A new vegan wine brand from Broadland Wineries was just released in the UK. The wine company claimed that although Proudly Vegan is not the first vegan wine, is the first completely cruelty-free wine, “down to the ink and glue and labels.”
Broadland Wineries is an established international wine supplier and producer, but Proudly Vegan is the first venture with completely plant-based wine. The new brand launched with two varietals: a Sauvignon Blanc and a Merlot. Both are registered by The Vegan Society to ensure consumers that no animal products were used during any part of the wine-making process, including the packaging. Further, each bottle is clearly labeled as vegan, so consumers do not have to question the presence of suspicious ingredients that may be lurking in certain wines.
Despite common sense assumptions, not all wine is vegan. The issue lies in the processing agents. Most wines are clarified to remove certain molecules that can make the wine hazy. Fining agents are used to produce a brighter beverage, and sometimes these agents come from animals. Common animal-based fining agents include casein (a milk protein), albumin (egg whites), gelatin (animal bones), and isinglass (a fish bladder protein). These ingredients are not added to the wine, as they tend to precipitate out with the unwanted molecules; however, there is a slight chance a small amount may be absorbed into the wine. What’s more, wine-makers do not have to note these animal-based agents on their label, since they are technically not ingredients. This leads to much confusion and uncertainty for conscious consumers who just want to relax with a glass (or two) of pinot.
As more consumers are beginning to ask for transparency, wine-makers are turning to vegan-friendly fining agents, such as bentonite and activated charcoal. A few companies are forgoing the agents altogether and letting the wine stabilize naturally. These natural wines are typically labeled as ‘not fined’ or ‘not filtered.’ Broadland’s Master of Wine, Dr. Arabella Woodrow, told Drinks Retailing, “We wanted vegans to be able to buy great tasting wine with the confidence that every element is 100% vegan. There is no need for vegans to miss out on good quality wine, and Proudly Vegan fills that gap. The bold Proudly Vegan branding, with clear labeling, will also help consumers find that they want easily in store instead of having to scrutinize every label to make sure.”
Proudly Vegan wines are available in the UK, with plans to expand. Other vegan-friendly wines on the mass market include Vegan Vines, Fento Wines’ La Liebre y la Tortuga, Frey Vineyards, and Lumos Wine. Further, many grocers are beginning to significantly increase cruelty-free wine selections. Consumers can also use Barnivore, a free online vegan directory, to ensure that your next glass of pinot is animal-free.
Image Credit: Broadland Wineries.