Brazilian novelist Paulo Coelho once wrote, “Accept what life offers you and try to drink from every cup. All wines should be tasted. Some should only be sipped; others call for drinking the whole bottle.”
The underlying message about life’s experiences is great. Unfortunately, though, vegans should not taste all wine. This is because many wine brands are not actually vegan due to a refining and filtering process that uses animal by-products.
Thankfully, there are plenty of great-tasting wines that are vegan!
In today’s post, I’m going to show you the best vegan wine brands on the market today. So, whether you’re just looking for a few sips or you want the whole bottle, I’ve got you covered.
Let’s pour ourselves a glass, shall we?
Wine Fining: Why Some Wine Isn’t Vegan-Friendly
Most first-time vegans (myself included) have made the mistake of thinking something was vegan-friendly when it actually wasn’t. Looking at wine, it seems like something that should be vegan. It’s simply mashed up fermented grape juice, right?
While all wine starts off as vegan, not all wine remains vegan. The grapes and fermentation process are 100% vegan and only use plant-based ingredients.
Before the wine is bottled and sold, though, it goes through a process called “fining,” to remove unfiltered particles and refine the flavor. This is where things get a little bit tricky…
All wine is filtered before bottling. However, there’s still a fine silt-like residue leftover afterward. This is removed through fining.
Here’s a quick breakdown of how the fining process works:
During wine fining, animal by-products such as egg white and gelatin are added to the wine. The silt and remaining grape particles in the wine bind to the fatty animal protein additives, which allows the winery to efficiently remove most of the extra silt.
The fining agents also help round out the taste, adding deeper notes of complexity that wine connoisseurs value.
Fining has always been (and likely always will be) an important part of wine production.
Given the increasing demand for vegan wine, though, many companies are switching from animal-derived fining agents to all-natural plant or earth-based fining agents.
If you’re curious and want to learn more, watch this helpful video:
How Do I Know If Wine Is Vegan?
Unfortunately, it’s often hard to tell if a certain brand of wine is vegan or not. The fining agents used in production aren’t listed in the ingredients, as they’re not included in the final product. So, the only way to know for sure is if the company advertises its wine as vegan.
While some companies are outspoken about their vegan wine, other companies are a bit more subtle, so I had to call the company directly to find out. Some companies offer both vegan and non-vegan wines.
Is Barefoot Wine Vegan?
Barefoot Wine is very popular due to its good flavor ratings and affordable price point. Unfortunately, Barefoot Wine is NOT vegan, as it uses animal-derived fining agents.
Why Is Moscato Not Vegan?
Moscato is a sweet dessert wine that’s loved by many. While some Moscato isn’t vegan, there are plenty of vegan-friendly Moscato wines on the market!
What Pinot Grigio Is Vegan?
Wine fining is just as important when producing white wines like pinot grigio as it is in red wine production. Some pinot grigio isn’t vegan.
However, some of the best-tasting pinot grigios that I’ve had are produced by vegan-friendly wineries, such as:
- Lumos Wine
- Decoy Wine
- Layer Cake Wine
Keep reading below to find out my favorite vegan wines!
The Best Vegan Wine Brands To Try This Year (2023)
Sometimes, it’s hard to tell if a wine is really vegan or not (especially if you’re drinking at a party). If you’re the one hosting the party, though, or you’re just sharing a bottle at home you have complete control over what you drink!
These are easily some of the best vegan wine brands that I’ve tried along with my favorite wine by them.
1) Lumos Wine (link)
- Most Popular Wines Offered: Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Rose
- My Favorite Vegan Wine By Lumos: Temperance Hill Pinot Noir
Lumos Wine is a small winery located in Northern Oregon. They source all of their grapes from three family-owned vineyards in Oregon: Temperance Hill Vineyard, Logsdon Ridge Vineyard, and Wren Vineyard.
The wines that come from each vineyard vary in flavor and taste as the unique soil at each vineyard produces slightly different tasting grapes.
I haven’t tried all of their wines yet, but Lumos Wines offers one of my favorite vegan red wines, Temperance Hill Pinot Noir! It has a rich, fruity flavor with a smooth slightly earthy aftertaste that really hits the spot.
Lumos is committed to responsible and ethical wine production, so ALL of the wines they offer are 100% vegan-friendly and aren’t made with any animal-derived fining agents. Instead, they use plant-based fining agents such as silica, carbon, limestone, and bentonite clay.
Since Lumos works with several different vineyards, they always have something new to offer in terms of flavor. They also provide quick, low-cost shipping from their online store.
I’ve ordered from them several times for both myself and others, and I’ve never received a single broken bottle.
2) Decoy Wine (link)
- Most Popular Wines Offered: Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir
- My Favorite Vegan Wine By Decoy: Decoy Sauvignon Blanc
When it comes to getting the best value for your dollar, Decoy offers some seriously good wine. Decoy is 100% vegan as is their parent company, Duckhorn Vineyards.
The brand is easily distinguished on store shelves by its trademark logo, a duck sitting in water.
Decoy sources most of its grapes from Northern Californian vineyards in Sonoma and Napa Valley, which are known for having some of the best grapes in the United States.
Their price point tends to be a bit higher than Lumos. The rich, complex flavor Decoy offers don’t disappoint, though.
The two best places to find Decoy wines are Trader Joe’s and Harris Teeter. Both of the vegan-friendly grocery chains are always offering deals, and I’ve gotten some seriously good discounts on Decoy wine at Harris Teeter.
My favorite wine offered by the winery is the Decoy Sauvignon Blanc. I recently tried a 2017 bottle that had been lightly aged for three years before bottling.
The flavor was warm and fruity with strong hints of apple, raspberry, and a light citrusy finish. I’ve also tried their pinot noir, which pairs excellently with a fresh-grilled plant burger!
3) Layer Cake Wine (link)
- Most Popular Wines Offered: Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Pinot Noir, Bourbon-Barrel-Aged Cabernet Sauvignon, Rose, Chardonnay
- My Favorite Vegan Wine By Layer Cake: Bourbon-Barrel-Aged Cabernet Sauvignon
Like Decoy, Layer Cake is a 100% vegan winery. The brand is currently based out of the United States in St. Helena, California.
However, their story first started in Australia, where the owners built relationships with local vineyards and started producing their first wines.
Shortly after, Layer Cake started sourcing Zinfandel grapes from Puglia and Malbec grapes from Argentina. Finally, they decided to settle in Northern California, where they had established relationships with local vineyards offering Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir grapes.
All of their wines are handpicked and all of their wines are fermented in Layer Cake’s trademark French Oak barrels. Most wineries in the U.S. use White Oak, as it’s the most widely available.
However, the French Oak aging process offers a light and smooth woody aftertaste that differs from other barrels.
Other than the fact that they offer all-vegan wines, what really sets Layer Cake apart is their commitment to finding the best grapes offered by regions all around the world. This is what has allowed them to create some truly great wine at a surprisingly affordable price point!
In the winery’s own words, “The character of each Layer Cake wine is influenced by the vineyard soil, which is layered like a cake…every layer tells a story.”
Layer Cake is a popular wine and is pretty easy to find in most reputable wine stores. I’ve found it in a number of different grocery chains as well. The price point is similar to Decoy, but the flavor of Layer Cake’s wines differs considerably.
For example, Layer Cake’s Chardonnay has a far brighter, fruitier flavor than Decoy’s Chardonnay (which is smoother and slightly more earthy).
So far, Layer Cake offers one of the best vegan wines that I’ve ever had in my life – the Layer Cake Bourbon-Barrel-Aged Cabernet Sauvignon.
It has all of the complex fruity notes that you’d expect out of a great cab, with a warm, earthy, vanilla aftertaste that comes from being aged in used charred White Oak bourbon barrels.
If you ever get your hands on a bottle, you’d do well to buy it (even if it is a bit expensive).
4) Bartenura Wine (link)
- Wines Offered: Moscato, Pinot Grigio, Rose, Asti, Rosso, Prosecco
- My Favorite Vegan Wine By Bartenura: Moscato
Bartenura Wine is a genuine Italian winery that offers some seriously great wine. Although the company offers a variety of wines, they primarily focus on dessert wines and semi-sweet wines like Moscato, rose, Asti, Rosso, and other sweet Italian grapes. They also offer an amazing bubbly prosecco that I recently enjoyed this past New Years’ Eve.
Currently, Bartenura offers the best vegan Moscato that I’ve ever had! It has a deep, rich flavor that’s reminiscent of blackberries and currant with honey-like notes of syrupy sweetness.
They offer their Moscato as both a flat wine and a bubbly (for those who prefer something a bit more exciting).
Their bottles are brightly colored and all of Bartenura’s Moscato is sold in large, royal blue-colored bottles, making them easy to find on store shelves.
Although Bartenura may be a bit hard to find at your local grocery store, most of the large wine stores I’ve visited carry it.
The Moscato is very fairly-priced as well and typically costs between $16 and $20, depending on the store you’re shopping in.
5) Rose All Day (link)
- Wines Offered: Varieties of French Rose
- My Favorite Vegan Wine By Rose All Day: Prosecco Rose
Unlike most vegan wines that are known for their low-key marketing, Rose All Day took the internet by storm with its viral marketing tactics and influencer deals.
Shortly after their official launch, #RoseAllDay was one of the top trending hashtags on Instagram for several weeks!
All of their Rose grapes are grown and harvested in France’s Languedoc-Roussillon region, which is where Rose grapes first originated and arguably make the world’s best Rose grapes.
The unique soil combined with the light, sweet grapes makes for some truly delicious Rose.
As its name implies, Rose All Day has chosen to specialize in one area and only offers high-quality rose varieties. Currently, they offer a flat rose, a rose spritz, and a prosecco rose.
All of their wines are also sold in cans, which can be found in gas stations, wine stores, and grocery stores across the country!
So far, my favorite has been Rose All Day Prosecco Rose, which is a delightful bubbly rose that’s perfect on a warm summer day. It’s very affordable and typically only costs around $16 a bottle.
6) Newman’s Own Wine (link)
- Wines Offered: Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Red Blend
- My Favorite Vegan Wine By Newman’s Own: Newman’s Own Red Blend
Newman’s Own isn’t exactly an award-winning wine and isn’t the best vegan wine on the shelf. However, it’s reliable, affordable, and tastes pretty decent for what it is.
All of their wine is produced from Napa Valley-grown Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. They also offer a red blend that uses several varieties of red grapes.
The main reason that I support Newman’s Own from time to time is that they donate 100% of all of their net profit to charity! The owner turned his entire company into a non-profit organization in the mid-1980s and hasn’t looked back since.
Conclusion – What’s The Best Vegan Wine Brand?
If I had to choose the best vegan wine brand, it would be a stand-down between Layer Cake and Decoy.
They both offer some amazing wines at an affordable price point and are easy to find in grocery stores and wine shops across the country.
Personally, I enjoy wine the best when paired with delicious homemade vegan pasta. However, not all pasta is vegan-friendly. To learn more, keep on reading and check out my answer to the question, “Is Pasta Vegan?” next!