Calling all vegans
16 Sep 2008 by JR
Britain's Co-op stores may not be the most glamorous supermarkets in the land but they are the most active in giving their customers maximum information, and that includes ingredient labeling in wines. Back labels on bottles of the Co-op's own label wines at the Co-op are far, far more explicit than anyone else's and I believe are the precedent for what will become the norm.

It's probably not surprising then that the Vegan Society have given the Co-op's vegan wine range their Best Drink award at the 2006 Vegan Society AGM on Saturday. The Co-op explicitly labels appropriate own-label products as "suitable for vegans," indeed all the wines listed below can be drunk by vegans, those who eschew animal products of all sorts, so not just meat and fish but also milk, cheese, eggs and so on. All sorts of fining materials - casein, isinglass, gelatin - are therefore out of the question and indeed the vegan and vegetarian movements have had a hand in the current tendency to use these organic fining agents less in favour of the likes of bentonite. Bad news for vegans is that of course all those top quality wines fined by egg whites or albumen are out.

Not that the vegan movement seems particularly widespread in Western Australia. Michael Kerrigan, winemaker at Howard Park, was in London recently talking about his experiences labelling Tesco's Tingleup Riesling. "Vegans? What the **** are they supposed to be? I'm supposed to make wines and labels specially for them?"

Co-op's own-label vegan wine range:
Co-op Champagne Les Pioneers
Co-op Beaujolais
Co-op Fitou
Co-op Cotes du Rhone
Co-op Cotes du Rhone Reserve Red
Co-op Vin De Pays D'Oc Cabernet Sauvignon
Co-op Vin De Pays D'Oc Shiraz
Co-op Vin De Pays D'Oc Chardonnay
Co-op Chablis
Co-op Vin De Pays Cotes de Gascogne
Co-op Vin De Pays D'Oc Shiraz Rose
Co-op Lambrusco Bianco
Co-op Orvieto Classico
Co-op Fairtrade Cape Cabernet Sauvignon
Co-op Fairtrade Cape Cinsault Shiraz
Co-op Fairtrade Cape Chardonnay
Co-op Fairtrade Cape Sauvignon Blanc
Co-op Fairtrade Cape Chenin Colombard
Co-op Australian Lime Tree Grenache
Co-op Australian Lime Tree Merlot
Co-op California Ruby Cabernet 'Laid Back Ruby'
Co-op Argentine Bonarda Shiraz
Co-op Argentine Malbec
Co-op Centolla Pinot Noir
Co-op Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon
Co-op Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve
Co-op Chilean Merlot
Co-op Fairtrade Argentine Bonarda Shiraz
Co-op Fairtrade Argentine Shiraz
Co-op Fairtrade Chilean Carmenere
Co-op Cape Cellar Springs Sauvignon Blanc
Co-op Cape Young Vines Shiraz Rose
Co-op Explorers Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc
Co-op California Colombard Chardonnay 'The Big Chill'
Co-op California The Pink Chill White Zinfandel
Co-op Chilean Chardonnay
Co-op Chilean Gewurztraminer
Co-op Fairtrade Chilean Oaked Semillon
Co-op Fairtrade Chilean Merlot Rose
Co-op Island Vines Cyprus Red
Co-op Romanian Prairie Merlot
Co-op Bulgarian Chardonnay
Co-op Spanish Red
Co-op Casa Del Sol Sauvignon Verdejo
Co-op Sparkling Chardonnay
Co-op Cava Rosado Brut
Co-op Tempranillo Brut Red