• By Sue Shelden   |   Sunday, September 15, 2013 at 12:43 am   |     |   Print   |   Permalink

No, the title is not a typo. In my quest for information about wine pairings with vegan meals, I am totally overwhelmed and distracted. I Googled “wine” and “vegan” in the same search and up popped a site called “Barnivore,” a vegan website for anything alcoholic. This site lists thousands of wines, and labels the wines as “Vegan Friendly,” which I kind of get, and “Not Vegan Friendly,” which sounds downright hostile!

So how does a wine rank as “Not Vegan Friendly?” The answer takes us back to the title. It turns out that wines use “fining agents” to help filter out impurities. The fining agents can be gelatin, which is produced from animal by-products–never mind, which ones–or egg whites, which are, well, from chickens, or a few other possibilities. The impurities are drawn to the fining agents and then it all gets filtered out, including the animal products. Sometimes, though, some of the non-vegan agent remains, which explains the “Not Vegan Friendly” designation.

Who knew? I always assumed I was just drinking fermented grape juices and that even the grapes were coddled–remember Orson Welles overly dramatizing the old Paul Masson “We will sell no wine before it’s time” slogan? How peaceful and friendly! I was only trying to find good wines to serve with vegan food–I’ll eventually figure that part out and let you know my findings–or finings!

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