Australian wineries are increasingly producing wines under vegan guidelines, using no animal products in winemaking. It may seem strange that a product that is basically fermented grape juice would have any animal products associated with it, but traditionally a number of processes involve things like eggs, fish products, gelatine and milk, all no-nos from the vegan perspective. Most are used for clarifying, leaving bright, shiny wine in your glass, or for moderating tannins to soften it, but there are vegan alternatives such as bentonite, made from inert clay. Vegetarian and vegan wines are big business as more and more wineries realise that quality can be maintained while gaining veg credibility – a win-win-wine situation. Here are three vegan-friendly wines to try.
Yalumba The Y Series Pinot Grigio 2017, $13-$15
Family-owned Yalumba Winery, founded in 1849, has been a leader in environmentalism and consumer preference in recent decades. Vegan-suitable wines have featured for a long time. This bargain PG offers inviting apple, citrus and flowering herb aromas, with a clean, fruity mouthful that finishes savoury and dry. Screw cap; 12.5 per cent alcohol.
Stockists include Just released. Check Dan Murphy's stores and Vintage Cellars stores.
D'Arenberg D'Arry's Original 2014, $16-$18
Tradition is very important at D'Arenberg's McLaren Vale winery and this vegan-friendly shiraz grenache has a timeless feel. It's a warm, friendly drop smelling of red berries, spices and earth. The palate is smooth, easy and nicely lingering, with fine tannins behind it. Screw cap; 14.5 per cent alcohol.
Ageing? Drink over five years.
Stockists include Boccaccio Cellars, Balwyn (Vic); Dan Murphy's stores.
Cullen Diana Madeline 2016, $125-$130
Vanya Cullen champions all things environmentally friendly at her Margaret River vineyard. This pristine regional cabernet blend has piercing aromas of blackcurrant, cedar, chocolate and briar. In the mouth it's succulent and intense, yet delicate, with lovely freshness and balance. Needs age to blossom into a classic. Screw cap; 12.5 per cent alcohol.
Ageing? Yes, drink from three to 15 years.
Stockists include Five Way Cellars, Paddington (NSW); Rathdowne Cellars, Carlton (Vic).