The subject of wine with vegan food typically focuses on whether the producer has utilized animal-based items such as isinglass (or fish bladder), egg white (both of which are progressively rare nowadays) or milk protein (far more common) in the fining process. However, provided the popularity of vegan food, many supermarkets have now deserted even the latter, enabling them to claim, rather properly, that the majority of their wines are suitable for vegans.However, if you’re vegan
, or have simply decided to eat vegan this month, that’s not totally the point, is it? Veganism usually originates from a concern about the provenance of your food and a desire to have it as naturally produced as possible. And many business winemaking, as in other massive industrial food production, uses a battery of additives to accomplish an appropriate outcome at an economical rate, which is why most vegans, I think, would prefer to drink white wines that have actually had very little intervention– simply put, natural (though that is in itself a controversial term).
There’s also the concern of what you’re likely to be eating with that red wine. Unless it’s designed to imitate meat, plant-based meals point more to white wines than to reds, however at this cold season, not least when many of us have the heating turned down, that might well be the last thing you fancy.The ideal response, I think, is orange or amber wine– that is, a wine made from white grapes for which the juice is left in contact with the skins in much the same method as when making a red. This not just leaves the wine with a more pronounced colour, which can range from pale gold to deep orange, depending upon the level of the maceration, but likewise with a more tannic structure that can withstand robust food. Believe aubergines, mushrooms, roast celeriac and cauliflower, dark, leafy greens such as grow tops and kale, nuts(specifically walnuts), pulses and tahini.Aromatic grape ranges such as malvasia, solaris and
pinot gris are especially beautiful with any of those. The downside is that they’re frequently not inexpensive, though if January has to do with restraint, instead of rejection, you might make a bottle last for 2 to 3 days, particularly if you concern it as a weekend treat.There is a more affordable option, however– cider– and it could keep you going for the rest of the week, too. I’m uncertain cider-makers would be flattered to be considered second best to natural red wine, though the products can be similar, but apples truly do have an affinity with many veggies, especially root veg and greens. And if you’re not drinking booze this January, why not make it apple juice, such as the definitely beautiful Falstaff juice in today’s choice, which would count as at least one of the 30 plants we’re now supposed to try to take in every week, according to Professor Tim Spector of Zoe.Five excellent matches for plant-based food Lyrarakis Gero deti Melissaki 2021 ₤ 16.55 Field & Fawcett, ₤ 17 Corks of Bristol, ₤ 18.49(or ₤ 17.57 if you buy six)Cambridge Wine Merchants, 13.5 %.
A Cretan cocktail of fruit flavours(quince,
pear, papaya), however dry and strongly tannic. Attempt with an entire roast celeriac(melissaki is & the grape variety). Denbies Orange Solaris 2021 ₤ 25 denbies.co.uk, 12%. Even English manufacturers make orange wine these days. Lovely peach and apricot fruit, with a touch of orange blossom.Iford Wild Session Fresh Juice Cider, ₤ 18 (for 6 x 440ml cans)ifordcider.com, 4.7%. Soft, gentle, medium-dry cider– as the name recommends, sessionable.Townsend Farm Falstaff Apple Juice, ₤ 4.25 (75cl, or ₤ 20 for 6)New Market Dairy Altrincham. Perfectly fresh, tart apple juice that would work out
with a crunchy cabbage or fennel salad.Portela do VentoDaterra Viticultores 2020 ₤ 26 hectorslondon.co.uk, ₤ 26.50 Native Vine, Bristol ₤ 27 Chester’s of Abergavenny, 12.5%.
Sumptuously abundant amber red wine from Galicia, made from godello, that I discovered at Picole, a new natural red wine bar in Bristol. Just wonderful, however there’s very little of it around, so snap it up if you find a bottle.