“How is wine not already vegan?” It’s just fermented grapes, right? Wrong! Well, not completely wrong.
While wine is just grapes, turning grapes into wine does tend to involve animal products along the line. Boiled fish bladders (isinglass) and milk protein (casein) are just some ingredients used to filter, or ‘fine’, wine – ridding it of organic silt and making it clear and drinkable.
But, when it comes to enjoying ‘the grape’, vegans have options. The wine industry is witnessing a boom in the movement toward the use of plant and mineral-based fining techniques, and Virgin Wines are leading the charge. With more than 300 bottles, there are plenty of options for vegans to choose from.
With the summer months in full swing here’s a list of four of our best vegan wines and how best to enjoy them.
A barbecue with friends - Quintas Do Homem Domum Vinho Verde
Barbeques are the quintessential summertime activity; the perfect excuse to get your friends over and enjoy the outdoors in good company. It’s also the best time to enjoy a crisp, cold glass of white wine. This Portuguese Vinho Verde is just that: intense yet fresh, and with citrusy undercurrents, it makes for a wonderful aperitif that also holds its own with a plate of food. Pair it with a watermelon salad or enjoy it alongside a grilled veggie stack. It’s reasonably priced, so buying a few bottles won’t break the bank.
A picnic in the park - Corvezzo Prosecco DOC Treviso Extra Dry Organic Wine
A picnic in the park is another fantastic way to wallow away a summer day. Among the sandwiches, nibbles and sweet treats, there should always be a little space leftover in your cooler pack for a bottle of bubbles. Originating from just outside Venice, Corvezzo Prosecco is a cut above the rest in its attention to detail, style and freshness.. Find a great spot in the shade and let the afternoon turn into a chilled evening.
A boat trip on the river - Gypsy Lee Rosé White Zinfandel
The sun comes out and you suddenly feel a nautical urge. Maybe you rent a rowing boat, or take a pedalo out on a pond. Regardless, you can’t really go wrong in bringing this refreshing rosé along for the ride. This is a wine that’s full of cherry flavours and matches well with grilled spicy corn fresh off the barbecue. Load up your picnic hamper, pack some ice cubes and enjoy this double award-winning rosé in the sunshine, by the river.
A campfire under the stars - Billy Bosch Bushvine Cinsault 2017
A campfire is a great way to wind down after an outdoorsy summer’s day. There is nothing quite so mesmerising as watching flames flicker and dance up toward the starry night sky. Here, a glass of red wine, truly comes into its own. This Saffer Cinsault is a go-to summertime red; highly drinkable with a smoky, yet fruity flavour profile. Go ahead and make a few s’mores while you’re at it (vegan alternatives can be found for all ingredients, so there’s no excuse).
Find out more about Virgin Wines’ vegan wine selection here.