Fining agents vary from isinglass and gelatine to casein and egg albumen. Any wine fined using casein (derived from milk) or egg albumen are therefore suitable for vegetarians – but not for vegans. Isinglass is made from fish, so wine using this ingredient would be suitable for pescatarians. There are alternative fining agents that can be used such as charcoal or clay-derived bentonite. These are safe for vegetarians and vegans but are less common than animal-derived ingredients.
The issue is that there is no legal obligation for winemakers to state the fining ingredients they use, making it difficult for vegetarians who want to omit gelatine or isinglass-based wines.
However increasingly wine makers are publishing this information as interest in vegetarian and vegan diets increases.
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