The number of vegans has grown drastically in the last few years, and although this lifestyle is becoming more and more common, those who are committed to it are faced with many challenges of which wine is no exception.
Here’s the first problem: the farming of conventionally-grown grapes involves a great deal of pesticides and other chemicals which are very harmful to the environment and damage the ecosystem.
In addition, all wines are not necessarily vegan. In fact, many of the substances that may be used as fining agents are animal-derived. For example: casein (milk protein), chitin (fiber from crustacean shells), egg albumen (derived from egg whites), fish oil, gelatin (protein from boiling animal parts), and isinglass (gelatin from fish bladder membranes) are a few examples.
Thankfully, there are alternatives. A growing number of vineyards are turning to organic agriculture, and more and more wineries now use animal-friendly fining agents such as clay in filtering their wines, thus preserving the environment and minimizing their impacts on the lives of insects, small animals and even humans.
But another common challenge for vegans is that pairing wine with vegan dishes can be difficult. Generally speaking, a strong wine will have a tendency to overpower the lighter aromas of a vegan dish. additionally, most wine pairing guidelines seldom offer advice for wines to pair with vegan dishes. “This Syrah is a perfect match for Roquefort,” is a suggestion that is heard often, but rarely does someone say, “You have to try this Syrah with oven-roasted beets,” though both are true. So although vegan wines are now becoming more available, the majority of vegans continue to be intimidated by wines.
We’re here to help. Here are some pairings you can try tonight:
- Maysara Jamsheed Pinot Noir with a vegan mushroom stroganoff.
- La Marouette Syrah with roasted root vegetables.
Or, if you prefer white wine:
- Domaine Bousquet Torrontes Chardonnay with a Thai vegetable curry.
- Château Laubarit Entre-Deux-Mers White Bordeaux with asparagus and roasted pine nuts.
If you eat vegan, it’s time you start drinking vegan, too – check out our store, all our wines are vegan!