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Is Wine Vegan? Why Is Regular Wine Not Always Vegan?

Last updated on December 3rd, 2023

Is Wine Vegan? What all vegans need to know about wine

Is Wine Vegan?

Maybe you’ve recently learned that some bottles of wine aren’t suitable for vegans and you’re wondering – why is vegan wine different from regular wine?

Why? Why can’t I just enjoy a nice glass of wine?!

Well, simply put, vegan wine is different for a few reasons. Usually because of the filtration process, but sometimes because of the actual ingredients or in some cases, it’s even down to how they seal the bottle.

Can Vegans Drink Wine?

Yes, vegans can drink wine. Not every wine. But there are many vegan wines available and the variety keeps growing. Look on the back of the bottle, and if it’s suitable for vegans, it will usually say so.

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What is Vegan Wine?

Vegan wine is wine made without using any animal products or animal-derived products at any stage in the production or packaging.

What Wine is Vegan Friendly?

Well, there are actually a lot of vegan wines available to buy online or in your local supermarkets such as Tescos and Marks and Spencer. But if you just want a quick answer I’ll be happy to assist.

5 Vegan Wines You Can Buy Today:

Why is Wine Not Vegan?

Sometimes wine is not vegan because of certain ingredients either in it, or used during the process of making it. Such as Albumin, Isinglass and Casein.

Wine, in its most pure form, is vegan, after all, it is made from juicy grapes.

So, most of the time the process of actually making the wine is vegan. However, towards the end of the winemaker’s job, they filtrate it to remove tiny particles from the wine.

During this process, depending on exactly how it’s made, the yeasts usually converts the sugar in the grape juice to alcohol and this leaves tiny particles such as proteins, phenolics and tartrates.

This is usually the stage where animal products such as albumin, casein or isinglass are used for fining, to get rid of the tiny particles.

These products grab onto the impurities that the winemakers want to remove and make them easier to extract from the wine.

Ingredients to Avoid When Looking for Vegan Wine:

Ingredients to Avoid When Looking for Vegan Wine
  • Albumin – Albumin is a protein that egg whites have in high levels
  • Casein – Casein is the principal protein found in cow’s milk
  • Isinglass – Isinglass is a substance from the dried swim bladders of fish
  • Gelatin – Gelatin or gelatine is a translucent, colourless, flavourless food ingredient, commonly derived from collagen taken from animal body parts.
  • Beeswax – Beeswax is a natural wax produced by honey bees of the genus Apis

How is Vegan Wine Made?

There are typically two options when making vegan wine. Either a non-animal fining product is used such as bentonite, a form of clay or pea protein. This product will be used to filter out the tiny particles and avoid the use of animal products. Or the filtration process is just skipped altogether and the particles are left to naturally sink to the bottom.

Even if they use non-animal fining products it still doesn’t mean the wine is definitely safe!

When the winemaking process is finished and it is being bottled up, there’s still a chance for another non-vegan product to be added in.

Sometimes milk-based glue can be used in the making of corks and beeswax can be part of the bottle sealing process. Seriously it’s like they get points for finding another place to add a little bit of something from an animal.

How to Find Wine Suitable for Vegans

Now you know that regular wine and vegan wine are different you now need to know how to find vegan wine.

Well, I’m glad to say it’s becoming much easier. So many bottles now have vegan logos on them. However, if there’s no logo, it can be hard to know by just looking at the bottle because it’s not common to see an ingredient list on the bottle.

But, don’t worry, if you like the look of a particular bottle but there’s no vegan logo and no ingredient list there’s still a solution. Take a look on Barnivore, it’s a vegan alcohol directory. You simply put the name of the wine into the search bar and it will tell you if it’s A-OK for us vegans to enjoy a glass or three of.

Buy Vegan Wine Online Now:


Not all wine is vegan but the number of vegan wine options is growing rapidly and avoiding animal products is becoming easier.

Vegan wine is different and it’s mostly down to ingredients such as albumin, casein and isinglass being used in the filtration process.

Want some more ideas on how to make vegan life the best it can be? Check out these posts –10 Essential Tips for New Vegans – To Make Becoming Vegan Much Easier! and Is Cheese Vegan? The new vegan’s guide to cheese

And what else should vegans avoid? –  What E Numbers Should Vegans Avoid?

Meet the Author

Author Bio - Sinead OCarroll - The Wondering Wandering Vegan

Meet Sinead O’Carroll: Vegan explorer, sustainability advocate and the founder of The Wondering Wandering Vegan. Embracing veganism since 2018 and vegetarianism since 2005, Sinead is armed with a Vegan Health, Nutrition and Lifestyle qualification, and is on a mission to share her passion for cruelty-free living. 

With a taste for adventure and a heart for eco-conscious choices, she’s here to prove that vegans never miss out on flavour, fun or style. Join her in enjoying the delights of a vegan-friendly world! 🌱✈️🌍
Want to know more? Check out Sinead’s About page here.

Follow me on Instagram to see all the delicious vegan food I find, the vegan and cruelty-free products I use and what I get up to as a travelling vegan.

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