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Why wine is not always vegan

Why wine is not (always) vegan and vegetarian

Have you also heard that wine is not vegan? Even if the wine is made from grapes, in fact, it is not always purely vegetable. This is not because of the insects that could accidentally come to harm during the harvest, but mainly because of traditional production methods. There are good reasons to live vegan. These are of a health, ecological and above all animal ethical nature. Therefore, we go to the bottom of the matter here in more detail!

In this article I would like to show you why wine today is usually not vegan and often not even vegetarian. In addition, you will learn how you can recognize 100% plant-based wines and continue to enjoy the noble drops even as a die-hard vegan. Let's go!

Why wine is not vegan - at least not most of the time!

Red wine in glass in front of vines

Until the grapes end up in wine production, the manufacturing process is still vegan as a rule. But that changes as soon as the winemakers use casein, egg white, lysozyme, albumin, swim bladders from fish, or gelatin - i.e. animal products - to remove suspended matter from the wine after fermentation. If the wine is clarified with gelatin - a collagen found, for example, in the skin, rind, bones or connective tissue of pigs or cattle - it is not even vegetarian.

Good to know: Yeasts are also necessary for the fermentation of the wine. However, these belong to the fungi and are therefore vegan.

animal additives in wine production

Here I would like to explain the use of animal substances in the production of wines in more detail:

  • CaseinCasein is obtained from boiled milk and used by winemakers to remove turbidity or a slight vinegar tinge from white wines. Even if the casein usually remains only in a small proportion in the final wine, it is ultimately vegetarian but not vegan.
  • Egg white: Protein is used in the clarification process. Globular proteins contained therein (Albumine) give the wine a milder note. The protein also contains the enzyme Lysozyme, which prevents rapid acid degradation in the wine. The protein settles to the bottom during the production process, so it is usually not present in the wine bottle sold, or only in small quantities.
  • Gelatin: Gelatin, usually obtained from pork rinds, is also used to remove turbidity and from the wine. After the gelatin has bound these larger particles and sunk to the bottom, the clearest possible wine can be skimmed off. However, the use of gelatin does not make the wine suitable for vegans or vegetarians.
  • Fish bubble: The swim bladder, often used by sturgeon and specially prepared for wine production, is also intended to clarify unwanted turbidity from the wine. This insert is also not vegan and not vegetarian.

Notice: The glue used for wine labels is also often (strictly speaking) not vegan, as it contains casein glues. To find out more about this, you usually have to ask each supplier separately.

How can I tell if wine is vegan or not?

First of all, a wine is vegan if it has not been "traditionally" prepared with proteins, gelatin or swim bladders, but only with vegan fining agents. Vegan wines are made, for example, with vegetable proteins from Potatoes, beans or peas clarified, which also bind turbidity substances at the bottom. Also the mineral soil Bentonite, activated carbon or inorganic gelatin are used for this purpose. Phew! So vegans don't have to do without wine! But how to recognize the appropriate wines now?

Unfortunately, there is no manufacturer obligation to label the use of gelatin or fish bladders on the wine label. Many winemakers but advertise quite aggressively with the sales argumentif their wine is vegan. With the corresponding wines you can then be pretty sure that their ingredients - the vegan lifestyle according to - are purely vegetable.

Otherwise, in the meantime also helps the well-known and conspicuous V-Labelthat adorns the labels of many wines. Also the Vegan label and the Vegan flower are corresponding indications. In an increasing number of supermarkets, you can also find the Price tag recognize which wine has definitely been produced without animal aids. With each passing day, more wine producers will make their production purely plant-based and label their products accordingly. So recognizing or finding vegan wines is becoming easier and easier!

Tip: A vegan wine is often but not automatically an organic wine. That's why you should take another look the next time you want to treat yourself to an animal-friendly AND organic wine.

Which types of wine are definitely vegan?

There are many wines that are not vegan. But fortunately there are also more and more of them that are produced without gelatine, fish bladders & Co. Here I would like to introduce you to some of the hundreds of purely plant-produced wines that you can in classic supermarkets and organic markets in Germany:

  • Organic grape Merlot (Red wine, Rewe)
  • Landlust Rivaner & Pinot Blanc (White Burgundy, Rewe)
  • Organic Vine Chardonnay (White Chardonnay, Rewe)
  • Chianti Classico DOCG 2014 (Red wine, denn's Biomarkt)
  • Organic Tempranillo Rosado (Rosé wine, Penny)
  • Sontino Sangiovese (Red Wine, Real)
  • Alnatura Edition Organic La Mancha Blanco (White wine, Alnatura)
  • Organic Rheinhessen/Pfalz Regent QbA (Red wine, Aldi North)
  • BIOBIO Trebbiano d'Abruzzo DOC (white wine, net)
  • Stellar Organics Merlot (Red wine, Veganz)
  • Sontino BioVegan Cabernet Sauvignon Rosato (Rosé wine, Lidl)
  • Organic Vine Riesling (Riesling, Rewe/Kaisers)
  • Organic Dornfelder Rosé (Rosé wine, Edeka)
  • Käfer Organic & Vegan Nero d'Avola DOC (Red wine, Lidl)
  • Wine hawkmoth Regent medium dry (red wine, Kaufland)
  • Organic Pinot Grigio (White wine, Edeka)

I could make this list much longer. But the important thing is simply that you now know some vegan wines and so even as a vegan do not have to do without the taste of wine.

What vegan wine would you recommend to your friends? Feel free to write me a comment below this post with any other suggestions.

Wine is not always vegan and vegetarian!

Vines from which red wine is made

Maybe until today you always wondered when someone told you that wine was not vegan. It is more and more often vegan, but just not always. As long as winemakers use gelatine, fish bladders and other animal fining agents in wine production, vegans and vegetarians have to take a closer look when buying wine. But after 2-3 purchases, you usually already know exactly what to look out for. And you also know the wines that the manufacturers produce with absolute certainty without animal suffering.

I hope that I could help you with this article about vegan or non-vegan wines. Do you have any questions or would you like to recommend a purely plant-based wine? Then just write me a comment.

Stay pet friendly,

Christoph from CareElite - Plastic-free living

PS.: You want to stop the exploitation of animals and the Stop factory farming? Then you will now learn in the linked article, how you can support this project every day!

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* Links with asterisks are so-called Affiliate linksIf you click on it and buy something, you actively support my work with, because I get a small share of the sales revenue. Thank you for your support and best regards, Christoph!


Christoph Schulz

I'm Christoph, an environmental scientist and author - and here at CareElite I'm campaigning against plastic waste in the environment, climate change and all the other major environmental problems of our time. Together with other environmentally conscious bloggers, I want to give you tips & tricks for a naturally healthy, sustainable life as well as your personal development.

2 thoughts on “Warum Wein nicht (immer) vegan und vegetarisch ist”

  1. Hello Christoph,

    best thanks 😉

    The question of what is not vegan about wine is asked very often.

    After reading this beautiful article, you can answer them accurately.

    Climate-friendly greetings,

    Climate change ?? Now.

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