Ok, this one is going to come as a bit of a shock, but as a general rule - wine isn't vegan....I know, I know and yes you are right, grapes are a fruit so if grapes are vegan and wine isn't what the hell else is in our wine and how did it get there?
Simply put grape skins & other things (stems, pips) can cause haze, and haze is basically wine that's bright and clear or even worse - floaters in your wine! So wineries go through a process called "fining" they add additional products like Gelatine (Animal Collagen), Isinglass (Swim bladders of fish), Albumen (egg white) or Casein (Milk Protein) as these elements, once added attach to the "bits" floating in the wine and help them sink to the bottom so the wine is beautifully clear. As a result, traces will remain hence most wine isn't vegan.
Next time you are enjoying a bottle of wine take a quick glance at the back of the label, somewhere in there it will say something to the effect of "due to the methods of making the wine traces of egg whites/milk protein etc may remain". See that? Down there in the small print? Bingo! See non-vegan wine.
Let me hasten to say this is absolutely standard practice in winemaking, it is in no way harmful & the traces are just that - traces, it won't affect the taste or the quality of the wine at all. It just won't be vegan.
So I've picked three wines from wineries where the entire winery is vegan so you are safe picking any wine from any of these wineries.
Momo Pinot Gris 2017 from Central Otago is the lower tier of the Seresin Vineyard. Seresin have succeed with Momo (Maori for "Offspring") in making a bloody amazing range of wines which are organic & vegan & in an amazing price bracket. This Momo Gris is only $19. This wine is so central otago with beautiful fresh stone fruit flavours & bright acidity. Sooo moreish! Pick this up from www.seresin.co.nz or via traditional Liquor Stores
Everyone who knows me knows I'm obsessed with Te Whare Ra Wines from Marlborough and I love all of their wines, but the one I have chosen here is the 2017 Toru, "Toru" which means “three” in Maori and this wine is an aromatic blend of Gewürztraminer, Riesling and Pinot Gris. Floral without being too floral bringing out the best of all three varietals. It is not at all sweet which you would think so with that blend! It's about 7grams of residual sugar making it just off dry. You can get this in liquor stores for about $28
Rockburn Pinot Noir 2015 fromCentral Otago is a stunning Pinot, in fact ALL of the Rockburn wines are pretty bloody impressive. This wine is so perfectly Central Otago Pinot. Fruity taste of red and black cherry, smooth tannins (so not bitter) and a long delicious finish. It's so elegant & this wine would be such an amazing gift for a vegan friend (or any friend at all). Rockburn are multi-award winning and with this wine, you can really see why! This retails at $50 but I have seen it for $40 in New World which is a steal!
The thing I love about these wineries is that they believe that the less you interfere, the more you get wine which is an expression of the land & the grapes. They treat the land and the vines with love and respect and allow nature to decide what wine comes from that - just beautiful.
So for those of you wondering is all vegan wine hazy with floaters? Not at all, wineries just use different techniques, for example, they Hand harvesting - this helps as the grapes are treated nicely & as a result, you only get grapes in the mix. They don't fine their red wines – leave it for long enough the bits will settle. For white wines, they use tiny amounts of Bentonite (volcanic mud!) which is completely natural to fine/stabilise their whites.
Happy Vegan Shopping Yawl!