While the appeal of organic wine is an obvious part of this trend, if the enthusiastic messages we’ve received on social media are any indication, interest in vegan wine is also starting to make an appearance. Yes, you heard that right—wine is not necessarily vegan simply because it’s made with grapes.
Don’t worry—wine is actually made from grapes
Wine is made by fermenting grape juice using yeast, which transforms the liquid into alcohol and carbon dioxide. But the beverage obtained by this process isn’t automatically crystal clear. There are many micro-organisms, yeasts, and other particles still suspended in the wine, making it more or less cloudy. Most of the time, the liquid is then clarified for commercial reasons, such as product stability, transparency, etc. This can be accomplished in several ways, but without getting into the technical details, most wine is mechanically filtered using fairly fine mesh. But it is possible to accomplish this in a gentler way.
What is a colloid?
This technique consists of adding a colloidal substance to the wine, which is able to flocculate and settle the particulate matter by forming a coagulated mass. Once this mass becomes heavy with sediment, it sinks to the bottom of the vat. It then becomes easy to separate these particulates by decanting the clarified liquid into another container. This is a gentler process that allows the wine to retain more of its naturally occurring substances, which produces a more palatable product to those in the know. The mechanical and colloidal methods can also be combined, or neither can be used. The latter case is the default for artisanal wines, a segment that includes natural wines.