to bold, depending on which region it came from
- Provence-style – a fruity and zesty pale pink rosé
Try out some vegan rosé to get you started if you’re also a wine beginner. Rosé pairs well with light dishes, so you could have a glass of it on the side when eating snacks, like chips with salsa, or cut fruit. Light rosé wine is excellent with either spicy or salty food. Tangier, bolder rosés can match up with vegan pizza and pasta.
- Orange Wine
Contrary to its name, orange wine isn’t made from citrus fruits. It’s lesser-known than its other cousins here on this list, but you may discover vegan versions of this in stores nearby.
Orange wine is created much like rosé or red wine, except white grapes are used instead of red or black. Wine-makers keep the skin on the grapes during the fermentation process, which is why the drink ends up with an amber hue.
Like other vegan wines, it all comes down to how the orange wine was processed and filtered to consider it a vegan liquor. Orange wine can be that middle ground between white wine, and rosé or red wine. It suits heartier dishes, like veggie-based meats, and pairs excellently with lighter food. However, unlike white wine, you can serve orange wine a little warmer, but just not too warm.
- Dessert Wine
Most people will enjoy something sweet to cap off a full meal. Whether you prefer a slice of cake or a sweet drink, you can never go wrong with a little bit of both worlds in the form of dessert wine.
Dessert wine, sometimes referred to as sweet wine, is often served after a meal as a pairing to the last course or as the dessert itself. You may find vegan dessert wines available in bottles or, better yet, travel-friendly cans at varying prices, usually pretty affordable. Some examples of dessert wines are:
- Ice wine
This drink is higher in alcohol content compared to other wines, which is why you’ll often see it poured into smaller glasses. It can come in either white or red colors, and depending on the type you choose, it can be served either chilled or at room temperature. Because of its sweet taste, you can have your own vegan-style wine and cheese party, with it as the star of the show. Or, for more fun, exchange the cheeses with vegan cakes and cookies, and hold a dessert party instead.
Wine And Dine
With more and more vegan-friendly food options popping up, it wouldn’t make sense if you couldn’t find vegan versions of wine, too. There are many choices out there for you choose for your next big event. So, do away with plain old water and fruit juices and shake your meals up with a chilled bottle of vegan wine you won’t regret.