Wednesday, August 29th, 2007

Wine – Raw? Organic? How about Vegan?

by Kristen Suzanne in ebooks, raw recipes, vegan

While I understand that alcohol destroys pretty much every cell it comes in contact with, I also understand that not everyone is going to swear off alcohol for life. Wine would be the best choice for your alcoholic beverage since it’s considered Raw. In fact, I created some amazing and fun beverages with wine in my book (boy those were fun to make and test!): Kristen Suzanne’s EASY Raw Smoothies, Juices, Elixirs & Drinks. Once you go Raw though, expect to feel the effects of alcohol more quickly and strongly, as your body will have become very efficient at absorption. Until you discover your new, lower tolerance for alcohol, be very careful when you drink. And…don’t drink and drive.

Organic:
Look for organic wine that is low in sulfites or without added sulfites. This is sometimes a point of confusion because sulfites occur naturally even in 100% organically produced wine. According to Professor Roger Boulton, Ph.D., of UC Davis’ Department of Viticulture and Enology, even if no sulfur dioxide is added to wine, fermenting yeasts will produce SO2 from the naturally occurring inorganic sulfates in all grape juices. Thus, says Boulton, it is impossible for any wine to be completely free of sulfur dioxide.

Vegan:
But, just because the wine is Raw and even Organic, doesn’t mean it’s Vegan. If it says “vegan” on the bottle, then you’re good to go. Does yours? If not, you might want to contact the company and ask, although I suspect it won’t be vegan unless it says so on the bottle. Here is one that I have tried and enjoyed. It’s organic and vegan: Organic Vintners Mendocino Pinot Noir (pictured here). This is what they had to say about vegan and biodynamic wines:

Biodynamic principles take the organic approach a step further by making sure that the growth of the grapes is in tune with the larger environment. Using homeopathic sprays, herbal preparations and lunar cycles, soil fertility is increased and vines are protected from pests and diseases.


Vegan wines. Winemakers, both organic and conventional, are not obliged to declare on the label when they use animal by-products as fining agents to clarify wine. These include egg white (to brighten red wines), casein (a milk protein to make wine taste softer), gelatin (removes bitterness) and isinglass (derived from fish). A vegan wine, on the other hand, uses no animal products whatsoever. The vegan versions typically use clay to make the wines clear.

I’m excited to see the organic vegan wine selection growing at Whole Foods, as well as to see such a great collection online at places like The Organic Wine Company. Sometimes for holiday, anniversary, or birthday gifts, I buy a bottle of organic vegan wine for people and have it shipped. I like The Organic Wine Company’s selection.

AND! Since I’m all about voting with my dollar….here is my plan when visiting restaurants. I’ll ask if they offer an organic (and vegan!) wine selection. If they say, “no” then I’ll tell them that I’ll just drink water. That’ll teach them, eh?

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