If you’re one of many giving Veganuary a spin this year, you’re in good company.
According to Veganuary.com, more than 582,000 folks from 209 countries and territories took part in last year’s month-long challenge, and once the figures are in, 2022 is bound to top that number.
When it comes to a plant-based lifestyle, there’s so much more to it than what’s on your plate - your cup counts too. Surprisingly, there are many drinks and juices that contain traces of animal products.
It seems not a week goes by without a vegan alternative or new product launching, and now companies are moving their focus to drinks too. SPAR is the latest store to launch its own collection of vegan-only wine, making it more accessible and affordable for all.
But how can you spot if a bottle ticks the boxes? Luckily, the team of sustainable wine experts over at When in Rome have offered pointers on what to look out for to ensure your wine is vegan, as reasons to go organic too.
Look for ‘unfiltered’ or ‘unfined’ on the packaging
During the fermentation process, natural sugars of the grapes are converted into alcohol which, once complete, can leave a wine looking hazy. It’s perfectly drinkable, but we live in a world where aesthetics matter - enter the ‘fining’ process.
Fining agents are used to bring clarity. They’re traditionally made from animal products such as casein (a milk protein), albumin (egg whites), gelatin (animal protein) or isinglass (fish bladder protein). Scan the label for the words ‘unfiltered’ or ‘unfined’ to ensure your wine gets the green thumbs up.
Some wines are ‘filtered’ or ‘fined’ using new vegan-friendly processes
Some wine manufacturers use alternative methods which are (happily) suitable for vegans. Carbon, bentonite clay, limestone, kaolin clay, plant casein, silica gel, and vegetable plaques are all being used as alternatives to the animal product fining agents. This information can be hard to find, so it pays to do some digging and look out for ‘vegan friendly’ labels.
Going organic is even better
If you’ve chosen to adopt a vegan diet for the month (or perhaps long-term), it’s likely that you’re conscious of both your own health and the health of the planet. Organic wines have up to 32 per cent more resveratrol than regular wines. Resveratrol is a plant compound which has, in some cases, shown to lengthen life-span.
If you don’t have time to research your next bottle in time for the weekend - fear not! We’ve trawled through the internet’s virtual cellars to present the best vegan-friendly wine to buy now. They’re putting the v in vino.
See our picks below
M&S Chilean Sauvignon Blanc
M&S has a stonking 133 wines listed under its vegan category, making it a superb port of call for thirsty vegans. This Sauvignon Blanc is in Fred Siriex’s wine list and hails from the first sustainable certified winery in Chile in the renowned Casablanca Valley. There are bursts of lime and passionfruit in this bright wine, making it a winner for lighter dishes (and weather).
Available as a case of six for £48 or £8 per bottle in-store.
Buy now £8.00, M&S
Della Vite Prosecco Superiore DOCG 750ml
The imitable Delevingne sisters - Chloe, Poppy, and Cara - have teamed up to produce their own prosecco - and it's 100 per cent vegan. The sparkling wine is filtered through a process involving ceramics rather than animal products and solar energy is used in its creation, further bolstering the guilt-free credentials. What's more, the purchase of every bottle includes a donation to MyTrees which protects five trees.
Buy now £25.99, Selfridges
Harvey Nichols Vegan Friendly Wines - Case of Six
Bewildered by all the info out there? Luxury department store Harvey Nicks cuts to the quick with this bundle of vegan-approved wine, allowing you to try six in one purchase. The hamper comprises three reds, two whites, and one rosé offering something for all tastes and occasions. Vineyard-wise, it’s a real world tour with bottles from South Africa, South America and Europe.
Buy now £95.00, Harvey Nichols
Laurent Perrier Cuvée Rosé Brut Champagne 75cl
If you’ve got some celebrating to do, there’s no reason to skip the bubbles. Many esteemed champagne brands are vegan, from Lanson to this premium rosé from Laurent Perrier. Made in France from Pinot Noir grapes, it’s an ideal special occasion drink - and it’d made a pretty great gift too.
Buy now £65.99, Selfridges
Kylie Minogue Merlot
With 13.5 per cent ABV, Queen Kylie’s Merlot makes a beautiful companion to hearty winter meals. Taste notes? Think ripe bramble fruits and cherries with grapes plucked from France’s beautiful, sun-soaked Languedoc region. Love at first sight.
Buy now £8.00, ASDA
Les Dauphins Cotes du Rhone Reserve
They say you should never judge a book by its cover, but here, the nectar is just as fancy as the label. From France, this red sings with the notes of ripe summer fruits, with spicy peppery flavours to finish. It pairs as well with a curry as it does a Sunday vegan roast. 14 per cent ABV.
Buy now £7.00, ASDA
Denbies Flint Valley
An English wine with vegan credentials - what’s not to love? If you’re a fan of a crisp, dry white, you won’t be disappointed with a bottle of Denbies Flint Valley. It pairs nicely with lighter dishes, 11 per cent ABV.
Buy now £9.99, Waitrose
When In Rome Rosato
Tinnies aren’t what they were. More wine producers are packaging single servings of vino in this way, making them ideal for storing in the fridge or sipping at your next friends picnic. This three-pack of Italian rosato (12.5 per cent ABV) is ideal for a first step into the wonderful world of vegan wine, full of berry notes that will make you forget about the weather outside. Not only is the packaging 100 per cent recyclable, but making cans produce four times less CO2 compared to single use glass bottles. It’s a win all-round.
Buy now £11.99, When In Rome
Graham Beck Brut Rosé, South Africa
This Majestic-exclusive bottle is so darn tasty that 99 per cent of customers said they would buy it again. Practically identical to Champagne, apart from the fact it’s made in South Africa, each sip is a creamy mouthful laden with red fruit and hints of brioche.
Buy now £14.99, Majestic
Sea Change Rosé 2020
Summer days feel closer with a glass of this lively rose in hand. Made in the Languedoc region the 12.5 per cent vegan wine is an elegant blush pink and tastes of watermelon and strawberries. Delightful.
Buy now £11.99, Social Supermarket
Sainsbury’s Merlot, SO Organic 75cl
This smooth red from South Africa’s Western Cape offers a rich, full-bodied taste with flavours dancing on red berries, chocolate and spices. It may be 14 per cent ABV but perhaps down to the organic nature, the hangovers don’t feel as bad. Both the glass bottle and screw cap are recyclable.
Buy now £6.00, Sainsbury’s
Virgin Wines Vegan Wines Mixed Case
Ready to invest in your next vegan wine order? Head to Virgin Wines to pick up this 12 bottle case of v-friendly vino featuring brands like The Black Pig, Dragon Hills and more. That’s your next dinner party sorted.
Buy now £109.88, Virgin Wine