Monday, December 10, 2012

Vegan Sommelier

With all the wine tasting that I do and all the trips I've taken to Napa, Sonoma, etc., people are always asking me, "Is wine vegan?" Or better yet, they ask, "Isn't all wine vegan?"  I find it funny that some people think all wine is vegan and some think none of it is.  The truth is that you can find both -- vegan and non-vegan wine. The big problem is that most wine is not labeled as vegan or not and most wine store owners and restaurant sommeliers don't know if their wine is vegan either. That's where John, Gina, and their crew come in as the Vegan Sommelier.

At Vegan Sommelier, they do the work for you by contacting small, family-owned wineries directly to verify if the wines are vegan or not. What makes a wine not vegan, you ask? Many wines are filtered using animal products like fish bladders and egg whites or even the connective tissue of farm animals. Yuck! So, if you want to be sure that animal parts are not in your wine and weren't used in the processing of your wine, go to Vegan Sommelier.

They taste the wines and select only those vegan wines that they deem to be good quality to sell on their website. There you can order reasonably priced wines and have them shipped directly to you. I tried their Domaine du Pas Saint Martin Samur (2007) made from Chenin Blanc, which is a somewhat dry sparkling wine priced at just $18.93 per bottle.

They currently offer a variety of wines from Oregon, France, Italy, Washington, and Australia. I am familiar with the Grochau Cellars Pinot Noir that they have listed on their site -- I'm actually familiar with a different one that they make that is a bit more expensive, but it is one of my favorite wines so I have to assume their lower priced one is good as well.

Vegan Sommelier will work with individuals one-on-one if they are looking to build up their collection of wines or one can just purchase directly from their online store. They offer free shipping on orders of 6 bottles or more and the best part is, they donate a significant portion of their profits to nonprofit organizations that help animals like the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary.

They even have their own wine clubs designed to fit anyone's needs such as the premium white, premium red, or mixed box (both whites and reds) club. Um, I'm thinking this would be a great holiday gift!

And best of all, they are local and I absolutely love supporting local businesses. So next time you think about trying a new wine, why not try out a vegan wine from DC-based Vegan Sommelier.

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