With the Christmas season fast approaching and the number of people turning to veganism, the hunt for the perfect vegan wines to pair with the Christmas festivities is well and truly underway. More people this year will be wanting their wines to be vegan and sustainable, just like their tofu turkey, nut roast, or other meat and dairy-free delights!
But what makes a wine vegan? And how do you choose the best bottles for yourself?
A wine often becomes non-vegan-friendly when fining agents are used in its production process. During the fining process, a fining agent is added to the wine. This agent binds and removes unwanted solids and particles. Unfortunately for vegans, most fining agents contain eggs, isinglass (fish bladders), and casein (a milk product). The substances are removed from the wine before it ends up on the shelf of your local shop. But earlier, there was often no mention of the non-vegan products used during the wine production,- either on the bottle’s label or anywhere else. So, you had no idea if the wine you are consuming is vegan or not.
According to the Vegan’s Society – “Veganism is a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude—as far as is possible and practicable—all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives …”
Unfortunately, as the producers of wine are not required by law to mention fining agents anywhere on the bottle, it can be a challenge for vegans to identify which wines are vegan and which are not. Another thing vegans must be mindful of when looking for a vegan wine – some bottles are sealed with non-vegan products such as beeswax – which is, of course, not vegan, even if the wine inside the bottle is!
A solution arises
With more stores making a conscious effort to stock vegan wines, the process of finding one is now becoming easier. Vegan wines will clearly state that they are so on the label, and big chain retailers are making a conscious effort to bring in their lines of vegan wines. The BeVeg certificate now makes it even easier to notice if a wine is vegan at just a glance. But how do we know which ones to pick?
Fear not, fellow vegans – we are here to help you discover our top ten vegan wine options just in time for Christmas! Stock up, get your vegan mince pies ready and prepare to sit back, fire ablaze, Christmas carols playing with a nice glass of vegan wine in hand – let the holiday cheer begin!
Bodegas Bagordi – Rioja Crianza
A full-bodied Rioja from Spain. This 13.5% vegan wine blends fruity black cherry and fig with tobacco.
Prices start at a low price per bottle and are available from many wine retailers. It is one to add to the Christmas table for sure.
Weingut Gysler – Pinot Brut Blanc De Noir 15′ | Rheinhessen
With notes of brioche, white flowers, and juicy cherry fruits along with fresh acidity – this classy sparkling wine will leave a memorable impression on any who drinks it.
A little more expensive, this beautiful German wine leaves the palate with delicate flavour of lemon and lime! At 13%, it’s the perfect wine for those looking for some luxury Christmas celebrations.
This beautiful French Riesling presents balanced ginger and pink grapefruit, with a slight hint of petrol on the nose. A complex wine with gentle honey, peaches, and brioche – leaving behind a long, clean finish.
At 13% and with its sweet taste, this wine makes for an excellent Christmas Eve wine, especially for those with a sweeter tooth.
Te pa Pinot Noir Rosé
A New Zealand Rosé – this beautiful wine is the perfect benchmark standard for all vegan Rosé. A palate of sweet candy cherries, strawberries, and cream, accompanied by ripe rhubarb and a gentle acidity – leaving behind a long and lingering taste.
At 13% and perfectly delicious, this vegan wine is a great option for any Rosé lover this Christmas.
Pasquiers Grenache Noir
A beautiful French black Grenache combines perfectly complex spice notes like cinnamon with black fruit flavours.
Punchy but not too heavy, bursting with personality and well balanced – this stunning red is perfect for an elegant post-Christmas dinner cheeseboard.
This British Chardonnay presents lime, lemon, and delicate white peach on the nose – the palate notices zesty citrus fruits with a mild spice and acidity.
An exceptionally classy Chardonnay with a racy and bold personality, this 11.5% white will have your Christmas visitors in awe.
Proudly Vegan Sauvignon Blanc 2017
This white vegan wine from central Chile presents zesty and tropical flavours with sweet passion fruit and acidic lime.
Proudly Vegan guarantees that all of its wines are 100% vegan. It is guilt-free and the perfect lighter vegan option for those who desire a slightly sweeter festive season.
Camel Valley – Cornwall Brut Reserve Sparkling Wine
Another elegant British sparkling wine. Citrus fruit and English Hedgerow and Honeydew aromas fill the nose, whilst crisp acidity citrus fruits take over the palate. The balanced acidity matches the flavour perfectly, and a smooth finish is delivered.
An elegant wine at 12.5% – give your Christmas a little bit of vegan fizz this year.
Barón de Ley – Rioja Reserva
A rich, ripe and bold Spanish Rioja reveals fruity notes with hints of coconut, sweet toffee, and wild herb. The wine is bold and characterful – an equilibrium of all that an excellent vegan red wine should be.
At 13.5%, this is another cracking vegan red to add to your Christmas list.
La Roulerie – Cab Franc 18′
A French special – that combines strawberries and raspberries with a delicate underlying peppery tone. This fresh strawberry and black cherry-filled wine is light with a long fruit finish.
13% makes this vegan wine an excellent choice for an after-dinner drink when the turkey may be laying a little heavy.
To sum it all up
Struggling to find a good vegan wine seems to be becoming a thing of the past with plenty of mouth-watering bottles on offer – from red, white to rosé – there’s a vegan wine for you. Whether you’re on a wine budget or looking to splurge little extra cash this festive season, the perfect vegan wine does exist, and we hope our summary of the top ten will inspire you this Christmas. And remember, Christmas wine always tastes better in a Christmas costume, so dress up and get into the spirit