Vegetarianism and Wine


Drinking wine can be considered a taboo by people who are strictly vegetarian. This is because many wine makers use a clarification agent in the cleansing of the wine after it has been fermented. As we know that in the wine making process the juice from grapes is extracted and left in fermentation tanks to ferment. Yeast is added to these tanks so that the juice ferments well. Once the fermentation is done, particles of the yeast, proteins generated and other organic particles may remain in the wine. These may make the wine impure. In such conditions, fining agents are used to cleanse the wine of any residual particles.


A fining agent can be a product derived from animals and when it is added to the wine, it sinks to the bottom and all the residual particles merge with it. These residual particles are then carried out of suspension. In the final product none of the particles or the fining agent remains in the wine. The animal products which may be used as fining agents can be gelatin, chitosan, casein, egg albumen and isinglass. Vegetarians and vegans would not be able to consume the wine which has one of these fining agents used for clarification. Fining of wines makes sure the wines look much clear and have low proteins in them.


At Pause Wines we respect the beliefs of people who are vegetarians and hence we do not use any fining agents which have animal products in it. If required, we use Bentonite which is a mineral derived from clay. Some wine makers also let the residuals to settle down at the bottom of the tank in a natural way and wait until all residues are at the bottom of the tank. All clarification agents do not remain in the wine once they finish their work and hence wine makers are not abided to declare what clarification agent they have used to clarify the wine.


With a rise in the number of vegetarians in the world, some wine makers find it essential to mention the ingredients of their wines. This makes it easier for the wine lovers to select the wine which does not contain any animal fat or products, especially when they are vegans and vegetarians. Some wine makers may specifically mention if the wine is suitable for vegetarian wine lovers. Organic wines and wines which are clarified with organic products rather than animal fat are slowly gaining popularity and winning hearts too. It is not necessary that wines need to undergo the fining process. Some wine makers may not prefer to let the wine go through the fining process.


If a vegetarian, know your vegetarian wine and then place an order.