When I transitioned to veganism almost three years ago I naively thought my consumption of animal products would halt once I changed the way I eat. I cut out all meat, eggs, and cheese. Then I became vigilant about checking ingredient labels to make sure eggs and milk weren't hiding in my snacks. I never thought about the alcohol I drink because I assumed there wasn't bacon grease in my wine. But a chat with my sister (a more knowledgeable vegan) opened my eyes to a lot I didn't know.

Apparently a TON of wines are not vegan friendly. While I'm correct in assuming most wines don't have bacon grease in them, before the bottles hit the shelves, winemakers filter the wine to add brightness and sheen using 'fining agents' that are derived from animals. From blood and bone marrow to fish oil and gelatin, it is often that a delicious Cabernet has had the animal product treatment.

Luckily, there are plenty of vegan options you can choose from. Barnivore.com has an incredibly comprehensive and easily searchable list to reference while you're grocery shopping or at a restaurant. My favorite brand is Layer Cake, which I pick up at Albertsons Market Street weekly. If you're looking for more wine for less money, Sutter Home brand is also vegan friendly.

What's your favorite vegan friendly wine? I know I'm not the only vegan in this town. I'd love some suggestions.


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