I don’t have any “special dietary requirements” when it comes to food and drink but I know many of you do.
When the Co-op told me they were extending their vegan-friendly range of wines I thought “oooo” shame on me, I could be helping you with this one, especially as Veganuary was a popular lifestyle choice a few weeks ago.
When is a wine vegan-friendly?
Animal products might be used in the winemaking process at the fining stages – that’s when the impurities are removed from the wines to create a clear liquid.
These fining agents can include egg white, isinglass (which comes from fish) and charcoal which could be made from animal bones. They are added to the wine and the “cloudy bits” cling to them and drift downwards leaving the wine clear. A wine is vegan-friendly when the fining process is done using a non-animal product, such as pea protein.
Three vegan-friendly wines
The Co-op has just added eight new wines to its vegan range, including Co-op Irresistible Viognier Pays d’Oc (£7.49, 13.5% abv) which I shared with a friend. It has honeyed notes together with dried apples, peach and citrus and a shake of spice which adds an interesting dimension. It isn’t overly acidic and has a touch of creaminess. A huge bowl of chicken pasta was its suppertime pal.
Marks & Spencer has more than 420 vegan-friendly wines, which is over half its range. There’s a lovely red, Terres de Moraines Madiran 2013 (£9.50, 14.5% abv) which is full-bodied, laden with red berries and spice, and rich and silky with soft tannins. It is perfect with a grilled steak.
If sparkling wine is your thing then Aldi’s delightful Organic Extra Dry Prosecco (£7.99, 11.5% abv) pops a fruit flurry of pears and apples, together with gentle aromas of acacia flowers. It is vegan-friendly with a fizzy flourish.
I find a vegan-friendly drinks’ database
The alcohol education charity Drinkaware has some vegan guidelines on its website www.drinkaware.co.uk and from there I followed a link to www.barnivore.com which is a really useful community-created database of alcoholic drinks.
I know it is US-based but even so I tapped away at its 37,000 entries to discover vegan-friendly drinks in the UK. Here are some of the search results (I’m sure you can find more) and bear in mind the list won’t be exhaustiive, as it relies on community submissions. Please tell me if you know of a better database and I’ll include here.
Learn more about being a vegan at www.vegansociety.com
This is based on a piece first published in over 30 Trinity Mirror regional newspapers including:
Hull Daily Mail – Leicester Mercury – Cambridge News – Liverpool Echo –South Wales Echo – Daily Post Wales – Huddersfield Examiner
– The Chronicle, Newcastle – Teesside Gazette –
Birmingham Mail – Coventry Telegraph – Paisley Daily Express