Wine Folly Logo
Tips & Tricks

Can Vegans Drink Wine?

- Updated

Q: Can Vegans Drink Wine?

A: Most wines are processed with non-vegan clarifying agents (such as egg whites). There are, however, a few wines that are vegan and you can learn what to look for when choosing wine.

Fining and Filtering Wine. How it works
Fining agents sometimes use animal-based products. This is why some wines aren’t technically vegan.

Why is Most Wine Not Vegan?

Isn’t wine, afterall, just made with grapes?

Most wines are clarified during winemaking with a process called “fining” which most frequently employs the use of animal-based products such as casein (a protein from milk) or egg whites. If wines aren’t fined, most would look hazy. This is where the casein and egg-whites come in. The fining agents “glomb” onto the proteins dissolved in the wine and cause them to precipitate out and collect at the bottom of the tank. The result is a crystal clear wine.

Fast Facts

  • It’s common for quality white, rosé and sparkling wines to use isinglass (a fish byproduct) for fining
  • It’s common for red wines to use egg whites or casein for fining to remove bitter-tasting phenolics
  • Old-world wineries previously used ox-blood to fine wine, but this is no longer common today
  • Fining agents are removed before wine is bottled


How to find vegan wines


Vegan wines are uncommon, but they do exist. Wherever winemakers are practicing minimalist intervention in the cellar, is where you’ll most likely find wines that are unfined and unfiltered. Remember to check with the winery or importer to be sure.

Here are some useful tips on vegan wines:

  • Wines that are unfined and unfiltered are vegan
  • Wines filtered only with sterile filters (ceramic filters) or cross-flow filters are vegan. Be sure to check with the producer
  • Several mass-produced wineries use sterile filters instead of animal products
  • Some wineries use bentonite to fine protein from white wines instead of isinglass
  • Biodynamic wines can be made in a vegan way when they are unfined but since the farming process uses animal bones (for special compost mixtures) it negates this.
  • If a wine is organic, that doesn’t guarantee it’s vegan

We found that the site has a mostly updated list of vegan wines (primarily US producers) to explore. If you are a producer, you can also submit vegan wines to update the list.



What About Sulfites in Wine?

You’ve probably seen the words “contains sulfites” on a bottle of wine. Find out why sulfur dioxide is used in winemaking and how wine stacks up to other products like french fries, dried fruit, and soda.
The Bottom Line on Sulfites in Wine

Special thanks to winemaker, Sam Keirsey, at Karma Vineyards for detailed information about common fining agents and their uses.

Buy the Book - Get the Course!

Get the Wine 101 Course ($29 value) FREE with the purchase of Wine Folly: Magnum Edition.

Learn More

AboutMadeline Puckette

James Beard Award-winning author and Wine Communicator of the Year. I co-founded Wine Folly to help people learn about wine. @WineFolly

Cover Image for Tasting Challenge: Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon

Tasting Challenge: Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon

Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon graces the final 34 Wines Tasting Challenge. Join us for the last delicious wine in the series.

Read More
Cover Image for Tasting Challenge: Spanish Rosado

Tasting Challenge: Spanish Rosado

This week’s challenge tastes Spanish Rosado. Our tasting challenge heads to the finish line with the bubblegum pink wine of Provence.

Read More
Cover Image for Tasting Challenge: French Gewürztraminer

Tasting Challenge: French Gewürztraminer

Discover how a distinctly German grape became a French wine superstar. This week’s tasting challenge sips on Gewürztraminer.

Read More
Cover Image for Tasting Challenge: Greek Assyrtiko

Tasting Challenge: Greek Assyrtiko

Assyrtiko wine originates from the famously beautiful island of Santorini. This week’s challenge will conjure sunshine and sunny beaches.

Read More
Cover Image for Tasting Challenge: Tawny Port

Tasting Challenge: Tawny Port

This week, we’ll be tasting Portuguese Port, and discussing the inhospitable region that’s led to this highly prized dessert wine.

Read More
Cover Image for Tasting Challenge: Austrian Zweigelt

Tasting Challenge: Austrian Zweigelt

What happens when red grapes are grown in the higher altitudes and cooler climates of Austria? This week we taste Austrian Zweigelt.

Read More