You may have over indulged over Christmas and decided to go on the wagon for January. But believe us, it doesn’t have to be this way. There is another way to be virtuous and it just requires participating in Veganuary, a movement that encourages people to turn vegan for January, or for the rest of the year for that matter.
We’re not so sure we are quite ready to take the plunge and going fully vegan, and we’re not suggesting you should either. We’re pretty sure a lot of the meals we already eat are vegan anyway, but we think ensuring the wines we drink this January are vegan is a step in the right direction.
Choosing vegan wine means you can pat yourself on the back as you’re drinking wine produced entirely without animal products and you may even discover some new wines to boot.
Just to clarify what vegan wine actually is, as you may be thinking, isn’t wine just made from fruit? some wines are fined or clarified before bottling using animal products such as isinglass from fish, gelatin from pigs or casein from milk.
Vegan wines, on the other hand, are fined or filtered only with non-animal derived products such as clay, carbon, limestone, plant casein or vegetable plaques.
So we’ve put together our pick of the 6 best vegan wines to enjoy this January and you never know you may find a future favourite. What’s more the wines we’ve chosen are all on offer at the moment so you’ll be saving money too. Doubly virtuous.
Try a pair of each wine in our Scrumptious Vegan Case – saving over £19
Alta Corte, Lisboa, Portugal Hailing from the Lisboa wine region of Portugal, this wine is made by Portugal’s number one winemaker Jose Neiva Correia. It’s a blend of two indigenous Portuguese red grape varieties, Caladoc and Tinta Rorriz. Smooth and soft with light oak ageing, this will pair well with vegan chilli, pizza and hearty sausage and lentil casserole.
Domaine des Crès Ricards Cabernet Sauvignon 2016, Languedoc, France Made from grapes grown on the rocky limestone of the Terrasses du Larzac in the South of France, this Cabernet has a certain earthy quality that is very appealing. It has all the quintessential blackcurrant flavours you’d expect and would go nicely with the earthy flavours and meaty textures of mushroom dishes. Try it with grilled flat mushrooms stuffed with garlicky breadcrumbs.
Edgebaston The Pepper Pot Red, 2015, Western Cape, South Africa The name says it all with this wine that has a strong peppery nature balanced beautifully by ripe bramble fruit. Winemaker David Finlayson makes this wine with more than a nod to the Rhone Valley and blends Syrah, Mourvedre, Cinsault, Grenache and Tannat grapes. The result is a gutsy, heady wine that can stand up to bold flavours. Think stroganoff packed with smoked paprika or a shallot tart tatin.
Bradgate Chenin Blanc, Stellenbosch, South Africa Made by Gary and Cathy Jordan, a husband and wife team who have become key players in the South African Wine Industry. Their prowess is shown off beautifully in this Chenin that has just the right balance of fruit and acidity to make it very elegant. Try this with spicy and fruity dishes such as tagines or jerk jackfruit.
Domaine de la Ferrandière Chardonnay, 2017, Languedoc The Languedoc is a region that has long been a source of excellent value wines, having the perfect climate and varied geography. This Chardonnay is one such example, being a wine that really punches above its price tag and tastes a lot more expensive than it is. Its fresh and fruit-laden character would match perfectly with oriental dishes such as Vietnamese spring rolls packed with crunchy raw veg, coriander and mint.
Garganega Antiche Terre, 2016, Veneto, Italy Garganega is the same grape used to make Soave wine, and this is a delicious and light bodied wine with hints of peach and melon. Vineyards are located on steep slopes in the Valtepana Valley, where cooling winds blow through the vineyards from the Dolomites to retain the freshness and acidity in the grapes. This is a great aperitif with olives or try it with butternut squash roasted with garlic then drizzled with tahini sauce. Finger- licking good, vegan style.
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