Is your Champagne flute ready to toast the New Year? If, like many others, you are preparing with this bubbly celebratory drink, you should know that it may not be vegan.
Bon Appetit explains that the base for Champagne is typically a dry wine made from Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier, or a blend. Many wines, including Champagnes, go through a process that uses fining agents to clarify their product. These fining agents can include:
- isinglass (bladders of fish)
- gelatin (animal protein from the skin and connective tissue of pigs and cows)
- carmine (the bodies of dried cochineal beetles)
- casein (a protein derived from milk)
- chitosan (made from crustaceans)
- egg albumen (egg whites)
Finding out whether or not Champagne is vegan by looking at the bottle is usually not reliable. Typically the bottle will not be labeled vegan and it is not clearly stated what fining agents are used. The good news is there are vegan Champagnes out there! The popular Champagnes Moet and Chandron, as well as Dom Perignon are vegan. The website Barnivore is one source to help look up specific champagnes like these, though you should be sure to read what the company states about each product to verify the claim.
Domaine Ste. Michelle (Blanc de Blancs, Blanc de Noirs, Brut, Extra Dry and Luxe)
Korbel Natural Champagne
Moet and Chandon
Champagnes that are NOT vegan:
Freixenet Sparkling Wines
Gloria Ferrer Sparkling Wine
Harmony Wynelands Wedding Champagne
Korbel Brut and Extra Dry
Louis Roederer Champagne
Yellowglen Pink Champagne
If you have a favorite Champagne, the best way to find out if it is vegan or not is to contact the company directly and ask, “Is your Champagne vegan? Do you use fining agents?”
If you opt for a different type of drink on New Year’s, there are a number that are vegan, including Grey Goose, Absolut, and Don Julio Tequila. You can also toast with the classic non-alcoholic and vegan Martinelli’s Sparkling Cider. Or, better yet, you can check your local health food store or market for local drink varieties.
written by Kourtney Linebaugh
Gentle World is a vegan intentional community and non-profit organization, whose core purpose is to help build a more peaceful society, by educating the public about the reasons for being vegan, the benefits of vegan living, and how to go about making such a transition. For more information about vegan food and other aspects of a vegan lifestyle, visit the Gentle World website and subscribe to our monthly newsletter.