May 25, 2012

National Wine Day

"Compromises are for relationships, not wine." - Sir Robert Scott Caywood

It's National Wine Day!

One thing that vegetarians and vegans neglect when they begin eating their plant-based diets is alcohol. It's actually easy in comparison to not eat animals or use animal byproducts then it is to drink conscientiously.

How's this for startling...

Some of the ingredients used during the production process of wine making (fermenting, clarifying/fining, etc.) include:
- gelatin (a.k.a. animal bones)
- isinglass (a.k.a fish bladders)
- casein (a.k.a. milk proteins)
- chitosan (a.k.a. exoskeleton of crustaceans)
- albumin (a.k.a. eggs or dried blood)

Because clarifiers are removed from the wine before it's sold commercially, winemakers aren't required by law to put what they use on the label.

Don't panic, though! Not all wines include these ingredients (some wineries actually let the sediment in their product settle out naturally; others use a clay mineral to clarify it; and, some proudly tote the fact that their wine is entirely unfiltered).

So, how do you tell if wine (or beer or hard liquor) is vegan?

Barnivore.com. Heard of it? You should really check 'em out. With over 7,000 entries that have been checked (and frequently double and triple checked by the Barnivore community) to see if they're vegan or not, they're the leading online alcohol directory for those of us who would rather avoid a little fish gut in our vino.

So, vegheads, think twice about what you consume tonight and have a...

Happy National Wine Day!