Here’s the thing—the traditional process described above is not completely necessary, and many winemakers and producers have joined the natural movement, which is basically a no-fuss method of bringing wine to the table. The natural wine philosophy is focused on delivering a product that hasn’t been altered, so nothing is added and nothing is taken away. As a result, natural wines are free of sulfites and unfined. The good news for vegans is that natty wines are all the rage right now, and especially easy to find in boutique wine stores that sell small-production wines. So when you go vegan wine shopping, stick to the coolest, smallest shop in your neighborhood and ask for a natural, unfined wine. Just don’t be surprised when you pour yourself a glass and notice it looks a little cloudy, or if you see sediment at the bottom of the bottle—that’s all normal and none of it is harmful to drink.
One last thing: You can actually find wine that is both fined and vegan—it’s just much harder to identify as a consumer. Some winemakers use vegan-friendly, clay-based agents to aid the fining process, but those are the kind of details you are unlikely to encounter on the label of a bottle and only a very experienced salesclerk will know. So unless you have an opportunity to ask the winemaker directly, it’s safest to stick with natural, unfiltered wines or anything that has a vegan symbol stamped on the bottle.