Do you really know what’s in your wine? | Fiona Beckett on drinks

Do you really know what’s in your wine? | Fiona Beckett on drinks

Finding a wine that makes little ecological impact is tricky. If it’s vegan, is it sustainable? If it’s sustainable, is it organic? Here’s a tentative pick through the minefield that is modern wine

As if the world of wine isn’t complicated enough, what do you do if you have a particular priority or requirement? A wine that’s suitable for vegans, for instance. Will a wine that’s suitable for vegetarians fit the bill? And what about organic? What does that say about the way the wine is treated in the winery? Sustainable? Minimal intervention?

It’s all a bit of a minefield, but let’s try to unscramble things. Basically, it comes down to the integrity of what you pour down your throat. Vegetarian and vegan wines are the most straightforward in that they have to be made without any animal-derived products. Traditionally, that would have excluded the fining agents, such as isinglass and egg white, used to clarify the wine, but those are now rarely used outside the world of fine wine and most supermarket own-label wines these days are in fact vegan-friendly. And almost all of Marks & Spencer’s range is.

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