It’s one of the most unexpected #mindblown moments of the plant-based lifestyle, that WINE - for the most part - is NOT vegan.
It would be easy to assume that, because it’s made from fermented grape juice, there’s nothing to exempt it from a vegan diet, but the winemaking process (specifically the fining and filtering process) is where the issue lies.
During this process, small amounts of ingredients derived from animal byproducts are often used which make the finished product unsuitable for vegans and vegetarians.
Some of these animal additives include isinglass (fish bladder), albumin (egg whites) and casein (milk protein). Although these products are removed from the wine afterwards, their use understandably goes against the belief system behind being plant-based. Fortunately for vegan winelovers, there are alternative wines produced using bentonite clay, limestone or plant protein for fining/filtering. These help to remove the proteins, tannins and other matter that may cause cloudiness or haze.
A side benefit of vegan wines, aside from the above, is that they are usually organic, which means less chemicals (artificial and synthetic chemicals, herbicides or pesticides) in the finished product. This carries it’s own advantages, but the overriding message of moderation still stands when it comes to wine... vegan or non-vegan!