Three Favorite Vegan-Friendly Wines according to @vegan.uncorked (with a bonus)
Vegans want to come to the party too! However, not all wine is vegan-friendly. Some winemakers use animal based fining agents like gelatin, egg whites, casein, or isinglass (fish bladder). Fining removes haziness and off-odors from wines and gives the wine a bright appearance. Fortunately, there are plenty of vegan-friendly wines to choose from. Wine makers can use vegetable proteins, charcoal, or bentonite as fining agents instead. Additionally, fining is not practiced by all winemakers.
Let’s take a look at three of my favorite vegan-friendly wines:
Merry Edwards Wines are listed as vegan-friendly on Barnivore.com. The Russian River Valley, in Sonoma County, California is an area that gets a lot of fog which keeps the temperatures cool making it a great place to grow Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The 2016 Pinot Noir Georganne is a typical New World Pinot Noir with big fruit flavors, oak, and high alcohol. It has aromas and flavors of strawberry, raspberry, pomegranate, vanilla, cinnamon, and milk chocolate. This is a very good to outstanding wine and is delicious now but also has potential for aging.
Clau de Nell from the Anjou region in the Loire Valley in France is another great wine. After a bit of research I found that the 2018 Clau de Nell Violette did not undergo fining or filtration which makes it vegan-friendly. It is made from one-third Cabernet Sauvignon and two-thirds Cabernet Franc. It is an aptly named wine with a deep purple hue and an explosion of violet perfume on the nose. The many layers of aromas and flavors include: blackcurrant, redcurrant, plum, candied cherry, bell pepper, nutmeg, vanilla, and milk chocolate. It is a delicious wine, but still quite young, and will likely taste even better in another 5 years.
Is any vegan-friendly wine list complete without Dom Pérignon? Listed as vegan-friendly on Barnivore.com, the 2009 Dom Pérignon is an energetic sparkling wine with aromas and flavors of creamy citrus, green apple, minerality and yeast-like notes of biscuit and brioche. Dom Pérignon offers consistent quality and aging potential. Prices start at around $150 but depending on the vintage and the time spent on the lees before disgorgement, you can spend thousands of dollars for one bottle.
Bonus: If you are looking for dessert to round out an evening, look no further than Royal Tokaji, a sweet wine from Hungary, listed as vegan-friendly on Barnivore.com. Royal Tokaji makes wines affected by “noble rot”, a type of fungus that removes water from grapes, leaving concentrated amounts of sugar and flavor. Wines made from these grapes are sweet with flavors of honey and ginger. The Tokaj wine region in Hungary is famous for producing these delicious sweet wines. This 2016 Royal Tokaji 5 Puttonyos Aszu wine is fresh and vibrant with flavors of lime, apricot, marmalade, honey, and sweet spice. A perfect ending to any evening.