I get a lot of searches on this site from across England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland for vegan-friendly wines. Many people land on my post about vegan wines from Asda, which is now five years out of date and is hence unreliable. Asda no longer provide a vegan wine list, but many supermarkets do.
In addition to supermarkets, there are many specialist wine retailers who have caught on to the demand for more transparent wine labeling.
UK Companies Who Sell Vegan Wine
- Vintage Roots is an organic wine company with predominantly vegan and/or vegetarian wines. I’ve ordered from them a lot in past and they are a reliable and friendly company.
- Vinceramos is an organic wine specialist who claims more than 80% of their wines are vegan.
- Humble Grape knows their vegan wines, but have yet to mark them on their website. The rumour mill has it this is on their to-do list. If you contact them or visit them in store, they ought to be able to put together a list of what bottles are suitable for vegans.
- Tanners Wine Merchants have stores in the Northwest and West Midlands, and can be ordered from online.
- Majestic Wine is a well-known UK wine chain with over 200 branches across Britain. Wines are marked vegan on the website but not instore (they can print you a list, however). This is a good, easily accessible option with plenty of quality wines on offer.
- Wine Trust allows you to sort vegan wines by country, grape, and price.
- The New Zealand Cellar is a most excellent Kiwi wine merchant with a small shop and wine bar in Brixton, London. This is one of my favourite spots in town for a quality glass of wine, and they normally have at least one bottle open that happens to be vegan. Just ask.
- Aldi supermarket has a few vegan wines on their list (and are a surprisingly good source for some quality wines).
- Sainsbury’s maintain a list of products suitable for various diets, and include some wines on the lists.
- Marks & Spencer provides a vegan supermarket list with some vegan-friendly wines included.
- The Co-operative supermarket chain sells several vegan wines that you will find in all shops, and they are clearly marked on the label. This was the first supermarket in the UK to clearly label wines.
- Waitrose also have a decent selection of vegan wines.
- Tesco maintain an frequently updated vegan list. This one is valid through February 2017.
- Oddbins have branches in many major UK cities in England and Scotland, and have a small vegan wine list.
- Corks Out maintains a list of vegan wines on their website and presumably would also do in their Northwest England based stores.
Vegan Wine Wear
I forgot I designed this t-shirt 4,000 years ago, but I guess it’s relevant here so if you’re a vegan
wino who loves wine like me, and you feel the need to let the world know about it, then this swag is for you. Cheers!
Are Biodynamic Wines Vegan?
Many people incorrectly conflate the word “biodynamic” with the word “vegan,” when in reality they are far from synonyms. Many wines are labeled as both, but the problem with this is the labeling doesn’t take farming practices into consideration. While a biodynamic wine may not contain fining agents that make a wine non-vegan, some of the farming methods are supported by woo-advocating pseudoscience in a bid to justify cruel processes. This goes beyond using animals for farming, or even past the occult rituals of burying crystal-filled horns in the soil (a winemaker recently explained to me that grapes grown on red crystals makes wine that causes a feeling of warmth while imbibing, leading me to believe he has never before consumed alcohol).
None of this is surprising, given the Austrian mystic philosopher (okay, roll your eyes back frontward to continue reading) Rudolf Steiner of Waldorf education fame, also the father of biodynamics, believed in some Pretty Crazy Shit. For instance did you know that after humans migrated from Atlantis certain races were evolutionarily more advanced than others? Steiner believed strongly that being blonde and fair imparted wisdom, and so naturally Aryans topped his evolutionary list. Does this sound familiar?
But, I digress. On my lap is a copy of the 2013 edition of the Biodynamic Sowing and Planting Calendar. I’ll admit to some difficulty in understanding the many cryptic signs and symbols illustrated on these pages, but I’ll do my best to take you through October because this is the month that is best suited to burning the feathers and skins of warm blooded pests. You see, Steiner dug the conviction of “like cures like,” an idea out of the the esoteric doctrines of homeopathy’s papa, Samuel Hahnemnan. And so based on that logic, it makes perfect sense that in order to treat pests, you should skin the very same animals and burn those skins.
Not very vegan.
Andy Lewis, a lucky owner of the 2012 manual on quackery, has written more on the question of biodynamics and veganism if you’re interested in reading further.