Wait…vegetarian wine? But wine is made of grapes! True, but like white sugar, wine can go through some processing that involves animal products. With wine, the troublesome ingredients come into play during the “finishing,” or the steps that stop the fermentation. The animal-based fining agents are:
- casein – a milk protein
- isinglass – made from fish bladders
- gelatin – made from cow bones
- animal albumin – egg whites and sometimes dried blood powder
Not all wines even require fining, and there are vegetarian clarifying options, like bentonite clay. Luckily, there are loads of companies that keep the animal products out of the finishing process. Here is a great list for tracking down a vegetarian bottle!
Of course, if you want to be really certain that wine is animal free, you can always make your own bottle.
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By Becky Striepe, Green Options