I'm a big fan of namazake, which is unpasteurized sake. These sakes do not last as long as regular sake; they tend to go bad and smell cheesy quicker than pasteurized sakes, but if you catch them at the right time, they are beautiful. Namazakes need special care-- they must be cold shipped and stored, similar to fresh produce. I've heard some sake experts say that they do not prefer namazake because the purity is hidden, and I find it curious that this is the very reason why I prefer namazake; I think they taste "purer," and here I put "pure" in quotes because this term brings with it a lot of culturally charged baggage that can have different meaning among different people.
To me, namazakes have a dancing texture to them, a life, a liveliness that you don't find in pasteurized sakes. Yes, there are plenty of incredible pasteurized sakes that I've been moved by, but there is something about the almost electric intensity of namazake that I find appealing. I find this same vibrancy in unfiltered, low-sulphured wines that undergo the same minimal preservative treatments as namazakes.
This brings me to one of my favorite namazakes:
Eiko Fuji namazake junmai ginjo (Yamagata, Japan)
Yamagata prefecture is on Honshu Island in the Tohoku region. It faces the Sea of Japan on the west side, and is separated from other prefectures by mountain ranges that are speckled with interesting geographical features, such as volcanoes, and Goshiki Numa, the "Five Color Lake," a crater lake that changes color based on the weather.
Nestled among this magical landscape is Eiko Fuji, or "Glorious Mt. Fuji," brewery. Production dates back to 1778, and today the establishment is run by the family's 13th generation. They make several sakes, including this namazake junmai ginjo. When you taste it, a humming electric texture lights up the palate, and soft fruit flavors dissolve like filigree.
Define "purity" as you will, but this is sure to fall under your category of "delicious."
Blenheim Vineyards 2008 viognier (Monticello, Virginia)
My favorite line in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre happens at the moment Jane is about to return to Thornfield to see if her love, Mr. Rochester, is still there. She wonders if they might be able to rekindle their relationship after years of separation and hardship. She arrives in town and has the chance to inquire of his whereabouts at the inn. Instead, she chooses to walk the distance to Thornfield and find out for herself, rather than seek instant gratification at the tavern. Why did she draw out her curiosity? And more importantly, why didn't she return sooner?
Because "to prolong doubt was to prolong hope." Such a poignant line that explains in just a few words why we sometimes wait to face something we know could bring disappointment, because we want to keep a glimmer of hope alive that perhaps-- just perhaps-- there will be no disappointment, but joy.
This Blenheim viognier sat in the back of my fridge for about 4 years. It always called, but I never answered. Blenheim Vineyards was founded in 1999 by Dave Matthews; he bought the historic Blenheim farm (speckled with buildings that date back to the 1700s), planted vines, and built an eco-friendly winery. When celebrities buy wineries and start making wine, often the results don't live up to the glory of the founders; and this was the reason I never opened that bottle. I wanted it to be good, and so to avoid disappointment I simply never tried it.
To prolong doubt is to prolong hope.
You see, Charlottesville residents are pretty loyal to their local heroes. The Dave Matthews Band got their start there, they used to play at Miller's on the Downtown Mall. And whether you are into the band or not, you still get the shivers when you are in line at the bagel shop and you realize that Carter Beauford is in front of you ordering breakfast (at least I do!). When John Grisham releases a new book the entire town is talking about the plot over lunch the next day. When Sissy Spacek wins a polo match you get this feeling of triumph and pride as if you won the game yourself.
Some of the properties in the area are as famous as the celebrities. A bit about Blenheim: This is an old farm with several structures that date back to the 1700s and 1800s. The property may house the oldest structure in Albemarle County (an old "claim" house-- circa 1735-- originally built to stake a claim to the land) and is protected on the National Register of Historic Places. The land is quite historically significant-- Thomas and Martha Jefferson lived nearby and often visited.
In the 1840s the old Blenheim farm house burnt down-- just as Jane's beloved Thornfield mansion had. Soon after, a congressman purchased the land and built today's Blenheim farmhouse. Dave Matthews purchased this property in 1999; he and William Johnson designed and finished the winery in 2000. The winery is temperature-regulated by its position in a hillside, it was built from re-purposed wood, and the structure is lit by natural light most of the year. They use screw cap closures for all of the wines, and this viognier was aged in both oak and steel.
So my bottle of viognier aged for years behind some mustard and a jar of brandied cherries. There it would have stayed until recently: I had friends over for dinner, and a wine I paired with a particular course was corked. I raced to the fridge to see what comparable white I had that might be cold, and that's when I saw the Blenheim. I smiled an evil grin-- your time of judgement has come, Blenheim! Prolonging doubt and prolonging hope melt away when I have 8 friends in the next room with empty glasses. The brandied cherries got pushed back into the space the Blenheim had occupied, and with a twist of the cap I got the wine served just before the course arrived.
The wine was awesome. I'm sad I didn't buy more of it, and I'm sad I waited all those years to try it.
Lay, K. Edward. (2000) The Architecture of Jefferson County. Virginia: The University Press of Virginia.
Some of my friends just opened up a new restaurant: Musket Room, on Elizabeth Street in Nolita, Manhattan. Chef Matt Lambert hails from Auckland, New Zealand, and brings flavors from home-- mixed with his own unique vision-- to life in this comfortable space. When you make it by, do yourself a favor and try one of the tasting menus: they are absolutely off the hook.
Why the name 'Musket Room?' Chef Matt sees the musket as a symbol of a bygone era when families worked hard to fend for themselves to put dinner on the table. In a way, by serving food grown and made by friends in New Zealand, supplemented with some trusted sources in the US, he gets very close to the farm-to-table ideal that once determined survival for his ancestors. Local vegetables plus herbs from the garden out back buttress this self-made concept, and if you arrive around 5pm you might even see him clipping some greens for the evening's service. Of course, today, the hunting and foraging is mostly outsourced, but Chef Matt never loses sight of the ingredients' provenance, and he presents these carefully gathered treasures from around the globe in neatly composed, mouthwatering dishes.
The wine list is, of course, a collection of Matt's favorite bottles from New Zealand, carefully curated by his childhood neighbor, Cameron Douglas, who happens to be New Zealand's only Master Sommelier. If you are in the mood to sip some of New Zealand's best wine selections, try the Millton chenin blanc or Urlar pinot noir by the glass, or splurge on a bottle of Man O' War Dreadnought or Bell Hill pinot noir.
I've been helping out as a sommelier during the opening, but to get a feel for the cuisine I came in for dinner one night. The menu is simply incredible. The elements of each dish seem to need each other, and though complex and precise technique is required to cook this way, the plates have an ease about them. I had an absolutely beautiful meal here, and I have to share some thoughts on one dish in particular: New Zealand Red Doe with Flavors of Gin. In this dish, Chef Matt takes botanicals that are often used in gin production and parlays them into a lively accompaniment for venison. Crispy fennel, juniper meringue, celery root purée, and chervil plouches sit in a shallow pool of anise-flavored jus with the expertly cooked meat. You can cut the venison with your fork, and when you do, it springs back with the same texture as the juniper meringue. The scents and flavors dance together on the palate as they do in a great gin martini.
And this isn't the first time Chef Matt has taken cues from the world of beverages to construct his recipes. A past favorite at one of his previous gigs was a mushroom "pâté" draped in a thin whiskey gelée-- an idea he had from a chance meal that involved mushrooms and a sip of whiskey.
When a chef takes cues from beverages in this way, truly incredible things can happen tableside. Pairing options expand and a drink can become an integral part of the dish, working with the elements in a remarkably natural fashion. Luckily, I get to experience this often at the Musket Room, and I hope you will stop by soon.
The night began with everyone arriving in full dress-- one guest ever brought along a newspaper from 1921! We poured a cocktail tower of the Bees Knees, a classic cocktail from this era.
In the early part of the century, homemade "bathtub" gin was so noxious that people flavored it with lemon and honey to take away the sting. This cocktail became known as The Bees Knees.
The Bees Kees
2 oz. gin
1 oz. honey (watered down to 1/2 & 1/2)
1/2 oz. fresh squeezed lemon juice
Everyone came dressed in their Gadsby finest!
We had a box hat cake decked out with feathers and roses!
But the star of the night was this:
Coume du Roy, 1925
With each smell, you cut through layers of flavor that seemed to unfurl mysteriously in front of your nose. You get all of the expected aromas from old fortified wine: caramel, coffee, hazelnut, almond, plus some faint hints of fruit like plum skin and durant. But this wasn't just a technical wine, it had that extra indescribable element to it-- the closest word I can think of to describe this is "soul." It was amazing, and the perfect way to end the evening.
Colonial and Prohibition Era Cranberry Juice
The use of cranberry juice cocktail behind the bar in recent decades has helped shape a new generation of cocktails. Cranberries—one of just a few fruits native to North America and a wild diet staple of Native Americans for centuries—became cultivated around 1816 and seriously marketed to urban populations when cranberry cooperatives spent $5000 on cranberry advertising in 1918 and increased sales over $1 million. These early 20th century cranberries were sold either canned or fresh, though the market remained largely seasonal. In 1930 Ocean Spray put a cranberry juice cocktail on the market, though cranberry juice had been made by pilgrim settlers as early as 1683 (Eastwood, 1856).
Concerns of the ensuing Prohibition Era (1919-1933) affected the cranberry industry. Because cranberry products revolved around seasonal family holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas, the industry consciously chose not to associate themselves with alcohol, which could have potentially alienated their largest consumer base (Felten, 2008). Testing the libatious waters, in 1945 Ocean Spray began to play with a cocktail called The Red Devil (vodka and cranberry juice cocktail), and in 1955 the cranberry industry released a pamphlet for the Toll House Cocktail, which had an optional addition for rum.
Cranberry Crash & Recovery
In 1959 the cranberry market collapsed when the US Department of Health announced that aminotriazole—a dangerous herbicide—tainted the cranberry crop. Producers searched to bolster their businesses through diversifying cranberry products to expand the industry market and Ocean Spray released their first cranberry juice in the form of a cranberry-apple blend. Most likely spurred by the 1959 cranberry crash Ocean Spray partnered with Tropico and released a bottled drink called “Sea Breeze” made of Ocean Spray cranberry juice and Don Cossack vodka. In 1965 they advertized for the Cape Codder—their version being cranberry juice and vodka whereas earlier 1940s versions called for cranberry juice and rum (Felten).
Demand for cranberry juice rose in the 1980s, correlating with reports about the health benefits of the fruit.
Juice or Cocktail?
There is a distinct difference between bitter and intense cranberry juice and sweet and fruity cranberry juice cocktail. The phrase “cranberry juice” is frequently used to reference cranberry juice cocktail, causing many people to refer to cranberry juice as “100% cranberry juice” to distinguish it from cranberry juice cocktail. To heighten the confusion, most cocktail recipes that use the juice call for “cranberry juice,” but really mean “cranberry juice cocktail.”
There are several cranberry cocktails that pre-date lead up to the Cosmopolitan craze of the 1990s predate:
Vodka and cranberry juice cocktail. Ocean Spray created this cocktail to promote cranberry juice cocktail circa 1945. Originally, they called it "The Red Devil."
Vodka, cranberry juice cocktail, and orange juice.
The Bog Fog
See Rangoon Ruby
Vodka, cranberry juice cocktail, and lime juice.
The Rangoon Ruby
During the 1950’s in Oakland, California, Victor J. Bergeron served the Rangoon Ruby at the restaurant Trader Vic’s (Chirico, 2009). Bergeron also invented the Mai Tai in 1944 at this same restaurant (Bergeron, 1970). The Rangoon Ruby was a highball of vodka, cranberry juice, soda, and a lime slice. The Rangoon Ruby also became popular as the Bog Fog in Miami and Palm Beach (Felten).
Cranberry Juice in the 1990s
Cranberry Juice Cocktail was embraced as a bar staple in the 1990s. It became one of those juices that you could ask for in almost any restaurant or bar, due to its long-term shelf life and ease of storage (no refrigeration necessary!). The popularity of The Cosmopolitan epitomizes this, and does not need much explanation.
Backlash in the 21st Century
Today, there is a backlash against cranberry juice cocktail. Ironically, people choose not to stock bars with it these days for the same reason that it was popular in the 1990s: it practically never goes bad. In the 21st Century, bartenders followed the farm-to-table ethos of their chef counterparts and moved away from pre-packaged products behind the bar. Fresh squeezed juices, garnishes, and produce, an emphasis on local spirits and products (if available), and a shift away from simple syrup as the staple sweetener occurred in the early 2000s. Cranberry juice cocktail-- an ultra-pasteurized, sugary product with only a small amount of real cranberry juice in it-- was abandoned in the search for fresher flavors.
Chain restaurants and dive bars will still carry the juice because of its easy storage, recognizability, and the popularity of cranberry juice in the wake of the cosmopolitain craze, but the respected cocktail bars of the world have abstained.
I believe that there could be a place in a high-quality cocktail bar for pure, 100% cranberry juice. It's extremely bitter and can provide a nice balance for spirits that taste sweet. Also, during cranberry season, I've seen great bars use fresh cranberries to make syrups and garnishes that go toward cocktails that make playful tongue-and-cheek references to the cosmo. In this way, The Cosmopolitan has become farcical. Still, many bartenders will not touch cranberry juice (even 100%) because there is still a sentiment to completely divorce a quality bar from the ethos of The Cosmopolitan and all of the "Sex & The City" cultural baggage that comes with it.
Eastwood, Benjamin. (1856) The Cranberry and Its Culture.
Cape Cod Cranberry Grower’s Association. www.cranberries.org
Chiriko, Rob. (2005) Field Guide to Cocktails. Quirk Books.
Saucier, Ted. (1962, original 1951). Bottoms Up. New York: Greystone Press.
Bergeron, Victor J. (1970) “The Real Mai Tai Story: Let’s Set the Record Straight.” As seen on http://www.tradervics.com/maitaistory-0.html
Felten, Eric. (2008, June 21) “Cranberry Cocktail Confusion” in The Wall Street Journal. Online at http://online.wsj.com/public/article_print/SB121399651293592873.html
You can eat grape leaves, so instead of throwing out my clippings, I make snacks!
When you cook with grape leaves, pick big ones (like the one in the photo) to use for lining the pan, or as a platform for grilling. You can also put these into smoothies.
You want to pick smaller leaves, about the size of your hand or a little bigger, for using as wraps.
Take some boiling water............................................ and put the grape leaf in for about 1 minute.
Snip off the stem.
Prepare your filling-- here I'm using coconut rice and julienned mangoes, but you can use just about anything.
You can mix uncooked rice with vegetables or meat and cook these in boiling water for several hours. Mine, however, are destined for the grill, so I'm stuffing them with rice that has already been cooked.
1. Start rolling upward from the bottom ........................ 2. Fold the sides in ....................................... 3. Continue rolling upward
These are going on the grill, but you could also saute, steam, or boil them.
Navazos-Niepoort 2011 Vino Blanco (Spain)
I'm currently in love with this interesting wine. It's a collaboration between two of my favorite wineries: Equipo Navazos (maker of the famous Bota sherries) and Niepoort in the Douro.
This wine is so interesting because it is Jerez palomino from Albariza soils that is aged under flor. Most wine aged under flor is fortified, but this wine isn't. The only other unfortified, flor-aged white I've tried in the NYC market is Mendall "5 anys i un dia" by Laureano Serres.
Historically, the best sherries were unfortified. Two hundred years ago, these types of wines were frequently found and valued. Equipo Navazos teamed up with Niepoort to make just such a wine as you might have found in the 1800s.
When you smell this wine, it smells slightly oxodized, but still fresh with a slight richness, similar to a manzanilla. But when you taste it, the alcohol is not nearly as high as sherry, and the wine is so smooth. It's an incredible experience that begs for oysters.
I was going through my old photos today and was awestruck by the beauty of Rioja. These images are from 2011.
How can you tell if your wine is vegetarian or vegan?
It can be difficult to choose an appropriate wine if you are vegetarian or vegan. I am not vegetarian or vegan, but one of my sisters is vegetarian and another sister is a strict vegan, and I have an immense amount of respect for the discipline it takes to eat and live according to their personal beliefs. I've had long bouts of being a vegetarian, but I've never been able to make a permanent switch. Nevertheless, my sisters and I frequently talk about what makes a wine vegan or vegetarian, and it is often difficult for them to choose appropriate wines. The impetus for this post began after one of our conversations: I wanted to make a guide that would help them find an appropriate bottle of wine. I do think it's wrong that wine labeling is not transparent enough for vegetarians and especially vegans to choose a bottle that is in line with their beliefs. People should be able to easily discern what is in the bottle and if animals were used to process the wine, and then make their own choice whether to buy it or not.
Food labeling is regulated and precise. It would be an outrage if a product sold as a "vegetarian soup" turned out to contain chicken stock. Yet there are no clear labeling guidelines that distinguish vegetarian wines from non-vegetarian wines. I've noticed a recent buzz about wineries who have started to add ingredient lists to the back of their bottles. Many wineries and breweries are resistant to the idea and are concerned that listing ingredients and additives would ruin the public conception of 'purity' about their product. I think that the information is useful, and that people deserve to know and decide for themselves.
For instance, I know that Lopez de Heredia fines with egg whites, and I will continue to enjoy their products. But I would never serve this wine to a vegan, because I believe that is morally wrong. Imagine if a waiter served a vegetable consomme to a vegan, and explained how eggs were used to clarify the broth. The consomme, I'm sure, would be returned immediately. Why should the rules be any different with wine?
There are all different iterations of vegetarians, and I like to talk to people about what they are comfortable consuming before I pour them wine. An ovo-lacto vegetarian, for instance, might be OK with egg white fining, but not with isinglass fining.
What can make a wine non-vegetarian or non-vegan?
Several things can make a wine non-vegetarian or non-vegan. There are plenty of grey areas here, so I will present what I think is pertinent, and then you can decide for yourself if these things make the wine vegetarian or vegan.
There are 4 main areas where a wine can become non-vegetarian or vegan:
1. Wine Additives
2. Filtration and Fining Agents
4. Vineyard Practices
Most mass produced wines contain additives- just like mass produced food. And the additives are mixed in for the same reasons: to preserve and to make the product look fresh and appealing to consumers. Check out Alice Feiring's List of Additives and Processing Agents in wine to get an idea of what could be in your bottle.
One additive that can change your wine from vegan to non-vegan is sugar. Adding sugar to grape must increases the sweetness and provides more food for the yeast to eat, which means that the yeast can produce more alcohol. Adding sugar to grape must is called Chaptalization. There are rules about Chaptalizing, but most countries allow Chaptalization when the vintage has been difficult and grapes had difficulty ripening. Without Chaptalization, in these years some wineries might not be able to get high enough alcohol levels to sell their product as wine. In hot regions, Chaptalization is not usually necessary.
There are exceptions, but white sugar is often processed with bone char. Bone char is used to remove the color. If bone-char processed sugar is used to Chaptalize the grape must, the wine is no longer vegetarian/vegan.
Animal Products Used in Filtration and Fining
Sometimes, animal-based products are used as agents in filtration and fining. If you look at this list of Wine Additives, you will see that most of the non-vegetarian substances are used for clarification (fining). The animal products are not in the bottle of wine, but they are used in the process. Technically, the wine is vegetarian since no animal products remain behind (except possible trace amounts). But if you are vegan and looking to avoid wines in which animal products were used in the process, then there are some filtration and fining methods to look out for. Not all filtration/fining methods use animal products, but many do. Just because a wine label says that it was fined does not mean that animal products were used; it is an indicator that they may have been used. Here are some animal-based fining agents to look out for in wine production:
Catalase- This can be derived from 'bovine liver.'
Protease (Pepsin)- used to reduce or remove heat liable proteins- This is derived from 'porcine or bovine stomachs.'
Protease (Tripsin) - This fining agent is derived from 'porcine or bovine pancreas.'
Casein- Casein is derived from milk and is used to fine wine.
Gelatin- used for clarification.
Milk- sometimes used as a fining agent, or used to remove certain flavors
Isinglass- Isinglass is derived from fish gallbladders and is used to clarify wine and beer. How do you know if your wine has been fined with isinglass? Most of the time, you don't know because there are few regulations about isinglass-use labeling. Eric Asimov mentions isinglass use in his recent article, If Only Grapes Were the Whole Story, and states, "Certainly, vegans might want to know that information."
Egg Whites- Egg whites, because of their albumen content, are great fining agents. When mixed into wine egg whites collect solid particles and "clarify" the wine, much like a consomme. Some wineries use fresh egg whites to fine wine, but most use an albumen powder derived from egg whites that they sprinkle into the finished wine. In may regions and cultures, fining with egg white is an old tradition that many people believe is essential to the style of their wine. In Bordeaux and Rioja it is common to fine with egg whites (but there are plenty of exceptions). If you are vegan, be extra vigilant when drinking wines from these regions.
Go through this process to determine if the wine has been fined with isinglass or egg whites:
Step 1: Does the label state that the wine is unfiltered and unfined? If the wine label says that the wine is "unfiltered and unfined" then no isinglass, egg whites, or other animal products were used to fine this wine. If the label states the that wine was filtered and fined, then there is a possibility that isinglass or egg whites were used. If the wine is from Bordeaux or Rioja, the chance that egg whites were used to fine the wine is higher-- but most wineries are very transparent about this on their websites.
Step 2: Next you must search for technical data on the winery's website (or ask a knowledgable staff member at the wine shop, or sommelier if you are at a restaurant-- but I'd go the extra step and get the information directly from the winery). See if you can find a tech sheet that states how the wine was made. Usually, wineries will mention if the wine was fined or filtered. If the tech sheet says the wine was fined, this doesn't necessarily mean that isinglass or egg whites were used, but many fining agents are non-vegan, so the next step is to find out how the winery fined the wine.
Step 3: If you cannot find the information on the web, call or email the winery and ask what fining agents they used. This seems like a lot of effort, but it is the only way to find out for sure. If you are at a restaurant and don't have time for all this, your best bet is to request a wine that is unfiltered and unfined.
Here are a few examples of non-vegetarian packaging:
*animal-based gelatin glues could be used to affix labels
*leather can be used as a label, as a bottle covering (like bota bags), or as a string to hold the bottle
*coloring made from animal products can be used as dyes in labels and packaging
*in rare instances, sometimes wine is fermented inside an animal skin
*Sometimes silkscreen methods are used to make the wine label. If real silk was used in the process, this would be an issue for vegans against the use of silk.
Animal Labor Use in Farming
This is a grey area in veganism. If you are a vegan who doesn't mind eating food that has been farmed with animal labor then you don't have to worry much about this. But many wineries use horses to till soil. Usually, the alternative to horse tilling is machine tilling which can increase a winery's carbon footprint. Many vintners also use sheep, cows and chickens to "mow" the grass between the vines through grazing.
Animal Product Use in Farming
Compost Made From Animal Waste
Many wineries use animal manure in compost and it is worth mentioning in case anyone is concerned about this. Wineries have lots of waste, from vine cuttings to spent skins after the fermentation. Usually internal winery compost is made up of this vine-based waste. But some wineries purchase animal compost, and others have livestock, and when they do animal compost could be used.
Animal "Energy" used in Biodynamic Farming
Biodynamic farming is a principle that incorporates many unique elements including lunar cycles, organic "preparations" that are sprayed on the vines, soil maintenance, and a calendar that splits up the year into "root days," "flower days," etc. that dictate which days are best for particular farming practices. Ultimately, biodynamic farming principles view the vineyard as a complete ecosystem, and this includes the animals in it. Biodynamic farming principles were drafted by philosopher Rudolf Steiner who attempted to bridge the gap between mysticism and science. He is sometimes portrayed as a controversial figure due to the unique nature of some of his ideas.
He drafted nine "preparations" to be used in biodynamic farming, numbered 500 through 508. These preparations are aimed at bringing balance to the vineyard. For instance, in biodynamic preparation number 500, cow manure is stuffed into cow horns and buried over the winter. Preparation 503 involves burying chamomile flowers in cattle intestines over the winter. During the winter these preparations ferment underground and in the spring most of them are added in small amounts to a compost pile. This compost is used in the vineyard to increase soil microbe activity that will ultimately sustain healthier vines that can withstand disease and rot on their own without needing topical chemicals to fend off mildew and rot.
All of the animal products used in biodynamic farming go into soil management. None of these products end up in the wine. The grapes harvested are animal-free. Biodynamic wine is usually animal-free (most biodynamic farmers will not filter or fine, though some will, so most of these wines will be unfiltered and will therefore not have been fined with isinglass or egg whites). This presents us with a grey area for vegans and vegetarians: though the product is animal free, animals were used in the compost. The use of animals is a vital part of the farming philosophy.
I've spoken to several biodynamic farmers about whether biodynamic wine is vegetarian and I get different responses. Some say there are absolutely no animals or animal products in the wine, so it is vegetarian. Others argue that the use of animal products is central to biodynamic farming, and that the "animal energy" used in the viticulture keeps the wine from being vegetarian or vegan.
Many vineyard managers use one or two biodynamic preparations to supplement or reduce chemical farming methods, and lots of producers will not use every single preparation. Some use mica sprays to ward of fungal disease and to coat the leaves to prevent them from burning in the hot sun, but will leave it at that.
Ultimately, it is up to the individual to determine if biodynamicaly farmed wines are vegetarian or vegan. If a vegetarian or vegan has chosen to be vegetarian or vegan based solely for personal health reasons, the animal use in compost production might not be an issue. But strict vegans night not be able to reconcile the compost issue.
Click here for PETA's list of wineries that sell vegan wines.
I’m Erin, and this is my wine blog. Here, you'll find information about wines from around the world, and Virginia.