Mind & Body

Best vegan wines for your plant-based diet in 2020

What’s in wine that’s not vegan? What exactly is organic wine? And what brands should I buy? We reveal all… 

The world is slowly wising up to the benefits of plant-based, vegan and vegetarian diets as well as eating organically. Not only is this good for the environment but it is also good for our waistlines, our health and our longevity.

And the trend isn’t just abundant on our plates it’s also creeping into our skincare, cleaning products and even the clothes we wear. Which is why it’s only natural that vegan and organic wines are the next frontier.

If you are new to the vegan and organic wine trend we suggest heading to Cellarmasters. The retailer offers wine boxes that are delivered four times a year. The boxes come with six bottles and each of the bottles is picked by experts so you know that they’ll go down well. We added to cart the Organic Wine Reservation a clever box that comes with three different varieties of vegan and/or organic wine to drink up – a rose, a white and a red. Great for those who like to experiment, you can buy it here for $125 a box which works out to be about $21 a bottle.

Here are three that we’d recommend:

Wine: David Lowe PF500 Organic Shiraz 2019

What the experts say: “Not only is this rich Mudgee Shiraz organic, it’s also preservative free and biodynamic, making it suitable for vegans. It’s more Beaujolais in style (an early drinking red) and is equally enjoyable served at room temperature or chilled.”

What we say: Balanced and smooth, this is the perfect dinner party plus one.

Wine: Blood Brother Republic Organic McLaren Vale Sangiovese 2019

What the experts say: “Blood Brother Republic excel at crafting flavoursome McLaren Vale reds, none more so than this sublime Sangiovese. It’s a lovely savoury wine, and its earthy qualities are further brought to life as a result of the organic winemaking techniques.”

What we say: A delish red that even red avoiders will want a second glass of.

Wine: Paxton Pollinator Rosé 2018

What the experts say: “David Paxton manages his vineyards biodynamically, and this bright rosé is certainly dynamic! Bursting with bright flavours, it displays wonderful fruit purity. It’s also vegan friendly.”

What we say: As rosé fan girls from way back, we love the fact this is dry and tasty. The perfect pre-dinner tipple you’ll come back to time and time again. Also Paxton Pollinator wines honour their mascot, the honeybee, for its role in maintaining natural balance and health in the world. A nice reminder that without bees, humans would struggle to survive.

What’s in wine that’s not vegan?

As you’d imagine, vegan wines aren’t made from any animal products. Okay, but grapes aren’t from animals, we hear you shout! It’s not so much about what goes into the wine as opposed to what is used to make it.

You see, during the process of wine making, wines contain tiny molecules that, while natural and safe, make them look hazy. As drinkers want their wines to be clear and bright ‘fining agents’ are used to help the process along.

Now these fining agents are traditionally non- vegan they include: casein (a milk protein), albumin (egg whites), gelatin (animal protein) and isinglass (fish bladder protein).

They are often precipitated out along with the haze molecules, but tiny traces of the fining agent may be absorbed into the wine during the fining process making them not suitable for vegans.

Vegan wines therefore commonly use bentonite, a clay-based fining agents, or wine producers elect not to fine or filter their wines, leaving them to self-clarify and self-stabilise.

Other vegan-approved fining agents are carbon, limestone, kaolin clay, plant casein and silica gel.

What is an organic wine?

In a nutshell, organic wine is made from ingredients that are grown without herbicides, pesticides or any other synthetic or artificial chemicals. This doesn’t just mean the farming of the grapes, it means everything in the bottle – so this means if milk products or yeasts or preservatives are added they must be organic as well.

It’s a common myth that organic wines are free of preservatives but this isn’t quite right. Sulphur dioxide and any other preservatives in their purest form are organic too. So, if you are looking to avoid added preservatives in your drop, be sure to look beyond the organic stamp.

Organic wines taste better

Fun fact: according to a 2016 study of 74,000 bottles of wine, organic wines do, in fact, taste better. To come to this conclusion researcher studied the wine ratings of the most prominent wine magazines. They found organic wines scored an average of 4.1 points higher than the conventional wines. Why? It’s speculated that the lack of pesticides allows the soil to flourish, which enhances the flavour of the grapes.

What are some vegan wine brands sold in Australia?

Here are some brands to look out for as they are either 100% vegan or some of the company’s range is vegan:

What are some organic wine brands sold in Australia?

Here are some organic brands to look out for next time you hit the liquor store:

Now you be the judge: is this the ‘Goopiest’ thing to happen to wine? Plus, check out the keto-friendly wine Halle Berry drinks.

Remember to alway drink responsibly.

All products featured in this article are selected by our editors, who don’t play favourites. If you buy something, we may get a cut of the sale.