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Wines for Vegans

Strict vegans can find it challenging to determine which wines are vegan since the wine’s label will not always provide the information that qualifies where or not the wine in the bottle is vegan.

Many wines are “fined,” meaning animal-based products such as albumin (egg whites) or isinglass (a fish byproduct) are used to clarify wine. Although these animal-derived products are removed before a wine is bottled, the wine might not be considered strictly vegan. Some wines are also filtered through animal byproducts before bottling.

Current labeling laws do not require a listing of animal-derived products used in vinification or the admission that the wine is unfined and or unfiltered. Wines that are unfined and unfiltered before bottling are considered vegan. Organic or biodynamic wines may or may not be vegan.

A vegan who wants to drink wine should contact the producer of the wine of interest to see if it is vegan. You can also visit the website,, for a listing of vegan wines. Another useful resource are the employees at Trader Joe’s markets since they can access a list of all their vegan products, including wine. Many small production domestic Pinot Noirs are unfined and unfiltered and qualify as vegan.

Pinot Noir is a very vegan-friendly wine since it matches with a wide variety of vegetables such as mushrooms, sweet red bell peppers, tomatoes, red beets, carrots, caramelized onions as well as fruits such as black cherries, figs, blueberries, raspberries, cranberries, plums and currants. Pinot Noir particularly shines with Asian flavors such as hoison, seaweed, fennel, sesame oil, and mild teriyaki.

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