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mishe
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Ouch! I must still be a newby, because I just found out at the vegan mentor meeting that wine is not necessarily vegan. Something about processing it with fish guts. Is this true for ALL wine that is not marked "vegan"?

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Ouch! I must still be a newby, because I just found out at the vegan mentor meeting that wine is not necessarily vegan. Something about processing it with fish guts. Is this true for ALL wine that is not marked "vegan"?

 

The "fish guts" are more often used in beers such as dark english ales, although it is used by some winemakers. More common in wine is egg whites. Neither of these things is actually in the finished product, they are used in the clarifying process. Both wineries and breweries have their own peronalities. The best way to find out is to contact the producer directly, it can even vary among different wines or beers from the same producer.

 

There are a number of vegan wine and beer lists online. There is a pretty extensive vegan wine guide here http://vegans.frommars.org/wine/

 

I've found the wine issue to be right up there with the sugar issue for most vegans, they don't much worry about it. It's just a nice next step if you're determined to eliminate every trace of animal product.

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We drink a fair amount of wine and much of it is not fined but also not identified as vegan. Some websites will tell you if their wine is fined or filtered. My understanding is that unfiltered wines are also not fined - once you fine, you need to filter the wine to remove the fined deposits.

 

We are fortunate to get the opportunity to visit the vineyards where I live and ask the producers directly. The don't always understand what a "vegan" wine is but they can tell you if they've fined their product. Keep in mind that some wines are fined with non-animal ingredients. Different fining ingredients are used to pull out different undesirable tastes. I may be wrong, but I've found that the higher quality wine-makers in this area do not fine their wines, perhaps because they're just better at making a wine that needs no further help.

 

I entertain vegans often and I agree with what Michael says - most (whom I know) don't sweat it. There is a line between being vegangelical and doing your best. Vegans are already doing much to prevent cruelty in a world where you cannot possibly avoid animal products in every aspect of your life. When it comes to animal ingredients being used in the production of a product (wine, beer, sugar, automobiles, homes, furniture, etc.), you can make yourself - and everyone around you - crazy by trying to be 100% animal-product free. It's a personal choice and, IMO, a vegan who judges you by this is someone who shouldn't be allowed in your home - they'll look at the tags on your couch cushions and sit one the floor if they discover a bit of wool in your hand-me-down furniture.

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I agree 100% with what DV has posted. I do my best to limit as many animal products in my life as possible, but PETA has even said it's virtually impossible to be 100% vegan in this day and age, because of the way companies produce things. We just have to do our best, and gradually things will change for the better.

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