Turns out, not all wine is vegan.
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It might surprise you to hear this, but not all wine is vegan. Yes, the main ingredient in wine is grapes, but the winemaking process can involve animal by-products. Traditionally, liquid is filtered through animal-derived fining agents to remove naturally occurring protein, yeast, and other particles, according to PETA. Even though these particles are harmless, they can cause the wine to appear cloudy, which is why most winemakers have this clarifying step. However, some wine labels, like The Wonderful Wine Co., use vegan-friendly vinification techniques instead.
The newly launched wine brand comes from the founders of Winc, an online wine subscription service. But unlike Winc, The Wonderful Wine Co. specializes in vegan wine made with organic grapes grown without pesticides and using sustainable farming methods.
“These wines are low-sulfite, low-sugar, low-carb, keto-friendly, paleo-friendly, and vegan. That’s a long way of saying it’s basically as good for you as wine gets,” cofounder Brian Smith tells Real Simple.
The brand launched with four distinct wine varieties available to purchase in packs of three, six, or 12. There’s an Argentinian Malbec, a French white, a French Rosé made from a blend of Grenache and Syrah, and a limited edition Malvasia Bianca, which is a white wine made in the style of a red to create an orange wine.
“Not only are these wines transparent about their ingredients, but they taste really good, too,” Smith says. “This more natural approach leads to a purer expression of the grape, resulting in elegant final products.”
Curious how the taste of a “clean wine” would compare to more traditional vino, I tried out the vegan wines for myself. While I’m no sommelier, I do like to think I know my way around glass of wine, and I thoroughly enjoyed sipping the samples The Wonderful Wine Co. was kind enough to send my way. Frankly, if I had been doing a blind taste test, I doubt I’d have noticed a difference between the vegan wines and any of my other favorite labels. But if I had to identify one defining characteristic of the natural wine I tried, I’d say it’s the flavor. They tasted mild yet unique, likely due to the fact that they’re made without unnecessary added sugars and contain lower levels of sulfur.
If you’re on the hunt for healthier alternatives to your go-to drinks—or just want some tasty vegan wine delivered straight to your door—I recommend ordering a few bottles from The Wonderful Wine Co. today.