There are so many different kinds of wine today — and we’re not talking just about the array of varieties and blends from the various microclimates and wine regions of the world’s many winemaking countries.
Among other “styles” of wine, you may also encounter:
- Natural wines — Made with minimal chemical or technological intervention, and that goes for both in the vineyard and in the cellar. There has been something of a natural wine movement in France in recent years, although I’ve found such wines — because they are not filtered to remove perceived impurities — to be an acquired taste.
- Kosher wines — The definition of “kosher” varies widely when it comes to winemaking. In general, however, it could be said that a kosher wine is one produced according to Judaism’s dietary laws.
- Vegan wines — We have a young vegetarian in the family (my granddaughter is 13 years old), and that can be challenging enough when preparing meals. Over time, I’ve gained a great deal of experience in pairing wine with vegetarian dishes — mainly so we don’t have to prepare two meals. I know that pairing wines with dishes that are vegan friendly would present a whole new set of challenges.
What I didn’t know is that there are vegan wines. Following vegan guidelines, these are wines that do not use animal products — gelatin, egg whites, milk products, fish bladders — for fining.
These also are wines made from grapes grown in vineyards where no animal products are used in the fertilizers.
I like to think of them as natural or organic wines taken to the Nth degree. And they are out there for folks really interested in tracking them down.
We’ve compiled a list of a handful of our personal favorite vegan wines:
- Amici Cellars– featuring many vegan-friendly wines (including their Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc) and a gorgeous winery in Calistoga
- Judd’s Hill- each and every wine that they produce is vegan-friendly and they have everything from that perfect summer-time Rosé to 90+ Point Cabernet Sauvignons, and even large format bottles, with the best real estate that Napa has to offer along the Silverado Trail
- Frey Vineyards- completely committed to the use of no animal fining agents, Frey Vineyards confirms that 100% of their wines are vegan and gluten-free and their most popular wines include their Sauvignon Blanc and Zinfandel
Me? My next job is to start working on a few vegan dishes… just in case my granddaughter decides to take that next step.
I’ll worry about the wine pairings for those dishes later…