But times change, and many people now want to know exactly what they are eating and drinking (or wearing). And what to avoid.
Before we became more aware of own bodies, and animal welfare, it probably wouldn’t have occurred to us that wines could not be vegan friendly. Wine is just alcoholic grape juice, after all.
But the fact is that winemakers may include animal ingredients in their products directly, or they might use them in the fining and filtration processes.
When filtering drinks prior to bottling, companies can use products like isinglass (from a fish bladder), casein from milk protein, gelatin, egg whites, and sea shells, among other items. These products are used to find any impurities and filter them out.
Put simply, fining removes the “rough edges” derived from grape skins and seeds during the wine-making process.
How this is achieved can be a major concern to people with food allergies, or those on strict vegetarian or vegan diets.
But there are many animal-free alternatives in use and several wineries, cider makers and others are now branding their products “vegan friendly” so that vegans can be sure they are not absorbing anything inadvertently.
Look out for Vegan Friendly stickers or statements on the labels of some of Australia’s leading wine producers like Yalumba, Cullen and Heartland.
“We’ve been making vegan-friendly wines for a long time,” says Vanya Cullen, chief winemaker at Cullen Wines in Margaret River, Western Australia. “Our vegan wines come from being biodynamic, and certified biodynamic, and then going to a place of even greater purity, but adding nothing.
“Nothing added, or taken away, just grapes going to wine – and a better wine. It’s a bit like natural wine. I believe our wines are natural as well as vegan because of this purity in wine growing.
“Quality sustainably with integrity is our philosophy and being vegan and natural are outcomes not intended but nevertheless outcomes of this philosophy – and that’s great, isn’t it?”
Taken from gourmetontheroad.blogspot.com.au
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