Friday, December 28, 2012
Is Your Booze Vegan?
Here it comes - 2013. Are you ready to celebrate vegan style? The food part is relatively easy - or will get easier as you go along. Promise! But what about your favorite Tasty Adult Beverages? Over the last couple of festive weeks I've heard countless people say something like, Well at least wine is vegan! Hmmm... well... maybe... I hate to burst their bubbles - or yours, for that matter - but the truth is, not all booze is vegan. "Vegan Drinking" is sort of an advanced concept, and may not even fit in with your healthy reasons for going veg in the first place. That's fine. No judgements on either side of this fence. But if you do choose to partake in a celebratory toast or two, you might want to be aware that animal products are commonly used as filtering agents, and even as actual ingredients in some libations.
Don't panic though. First, remember that being vegan means to do the best we can, not to be perfect. There's no quicker way to kill a party than to launch into a lecture on how the wine in your friend's glass was filtered with fish bladders. Yuck. Maybe keep that info to yourself for the moment, unless you're seriously looking for a new group of vegan friends. But if you're the one doing the shopping, you can do a little research, and choose vegan friendly beverages for yourself and your fellow revelers.
Barnivore is an amazing website that can instantly tell you if your booze of choice is vegan friendly or not. You can peruse their over 10,000 entries, or simply enter the name of your favorite wine, beer, or whatever in the "find booze" search box. They don't have a mobile app yet, so be sure to do your research at home before you head to the liquor store.
Another way to check on your favorite tasty bevs is offered over at the VegNews site. There you'll find a Wine Guide, as well as a Beer Guide. These lists are not as extensive as Barnivore's, but they're good for a quick glance that will show some familiar and easy to find vegan friendly refreshments.
I'm pleased as punch to learn that our favorite New Mexico winery, Gruet, is indeed on the veg-friendly team. We'll be stocking up on some of their lovely bubbly, and raising a glass to a happy, healthy, compassionate 2013 for us all. Cheers!