5 Vegan Wines to Try This Christmas

5 Vegan Wines to Try This Christmas

A few months ago, we met wine producers from Hecht & Bannier who make organic and vegan wines in the South of France. It was an eye opening experience. “Wait, aren’t wines all vegan?” was my reaction when I was first discovered that not all wines were suitable for plant-based diets. “In fact, no, far from it! ” replied my interlocutor.

As I looked further into it, I found out that as wine matures, cloudly particules form that need filtering out, unless you like your wine a bit opaque of course. Routinely, wine producers have been using animal proteins such as casein (from milk), albumin (from egg), gelatin (from meat) and isinglass (from fish) as fining agents to remove the haze as well well as improve the colour and clarity of wine. While these products are filtered back out, they are not acceptable for anyone of a vegetarian or vegan diet.

Alternatives such as clay-based fining agent bentonite or even plant casein are now used to produce true vegan wines.  With the popularity of plant-based diets on the rise, that trend shows no signs of slowing down.

The good news is that switching to a plant-based fining agent does not alter quality. Vegan wines are as good as conventional wines, the difference being that they can be enjoyed by everyone, whatever their diet preferences.

Below I have selected five of my favourite “affordable” vegan wines. Two of them are a bit more pricey than the others, but worth in my opinion the extra expense for a special occasion. Perfect for the holiday period, they will accommodate a vegan Christmas dinner as well as meat-based ones.

Vegan Wines - Barón de Ley

Barón de Ley – Rioja Reserva

At 13.5%, this Spanish Rioja has plenty of character and body. We really enjoyed it. It effortlessly blends fruity notes with traces of coconut, toffee and attractive wild herb nuances.

Barón de Ley was founded in 1985 by a small group of Rioja wine professionals who wanted to develop a purely “vineyard driven” winery, oriented to the production of high quality wines from their own vineyards. They also wanted to develop and implement a new style of “modern” Rioja wines; wines of deeper colour, structure and concentration, in line with what today’s most discerning consumers are looking for.

Rating:★★★★★

Available from: Waitrose & Partners

Price: from £12

Vegan Wines - Proudly Vegan Merlot

Proudly Vegan Merlot 2016

This Chilean Merlot has intense fruit flavours of cherry and plum intertwined with aromas of coffee and chocolate. Serve with fresh pasta with tomato, onion and garlic sauces, roasted Provençal vegetables, or roast butternut squash with herbs or light spices.  ​The Proudly Vegan Merlot was awarded a bronze in the 2018 IWC awards. 

Proudly Vegan describes itself and the only wine on the high street which is 100% vegan, right down to the ink and glue on the label. Proudly Vegan is registered with The Vegan Society.

Rating:★★★✰✰

Available from:  Ocado and Amazon

Price: £6.99

 

Vegan Wines - Proudly Vegan Sauvignon Blanc

Proudly Vegan Sauvignon Blanc 2017

This Sauvignon Blanc from Chile’s Central Valley is zesty and refreshing with tropical fruit aromas of gooseberry, passion fruit and hints of mouth-watering fresh lime. Serve with risotto made with peas, green beans or asparagus; pasta with lemon and garlic, or with mushrooms braised with coriander and ginger or a herby salad.

Proudly Vegan describes itself and the only wine on the high street which is 100% vegan, right down to the ink and glue on the label. Proudly Vegan is registered with The Vegan Society.

Rating:★★★★✰

Available from: Ocado and Amazon

Price: £6.99

 

 

Vegan Wines - Pasquiers Grenache Noir

Pasquiers Grenache Noir

This French black Grenache is really good value for money. Full bodied without being too heavy.  Fruity notes, sweet spice and cinnamon give it texture and character.

Rating:★★★★✰

Available from: Buon Vino

Price: from £6.95

 

Vegan Wines - Meinklang

Meinklang Gruner Veltliner

This is a very nice biodynamic Austrian white wine with fruity notes. Well rounded for all occasions.

Rating:★★★★✰

Available from: Vintage Roots

Price: £11.95

 

Disclaimer: some of these items were sent to me for inclusion in this gift guide. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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