I read something online recently that piqued my curiosity. “Can Vegans Drink Wine?” at winefolly.com says strict vegans find it challenging to determine which wines are vegan because labels don’t always provide enough information to determine this.
Many wines are “fined,” meaning that animal-based products such as albumin (egg whites) or isinglass (a fish byproduct) are used to clarify them. Although these animal-derived products are removed before bottling, the wines often can’t be considered strictly vegan. Other wines are filtered through animal products before bottling.
Current labeling laws do not require a listing of animal-derived products used in vinification or the admission that the wine is unfined and/or unfiltered. Wines that are unfined and unfiltered before bottling are considered vegan. Organic or biodynamic wines may or may not be vegan.
To find answers to their questions, vegans can contact the producers of various wines, or visit barnivore.com, for a listing of vegan wines. Many small production U.S. pinot noirs are unfined and unfiltered and qualify as vegan. Also, Trader Joe’s employees can access a list of all of the company’s vegan products, including wine.