November is World Vegan Month, a time where we get to celebrate the enormous growth of the vegan movement.

For those that like a like glass of wine – now is the ideal time to try your very first vegan wine (or vegan wines).

But what is the difference in how vegan and non-vegan wines are made? And what’s the best vegan wines on the market at the moment?

We’ve picked the brains of wine expert, Ben Revell, founder of exclusive wine buying club, Wine Buyers to find out.

What is vegan wine and how is it made differently?

Ben says: “Veganism has become one of the fastest-growing consumer trends in the world. The growth in popularity of vegan cafes and restaurants has been huge and there appears to be no signs of slowing down.

“While many might presume that all wine is vegan, since it’s made from grapes, that’s not always the case so vegans do need to seek it out.

“This is all down to the fining process where fining agents, often made from animal products such as gelatine or egg whites, are used to help remove the tiny molecules of proteins, yeast and other organic particles in young wines. This process also helps the wine taste less bitter and make it visibly clearer.

“Vegan wines, however, use clay or charcoal in the fining process meaning that it can taste slightly different from conventional wine since every action, or inaction, in the winemaking process has a direct result.

“Luckily for vegans across the planet, the majority of winemakers now label their wines as vegan-friendly, however, it’s still worth checking the back of bottle as not all vegan wines are clearly labelled so don’t take it for granted!”

Top vegan wines to try

Winebuyers have 734 vegan wines available to buy on their website and here is a rundown of the best six:

The Emissary Prosecco Doc Treviso Brut 2017 

vegan wines

Picture: Wine Buyers

A very classy, sparkling wine from the Veneto region of Italy that goes perfectly with vegan canapes.

A perfectly balanced, light refreshing Prosecco Doc Brut with a floral and mineral nose with a touch of citrus and a dry finish, this bottle was discovered by The Emissary on his quest to find the perfect prosecco.

After months of travelling and exploring Northern Italy, from the historic streets of Venice and across the luscious foothills of the Dolomite Mountains, The Emissary discovered what he was seeking: a truly impeccable prosecco.

2017 // ABV 11% // £14.40

Senio Vignano 2015

Intense spicy red fruits with traces of chocolate and cherries. Full bodied and balanced with a smooth and silky finish.

Excellent with vegan pasta or pizza, and best served at room temperature. One of Tuscany’s best and a multi-medal winner.

2015 // ABV 14.5% // £17.17

Nobody’s Perfect Muscadelle 2018 from Monfaucon Estate

From Bordeaux, a pale, clear and bright wine with lemon colour. Hints of honeysuckle, white peach, minerality and jasmine on the nose.

On the palate, there is a crisp refreshing acidity that is well-balanced with fruits, candied citrus, white peach and pear with a long minerality on the finish country.

2018 // ABV: 11.8% // £20

Brightwell Chardonnay

Picture: Wine Buyers

A UK produced white wine. The moderate climate and alluvial chalk and flint soils of their vineyard in the Thames Valley has produced a subtle and delicate wine.

The unoaked style of this wine allows the characteristic Chardonnay flavours of apple and lime to come through on the palette with just a hint of vanilla. Perfect on its own or with food.

ABV: 11.5% // £14

Tempranillo, Vinnaturo, Spain 2017 (Pouch)

Picture: Wine Buyers

Organically farmed Tempranillo grapes, fermented and aged in Tinajas (old clay amphorae). Palate is textured and juicy, showing typical Tempranillo red fruit and gentle spice.

Grapes grown and harvested following biodynamic principles and lunar calendar. The soils are limestone heavy giving great structure to the wine.

ABV: 13.5 // 2017 // £26

Gustavshof, Dornfelder Kalkstein Trocken, 2016

Fruity harmonious dry red wine with aroma of morello cherries and raspberries. Pairs perfectly with spicy oriental foods. The grapes have been cultivated and harvested biodynamically so this is a vegan and organic wine. Serving temperatures: 18-20C

2016 // £10.39

About The Author

Rosalind Erskine

Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind writes for The Scotsman on all things food and drink related.

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