Is your Booze Vegan?
If you are anything like me, you enjoy a glass of wine with dinner or Sangria in the courtyard. It has recently come to my attention that not all booze is vegetarian or vegan friendly. Naturally, my first reaction was one of sheer panic, but never fear my thirsty friends; thanks to a dear friend of mine, I am able to share this article with you. I am also proud to announce that thanks to www.barnivore.com I was able to look up my drinks of choice and find out that they are all vegan friendly! Vegans are truly able to have their cake and eat it too.
Its not easy living vegan or vegetarian. But at least you can have a drink with dinner right? After all wine is grapes. Beer is grain. Liquor is grain or potatoes and so forth. All vegan right? Not so fast. Don’t forget that wine, when first fermented, can be a bit cloudy from tiny suspended particles of grape skins, yeast and so on.
Often it has to be fined-that is, clarified by having a finely ground substance dropped through it to collect the particles and carry them to the bottom. And that substance can be egg whites or casein, a milk product. In either case, that means the wine is still vegetarian but no longer vegan. Or the substance could be edible gelatins, which means it contains animal bones, or else isinglass, made from the swim bladders of fish, or even diatomaceous earth, the ground-up skeletal remains of diatoms, tiny sea creatures that inhabited the North Sea millions of years ago. And that would mean its not even vegetarian.Maybe you’re better off having a beer. Maybe not. Some beers are fined with isinglass as well. Other brews, like honey ales or raspberry or strawberry ales, are sweetened with honey— thus, not vegan because it comes from bees. Liquor? Sometimes fined with isinglass. Often filtered through charcoal, which on a rare occasion can be made from charred animal bones. Occasionally filtered through silk from silk worms.Don’t be discouraged. Vegans can drink kosher wines, which under law, may contain no animals products. Such wines are fined instead with minutely ground bentonite, made from volcanic ash.
Or, vegans can check out barnivore.com, a website by Toronto vegan Jason Doucette that purports to list nearly 400 wineries, breweries and distillers with information about whether their stuff is vegan. Beau’s Lug Tread, right, makes the list.The final method is to approach beverage producers on your own to ask about individual products. Very complicated. Enough to drive a vegetarian/vegan to drink. Or from it. -McClathy Newspapers