Last weekend I made the most of the beautifully warm Queensland winter and headed out to my favourite spot on the Gold Coast for a picnic.
I’m not a regular drinker but I do love a good glass of something light and sweet with a picnic.
I’ve been moving towards a more plant based diet for several months now, and I am continually surprised to discover just how many common food and drinks contain animal derivatives.
Did you know wine contains animal derived products? Neither did I until recently.
Animal products in wines
Wines contain tannins and phenolinic particles, brownish bitter-tasting organic substances which do not taste particularly nice so winemakers use animal derived products to remove these particles during a process called fining. The most commonly used fining agents are animal derived and can be casein (a milk protein), albumin (egg whites), gelatin (animal protein) and isinglass (fish bladder protein).
Great news for vegans more and more well known winemakers are now choosing to use mineral and plant-based fining agents such as bentonite clay and silica gel to plant casein. Australian winemakers Brown Brothers have twenty vegan wines in their collection, with a solid selection of whites, reds and sparkling wines.
This is my first foray into vegan wine territory and I am very pleased to report, they taste just as delicious, and no different to wines containing animal products. I tried most of the wines from the Brown Brothers Celebrations Pack, but there were a couple of clear winners.
For this picnic I drank the 1889 Dry Rose. It was lovely on this cool afternoon but I think this will become a favourite when the weather warms up. It’s very light and dry with a subtle watermelon taste.
My overall favourite is the 1889 Sauvignon Blanc, which comes from Brown Brothers’ new Tasmanian vineyards. Crisp, cool and refreshing, when you pour a glass it smells like passionfruit. This is such a beautiful wine and one that will have a permanent place in my fridge.
How to tell if the wine is vegan friendly
Brown Brothers vegan wines each have a logo on the back of the label. A small leaf symbol with the word vegan underneath. If in doubt, they also have a section on their site which lists all their vegan friendly wines here.
Kira Simpson is an environmentalist and sustainability educator. She started The Green Hub in 2015 and has since grown to become one of Australia’s largest education platforms dedicated to helping people live a more sustainable life, talking about the big environmental issues like climate change, plastic pollution, and fast fashion – showing people how they can have an impact through their own small daily actions and how to be part of the bigger environmental movement.