Champagne is the traditional alcoholic beverage to serve on New Year’s Eve, and if you’re planning to imbibe, you may be surprised to learn that not all Champagne is vegan. Some Champagne, like other wine, is processed with fining agents, which can include products such as casein (milk protein), gelatin, fish bladders, and egg white.
Because these fining agents aren’t ingredients but part of the winemaking process, brands aren’t required to disclose their use on labeling.
There are other reasons to want to check how your champagne is made. In fact, sustainable champagne is swiftly becoming a prominent choice among environmentally conscious consumers. As global awareness of climate change and ecological preservation grows, many champagne producers in the famous Champagne region of France are adopting sustainable practices. These methods focus on reducing carbon footprint, conserving water, protecting biodiversity, and utilizing organic farming techniques. A number of champagne producers (including a few on this list) are reducing chemical pesticides and fertilizers in their vineyards. Many producers are turning to organic and biodynamic farming methods, which emphasize soil health and ecosystem balance. This approach not only benefits the environment but also enhances the quality of the champagne, as healthier vines produce better (and some say yummier) grapes.
Another key aspect of sustainable champagne production is energy and resource efficiency. Wineries are investing in renewable energy sources like solar panels and implementing energy-saving technologies in their production processes. This not only reduces greenhouse gas emissions but also lowers operational costs in the long term. They’re also working on innovative irrigation techniques and water management systems to minimize water usage without compromising the quality of their vines.
Number four on the list below, Veuve Clicquot, also just turned its grape waste into a vegan leather for designer Stella McCartney. How cool is that?
The Best Vegan Champagne
If you want to be sure your Champagne or bubbly is truly free from animal products, check out Barnivore.com, for an extensive list of vegan spirits, beer, and wine. For your New Year’s Eve Champagne toast, these five are vegan:
1. Möet Chandon
2. Domaine Ste. Michelle
4. Veuve Clicquot (Thank God this one is free of nasty stuff! I can’t remember the last time I had a glass of champagne… it must have been years… but I remember loving this one.)
5. Piper Heidsieck