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5 of the best: Vegetarian wines

Vegetarian Wines

It’s thought around 2% of the UK population is vegetarian and that number is going up. It’s important to remember that the person within the group with the strictest requirements chooses the place to go on a night out. Keep one step ahead and keep customers coming back with a vegetarian wine offering.

Now hang on! Wine is made from grapes. All of it is vegetarian right? Wrong. Fining agents used to filter organic impurities and improve clarity in wines are quite often animal products. Examples of the fining agents typically used include gelatin, casein derived from milk and isinglass, obtained from the bladders of fish.

Around 500 wines in our range are vegetarian and vegan-friendly, which leaves us plenty to choose from. I’ve selected some of the best examples from our wine list below. Read on and let us know if you agree in the comments below.

Salentein Numina Cabernet Franc, Uco Valley, Mendoza

The grapes for this wine are from two El Oasis vineyard plots. Cold macerated for six days; fermentation was carried out in oak casks for twelve days and macerated for a further ten. The wine was then racked into oak barrels for the malolactic fermentation and ageing. The nose displays a very good varietal expression with aromas of blackcurrant, blueberry with spiced notes such as clove and black pepper.

This wine was the only gold medallist in the New World: Cabernet Franc category at the 2017 Sommelier Wine Awards. it was described by judge Piotr Artur Tomaszewski of Buddha Bar as “very rounded and well built, balanced with a hint of black peppery spice, and quite classic in style”. Tim Atkin awarded the 2012 vintage 94 points in his Argentina Report in 2015 and the 2011 vintage won the Best Cabernet Franc Trophy at the 2014 Argentina Wine Awards.

Te Kairanga Runholder Pinot Noir, Martinborough

The Runholder Pinot Noir is another award winner. The 2015 vintage we’re currently shipping scooped a Silver medal at the 2017 International Wine Challenge. Te Kairanga is one of the oldest and best-positioned vineyards in Martinborough. Its vineyards are located on free draining land once owned by the founding father of Martinborough, John Martin, in the late 1800s.

The grapes for ‘Runholder’, a tribute to the original settlers, are grown on low-cropping vines; selective hand-picking, small batch fermentation and sensitive oak handling contribute to producing this rich, concentrated Pinot Noir. Traditional fermentation in small vats is employed with hand-plunging and gentle pressing off to release the flavour locked in the skins; movement of juice and wine around the winery is by gravity and the wine spends 15 months in French oak barrels, a quarter new. Initial aromas of black cherry, ripe plum and spice are backed by a velvety textured palate with subtle oak notes.

Côtes de Provence Rosé, M, Minuty

Belonging to the Matton-Farnet family for 80 years, Château Minuty is a family-run wine estate located in southern France’s Provence region, overlooking the Saint-Tropez peninsula. We brought them on board for our 2017 wine list and their delicious rosé wines have quickly become an On-Trade favourite.

The M, Minuty is made from hand-harvested Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah grapes. After crushing and destemming, the juice is allowed a short stay on the skins, of about three hours before pressing; after settling, the resultant very pale pink must is then fermented at low temperatures to preserve its aromas. Bright and perfumed, the wine offers up peach, candied orange and hints of red summer berries.

Coteaux Bourguignons Rouge Gamay-Pinot Noir, Louis Jadot

Replacing Bourgogne Grand Ordinaire, the new appellation of Coteaux Bourguignons was created in 2012 to gives vignerons the flexibility to use grapes from anywhere in the defined Burgundy and Beaujolais regions. This wine from Louis Jadot takes full advantage combining Gamay mostly from old vine Beaujolais vines with Pinot Noir from Chalon.

This wine claimed a Gold medal at the Sommelier Wine Awards in 2017 and was described as “typifying the best of what this region has to offer”. The wine has soft, juicy red and black summer fruit characters with gentle tannins and backed by fresh acidity.

Paco & Lola Albariño Rías Baixas

From the heart of the Rías Baixas region, this eye-catching wine is stunningly packaged with polka-dots. Inside the bottle is a wine made from fruit grown in the Val do Salnés sub-region in sustainably managed vineyards planted on a mixture of granitic, sandy and loam soils.

Another gold medallist, this time at the International Wine Challenge and the Sommelier Wine Awards. Described by SWA team leader Lionel Periner as a ”top-class” example, this wine is an attractive straw colour with hints of green in the rim. It has an expressive and harmonious nose of green apples, pear and lemons, with hints of herbs and flower blossom base notes. The palate is clean and textured with seductive exotic notes of pineapple and mango intermingled with refreshing citrus flavours amplified by minerally accents.

If you want to stock any of the wines mentioned, click here to place an order online now, or here to request an account with us; and don’t forget we’re here to support you with everything you need to ensure that your wine range is a success, from free menu design and print services to staff training.


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    Disclaimer: We rely on information provided by the producer when describing a wine as vegetarian or vegan, Matthew Clark cannot guarantee the accuracy of such information. Always check the label.

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