Happy National Wine and Cheese Day! We’re mixing it up today by trying out different vegan wines and “cheeses.” We’ve partnered up with our favorite wine sommelier, Lauren Volper, of Wine Up to walk us through what makes wine vegan and putting together pairings for this holiday.
You’ll probably be very surprised to find out that not all wines are vegan! 😱
1 or more of these 4 main additives are in most wines that render it not safe for a devout vegan to consume.
- Isinglass - dried fish bladders
- Albumin - egg whites
- Gelatin - animal collagen
- Casein - cow’s milk protein
Although these ingredients aren't actually in the wine, they are used to filter and clarify the wine so that there aren't any leftover sediments from the winemaking process. It's hard to know which wines are vegan since they aren't always labeled. The best way to know if a wine is vegan is looking for "unfined" or "unfiltered" on the label. For more information on vegan wines, check out Lauren's blog post here!
Cheese might be a little more obvious. Vegan cheese is made without animal dairy and rennet, a complex set of enzymes made from the stomachs of ruminant mammals. There are usually two different types of vegan cheese: nut-based and soy-based. It is made almost the same way, except for the animal milk. Plant proteins are used and mixed with oils and thickeners to help create that cheese-like consistency. And just like normal cheese, the plant protein and bacteria need to break down overtime.
Check out our latest video on IGTV where we get to taste different vegan cheeses paired with vegan wines with both of the Lauren's (CompletEats + WineUp). Cheers!!