Businesses in the hospitality industry should always remember that people can have different diets and lifestyles. This doesn’t mean you should cater to all of them, but it’s best to include options in your different menu types and even the beverage program.
From gluten-free beer and plant-based milk for cocktails to vegan wine and vegan non-alcoholic drinks - there are a bunch of vegan drinks that restaurant owners need to think about. Such a variety of options will appeal to vegetarian and vegan customers and will allow for more food and beverage pairings.
According to some statistics, right now there are approximately 88 million people who have a vegan diet in the world. These numbers are only expected to grow, so to boost customer satisfaction, restaurants should definitely add plant-based options to their menu.
We already talked about incorporating plant-based milks in coffee and cocktail drinks, creating tasty options for lactose-intolerant customers, as well as vegans. In this article, we want to dive deeper into the world of vegan wine and show you why you need it on your wine list!
What Is Vegan Wine?
Vegan wine is produced without any animal-derived products or byproducts. Traditional winemaking often involves the use of fining agents, which help clarify the wine by removing impurities and sediment. The agents typically include animal-based substances such as gelatin, egg whites, or fish bladder.
When making vegan wine, alternative fining agents are used to achieve the same clarifying effect. Common vegan-friendly fining agents include bentonite clay, activated charcoal, pea protein, or plant-based gums.
Vegan wine is also made without honey or any milk products. It’s produced using plant-based ingredients and techniques that are free from any animal involvement.
Key Takeaway: Vegan wines are produced without the use of any animal products. As veganism is gaining more popularity, restaurants need to step up and broaden their wine lists with more vegan-friendly options.
What’s the Difference Between Traditional and Vegan Wines?
Other than the fining agents used in the production of traditional and vegan wines being different, there is a dietary and ethical side to it. Vegan wines are becoming increasingly popular because of the growing number of people leading a vegan lifestyle.
People who have committed themselves to living a vegan lifestyle want to make sure that all of the aspects of their lives align with the things they value and believe in. But just like everyone else, they would love to enjoy a nice drink or some great cocktails - guilt-free.
By drinking vegan wine, people are supporting the winemakers who are not using animal products in the production of the beverage. Some people also choose to drink vegan wine for health reasons, as such wines tend to be free of allergens.
Why Should Restaurants Offer Vegan Wine?
Restaurant managers and business owners should consider offering vegan wine to cater to the growing demand and preferences of customers. Here are some reasons why it is beneficial for restaurants, as well as hotels, bars, and country clubs, to have vegan wine options:
Attracting a Diverse Customer Base
Offering vegan wine expands the potential customer base for restaurants. Vegans, vegetarians, and individuals with specific dietary preferences and needs often seek out places to eat that align with their values and provide suitable options. By catering to this growing demographic, restaurants can attract new customers and build customer loyalty.
Enhanced Reputation and Differentiation
Businesses that actively offer vegan wine demonstrate their commitment to catering to a diverse range of customers. This can help enhance the reputation of your restaurant as an inclusive and forward-thinking establishment. It will set it apart from competitors and positions them as a destination for customers seeking vegan-friendly options. Don’t forget to include the fact you serve vegan wine in your restaurant marketing campaigns!
Offering vegan wine can also provide upselling opportunities. Vegan wines are often perceived as premium products for a niche market. By serving vegan wine options and providing information about their characteristics, your restaurant can offer a unique dining experience. This will potentially increase sales and revenue.
How to Source Vegan Wine?
The Vegan Society has a registered trademark which is used by all vegan-friendly businesses. You can search for a local winery that sells 'Certified Vegan' wines. All wines that are made without the use of any animal products need to have a mark on the label, letting consumers know this is in fact a bottle of vegan wine.
As a restaurant with a substantial wine list, you should make sure that you are working with reliable suppliers that sell quality vegan wines. To make inventory organization and ordering easier for yourself, however, you should make use of proper beverage inventory software.
BinWise Pro is just what you need when you are building extensive wine lists for your restaurant. From sparkling wines to flavorful, unique bottles of vegan wine, with the inventory management software, you will always have the number of bottles you need and would not have to worry about alcohol expiration.
With BinWise, it’s easy to order, send invoices, and keep track of customer behavior. It’s a game-changer for businesses that are just starting out, all the way to Michelin Star restaurants!
Can Any Type of Wine Be Made Vegan?
Red, wine, rose, or sparkling wine - they can all be made vegan. This means that wine lovers who now have switched to a vegan diet can still enjoy a glass of their favorite types of wine with their meals.
What Types of Vegan Food to Serve with the Wine?
Pairing vegan foods with wine can be a delightful culinary experience. Here are some vegan food suggestions that can complement different types of vegan wines:
- Vegan Cheese and Charcuterie - A variety of plant-based cheeses, paired with vegan crackers, fresh fruits, olives, and pickled vegetables are a great option to offer alongside vegan wine options.
- Vegetable-Based Appetizers - Light vegetable-based appetizers like bruschetta with fresh tomatoes and basil, grilled asparagus, stuffed mushrooms, or marinated artichoke hearts are another great vegan option to add to your menu.
- Pasta Dishes - Vegan pasta dishes are as delicious as any other pasta dish. Different vegan wines will pair well with creamy pasta, tomato souse pasta, and pasta with pesto.
- Vegetable Stir-Fries or Curries - From bold flavors and spice to curry or stir-fry with a coconut milk base, you can create different delicious dishes that pair well with wine.
- Grilled Vegetables or Veggie Burgers - Grilled vegetables, such as eggplant, zucchini, or bell peppers, as well as veggie burgers, are all great to have with vegan wines.
- Vegan Sushi or Sashimi - All great vegan sushi options, as well as sashimi, go well with wine and vegans should also be able to enjoy these yummy combinations!
Frequently Asked Questions about Vegan Wine in Restaurants
If we haven’t answered some of your questions already, check the paragraphs below. There’s even more useful information there!
Is Vegan Wine More Expensive?
The production cost of vegan wine is not greater than the production cost of regular types of wine. There’s a general misconception that all vegan products have a higher price but that’s not entirely true.
Some bottles of vegan wine can be more expensive than others because they were made not only without the use of animal products but also because they are entirely organic.
Is There a Flavor Difference Between Wine and Vegan Wine?
The taste of vegan wine is not different from the taste of traditional types of wine. The animal products typically used in the production of wine do not impact the taste.
Is Vegan Wine Healthier?
Vegan wine can be healthier than regular types of wine because of the lack of chemicals used in production, as well as the lack of allergens. Even if a person is not following a vegan diet, choosing to drink vegan wine can be better if they have lactose intolerance, for example.
What Makes Some Wines Non-Vegan?
Non-vegan wines may use animal-derived fining agents like gelatin, egg whites, or isinglass (fish bladder) to clarify the wine. Vegan wines do not use any of these agents, which makes them good for anyone who wants to avoid animal products.
Are All Organic Wines Vegan?
While organic wines focus on sustainable farming practices, they can still use non-vegan fining agents. Look for bottles labeled as both organic and vegan wine if this is what you are looking for.
Is There a Difference Between “Vegan” and “Vegetarian” Wine?
Vegetarian wines may use dairy-based fining agents like casein or milk, while vegan wines exclude all animal-derived ingredients. Although there are many vegan wine options on the market, vegetarians can enjoy a wider variety of types and brands.