Vegan wines? Ever thought what goes into the wines? People who appreciate organic wines and vegans, living a plant based lifestyle. This may be of interest to you…
We had the pleasure to visit a wine estate here in France a few weeks ago, Levine Wines. Owners, David Levin, creator of the Capital One Hotel & Restaurant in London and his wife Lynne, have created a beautiful range of wines with New World techniques, of wine making from Australia and combining the traditional Old World vineyards grown on French soil.
We were received with a very hospitable and warm welcome, by Lynne Levine, a true connoisseur of wine, who gave us an enjoyable wine tasting experience, trying their authentically, organic vegan wines.
During our wine tasting, we were pleasantly surprised with their Sauvignon Blanc white wine and Rosé, homegrown in the Loire Valley in France. Their grapes harvested with a specialised team, each grape is inspected and harvested with care, in the delicate and organic process, producing the most fragrant, delicious, certified organic, quality wines.
Lynne Levine, explained how corked wines are still an important cultural ‘etiquette’ in France, usually French people will only drink wine if it is in a corked bottle. However, besides the environmental impact, of using cork for the bottled wines, the screw cap wines are now, more accepted in New World countries, America, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Surprisingly, there is actually advantages of having a ‘non cork’ wine, regarding the fermentation process, for example the length of period, you can keep your wine for, is far longer than cork wines. We drank a Rosé which was over 3 years old, it was fragrant & delicious!
Our personal preference we usually prefer traditional French red wines, we are by no means sommeliers or connoisseurs of wine. However from our experience honesty, Levine wines are exceptional quality, with an array of flavours of soft velvety peachy & strawberry, with a delicate woody fragrance, for their rosé. Their white wines, were just as impressive, perfect to go with a pasta with basil, garlic and mushrooms for a plant based, vegan diet.
Thank you to Lynne Levin and her team for our wonderful wine tasting experience and finding the time to show us around, during your most busiest period of harvesting this year. (usually they do not receive guests for wine tasting, we were curious to find out about their organic vegan wines, to inform other people living a plant based, lifestyle).
Interesting facts to know what makes organic vegan wines different to normal non vegan wines:
The majority of people are unaware that wine, although made from grapes, may have been made using animal products.
During the winemaking process, the liquid is filtered through substances called “fining agents.” This process is used to remove protein, yeast, cloudiness, “off” flavors and colorings, and other organic particles. Popular animal-derived fining agents used in the production of wine include blood and bone marrow, casein (milk protein), chitin (fiber from crustacean shells), egg albumen (derived from egg whites), fish oil, gelatin (protein from boiling animal parts), and isinglass (gelatin from fish bladder membranes).
Thankfully, there are several common fining agents that are animal-friendly and used to make vegan wine. Carbon, bentonite clay, limestone, kaolin clay, plant casein, silica gel, and vegetable plaques are all suitable alternatives.
Popular animal-derived fining and clarification agents used in the production of conventional wine include:
- Casein (milk protein)-used in wine making to give white wines clarity and remove oxidative taint.
- Chitosan (also known as Chitan-fiber from crustacean shells)-has a positive ionic charge and is used to remove excess color and phenols from white wines.
- Egg whites (albumen)-still widely used in Bordeaux to remove harsh tannins.
- Gelatin (a protein derived from animal hides and bones) is used on both red and white wines to enhance color or effect mouth feel.
- Isinglass (derived from fish swim bladder membranes)-gives white wines brilliant clarity by removing solids and excess color.
Look for the authentic certified Organic Bio Vegan Label when purchasing wines, to make sure it is absolutely vegan!
We have discovered authentic organic vegan restaurants that do sell vegan wines. We recently had luncheon at Café Ginger in Paris for my birthday and the food was freshly homemade style cooking, delicious and wonderful service. They sell organic vegan wines. Owners are, Edward from Guernsey & Daniela from Chile, both are amazing cooks and made us feel very welcome!
Be kind to animals, be kind to the environment.
words by Colleen Lifestyle Blogger, Vegan Wannabee