How to find corkingly good wines for vegans!

Many wines are vegan nowadays, but not all, so how can you be sure that what you are buying aligns with your values? This informative guide shows you how and where you can find good vegan wines, including some of our own, personal favourites.

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Three bottles of red wine in dark greenish brown bottles, standing on a wooden kitchen table. The bottle on the left has a white label branded with the name 'Davida' . The bottle in the middle has a black label with white lettering that says 'Finca Manzanos'. The bottle on the right is slightly out of focus and the lettering cannot be seen clearly. This image is to illustrate that good wines for vegans are available

I love wine. There, I’ve said it. Fortunately, I’ve become much more sensible over the years (I was going to say sophisticated, but that would be pushing it) and now really appreciate savouring a couple of glasses of good vegan red wine, rather than necking a litre plastic bottle of supermarket vin de table before a night out. In my defence though, all my friends used to do it too and you know what they say – grape minds think alike…

Anyway, in this guide we have set out to briefly explain what makes a wine vegan (or not), why animal products are used by some wine-makers, and suggest some resources that can help you quickly identify which wines are vegan. And finally, if you want the finest wines known to humanity, and you want them vegan, this guide can also help you find out where to buy wines for vegans at reasonable prices.

What makes a wine vegan?

I worked in the drinks industry many years ago, and was fortunate enough to visit many wineries, both here in the UK and abroad. And it was during those visits that I was staggered to find out about the frequent use of isinglass in wine-making. And what is isinglass? Well, fish guts to you and me, and having been under the illusion that wine was just grapes which had been fermented for a bit, this was news!

Isinglass is just one of several animal products used in the ‘fining’ process, which removes impurities and cloudiness from the finished product before bottling. Other animal products often used for this filtration include:

  • egg albumen
  • gelatin
  • casein – a milk protein
  • chitin – from shellfish

And they are all apparently very effective. However, there are alternatives available including certain clays and charcoal, and these are being used increasingly in the wine industry, making many more wines vegan and more ethical by default. And needless to say, it makes no difference to the quality of the wine – vegan wines are every bit as good. In fact, they’re better because no animals are hurt in order to produce it.

How do you know if a wine is vegan?

I have noticed that many bottles of wine now bear some sort of vegan logo on the label which is enormously helpful. But even when a bottle doesn’t have that logo, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not vegan, you’re just going to have to do a bit more digging to make sure! So many wines are vegan now by default, but the brands may not have got round to adding a vegan label yet, may not see it as important to do so, but another reason could be that they worry a ‘vegan’ label will adversely effect sales.

So, there are several different ways of establishing if a wine without a logo is vegan, the quickest being online. It also depends on where you are buying from and how helpful their website is. I have listed below the quickest and most effective ways I have found of doing this:

  • Use the amazing online directory called Barnivore. This really is my ‘go-to’ site for all things relating to vegan alcohol and with over 58,000 items listed, you are pretty likely to find the product you’re looking for. And if your product is not on there but you manage to establish that it is vegan some other way, you can submit it to Barnivore for checking and they will probably add it to their directory. It’s an amazing resource.
  • Take out a wine subscription or join a wine club with a brand that clearly defines which of their wines are vegan and can offer a good range. My favourite is the Savage Vines wine club because they have so many unusual vegan wines to choose from that are different from the same old supermarket offerings.
  • If you’re in a supermarket or ordering from them online, search their website for the wine by name and then use the vegan filter option – normally in the left hand column on most supermarket websites. Alternatively, ask an assistant if you’re in the physical store – the more we ask, the more they will need to train their staff to become familiar with veganism!
  • Google ‘is ***wine name*** vegan’ – someone, somewhere has probably already found out!
  • Search for the winemakers brand online and put the word ‘vegan’ in their search bar
  • You can also try to use the Vegan Society Trademark list but make sure you put in as much information as you can in the search bar to narrow down the results because it’s not very user-friendly

Where can I buy good wines for vegans?

Finca Manzanos from Savage Vines

Good quality vegan wines really are widely available now, however and wherever you choose to shop. Let’s take a look:

Your local supermarket or superstore is more than likely to stock dozens of vegan-friendly wines. Some of my favourite picks include:

The Co-op also has lots of wines for vegans, as does Tesco and Sainsburys.

Don’t forget, if the label doesn’t have a ‘vegan’ trademark or logo, then use one of the methods mentioned earlier in ‘How do you know if a wine is vegan‘ to establish its vegan credentials. Also, if you’re shopping online with your favourite supermarket, you’ll be able to select wines and then use their ‘vegan’ filter to narrow it down to the range available to you.

Why not consider taking out a wine subscription or joining a wine club? Wine clubs had always sounded a bit elitist to me, but when I found out more, I was a convert. I particularly like the Savage Vines Wine Club because they pair up with lots of independent winemakers and vineyards, meaning you can experience wines that you wouldn’t normally find in supermarkets. Their vegan range is also clearly marked, with easy to use filters on their website.

I love the fact that when I buy from them, I am supporting passionate, enthusiastic wineries that aren’t just geared up to churn out millions of bottles for supermarket chains. You can see the great range of Savage Vines vegan wines here. I find that wine clubs are a great way to buy wine and Savage Vines give you exclusive discounts, help you spread the cost of your wine habit (!) and you get regular access to new producers and new wines – perfect for wine lovers. However, you can also buy individual bottles, and even gift boxes too like this Spanish vegan wine set, without joining up.

There are plenty of other online wine retailers too with reasonable vegan selections – take a look at Virgin Wines or Laithwaites for example, although they always feel a bit more ‘mainstream’ to me.

There are more than you think in the UK, and many of them produce at least some (if not all) of their wine using vegan-friendly methods. The examples below are all UK vineyards (as far north as Yorkshire) that produce vegan-friendly wines, so why not go and visit? Vineyard tours are great fun. But if you can’t visit, then their wines are normally available to buy from their websites:

If you fancy going further afield, then you can find some European and US vineyards listed in this ’10 countries, 10 vegan winemakers’ article on the Vegan Sisters’ website.

Where can I get vegan champagne?

Apart from red, white,and rosé wines, you may be searching for prosecco, champagne, or maybe even orange wine. Many of these products are vegan, but again, you should check in the same way that you do for wines just in case they have used animal products in the fining process. Some great vegan options (and favourites of mine) include those below, all available from Amazon:

Lanson Black Label Brut is a great all-rounder at a reasonable price. However, many people love to buy the Moet & Chandon champagnes because the name is synonymous with celebrations, so it’s good to know that their products are all vegan too – find their store on Amazon.

Often more reasonably priced than champagne, but still a great drink for celebratory occasions – my daughters always used to decorate our christmas tree every year with tree decorations in one hand, and a glass of prosecco in the other! We love Terra Organica – find their store on Amazon

If you’d like an alcohol-free version (and I do think you can get away with no-alcohol proseccos), try Nozecco Rose Spumante available from Amazon

Orange wines have become very popular – the skins (and often the vine) is left in during the wine making process – and many people assume they are very natural, organic and vegan. But beware, not all of them are so again, do your research. This Solara Orange from the Cramele Recas winery in Romania is a good option and is available from Amazon

If you’d like to find out more about what makes orange wine different, Club Oenologique has an informative blog on ‘What is orange wine?


So thankfully, vegans can still drink wine, champagne, and prosecco – hoorah! – and it really isn’t difficult to find places to buy it either, as this article illustrates. But we have to be vigilant about the process that the wine has gone through before bottling. Wineries don’t have to state the use of animal products in those processes on the bottle’s label, so use any of the methods I’ve mentioned above to identify which wines are suitable.



Which wines are vegan?

Whether you are looking for natural wines, champagne, prosecco, whites, reds, or rosés, there are plenty of vegan options which means that no animal products have been used in the filtration process. Look for the vegan logo on the back label on the bottle but if there isn’t one, take a look at the section above – How do you know if a wine is vegan?

Do vegan wines use yeast?

Many will use yeast. Yeast is widely considered to be vegan, coming from the fungus family, so if you eat mushrooms, you can eat yeast!

Penny Barkas


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