Is Champagne Vegan?
17th September 2021
So firstly, let us delve into what exactly is Veganism. The translation works out as to being a style / type of vegetarian diet that excludes all meat and dairy products including other animal derived ingredients and those foods processed using animal products / labour.
There are quite a few yes and no answers to a selection of on the fringe foods that includes honey and non edible items such as materials with the likes of wool. If animals are used in the production process such as horse and carts then this will also have an effect on the suitability for vegans. Anything that is remotely connected to cruelty to animals will be excluded from vegan diets.
Fact regarding if honey is vegan: Honey is probably the product most frequently mistaken as vegan-friendly. There is a common misconception that honey bees make their honey especially for us, but this couldn’t be much further from the truth. Honey is made by bees for bees, and their health can be sacrificed when it is harvested by humans. source vegan society
Are Champagnes Vegan?
Most are, but… Many people will think that vegetarians and vegans are quite similar in their dietary requirements, but there are many differences and when they are all listed the latter is far more restrictive. Both, of course, are highly creditable and many will say helping towards sustainability of our planet, though if of course, you are a passionate carnivore then will find the idea of either quite impossible.
“The reason Champagne might not be vegan is because Champagne is originally made with wine. Unfortunately, in many cases, winemakers add fining agents made from animal products. The fining agents help soften or reduce the bitterness of the wine; remove the proteins capable of haze formation, or even reduce/change its color.” source veganfoundry.com
When it comes to wine there will be some restrictions for vegans as the practice of using fining agents such as gelatin, casein, egg whites, isinglass, and skimmed milk still takes place. It is highly advisable, though common practice, that vegans should research further than the label on the bottle for both the ingredients and production methods, not all will show if they are purely vegan or not and some, dare I say, might state incorrectly that they are when some elements of the wine are not to required standards.
Champagne House Duval-Leroy have released the news that all of their range is now vegan friendly.
The good news for Vegans is that more and more Champagne houses are realising that the option to enjoy vegan friendly wine is of growing importance especially as the popularity of the diet / lifestyle grows. Many Champagne houses will highlight the fact by the likes of official badges / accreditations mentioned on their label or clearly stating ‘vegan’. A search for ‘vegan Champagne’ on Google delivers over 71 million results – A popular topic!
Vintages! Remember though that even if a Champagne house states itself as being vegan, if you are lucky enough to stumble across an aged vintage from them then it may very well not have been produced in a vegan friendly way as we have discussed previously.
For those of you interested in honey – Champagne houses produce it: There are a few Champagne houses that have bees in their vineyards and they sell their very own pots of honey. These pots of delightful honey can hold a touch of Champagne character within them – An example is from Robert Allait.
Want some more vegan reading? How about Vegan Foods to pair with (Vegan) Bubbly!
Co-founder of Glass of Bubbly. Journalist and author focused on Champagne & Sparkling Wines and pairing them with foods.