Is This Wine Vegan?
With many of us becoming more health conscious these days, here at MCS we have fielded several inquiries regarding whether our wines are vegan or not. It so happens, many of our wines are, indeed vegan, and most vegetarian.
Wait, you may be saying to yourselves, I thought wine was made from grapes!
Of course it is. However, animal products can potentially come into play during the filtering and fining process. Isinglass (derived from fish bladders) is a common fining agent in the making of quality sparkling, rosé and white wines. Egg whites and casein are often used in the making of red wine to soften bitter phenolics.
Then there is the issue of biodynamic wines. Perhaps the wine is unfined and unfiltered and therefore vegetarian and vegan, but what does one do philosophically about the cow horns that are used in the silica and manure preparations? Does this fall within acceptable parameters? And what about the use of draught horses? Does the use of a horse in the vineyard for work violate violate any tenets?
We do not have the answers for these questions, but we did ask many of our producers about their fining and filtration agents. It turns out, that among those who do filtration and/or fining, many of the MCS producers prefer diatomaceous earth (called kieselguhr in French), plaque (a plant derived material) or a simple micron filter.
Here is a partial list of wines that vegans and vegetarians should feel comfortable drinking:
Château Sainte-Eulalie-(Vegetarian only- use egg whites for fining)
Secret de L'Enfer (Vegetarian only, egg whites used in fining)
Domaine Marc Colin (Uses horses for ploughing)
Domaine Vigneau-Chevreau-(Cow horns used for biodynamic prep, wines are vegan)