Wine isn’t necessarily vegan

By Peter Fish, San Francisco Chronicle

There you are, you and friends on a fall afternoon, gathered in a Napa Valley tasting room. You’re primed, pumped, ready to savor the world’s best Cabs, Chardonnays and maybe a Fume Blanc or two. As you swirl and sip, you focus all your brainpower on the wine terms you’re supposed to remember: malolactic, tannin, terroir. And the flavors you’re supposed to recognize: blackberry, mocha, tobacco leaf.

At this point, one of your friends pipes up to ask the person pouring behind the bar: “Do you have any vegan wines?”

Pause. You feel a moment of panic. You wonder if, this whole time, for centuries, the deep merlot color of the world’s red wines has been more a function of sheep’s blood than grape juice. Is animal testing a new wine variable you have to know? You’ve spent hours trying to memorize Robert Parker’s wine scores. Now you have to worry about Gwyneth Paltrow’s?

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