So you think wine is vegetarian?

The other day, I had a small window of time while shopping at Cold Storage Great World City. So I lingered a little at the wine section, checking prices mostly, to compare which country offers the better buy among the large variety of wines available.

One thought that struck me was why the supermarket grouped the wines sold according to country of origin instead of according to pricing which would make shopping so much easier and efficient.

I also find it ridiculous to see very expensive Marlboroughs sitting next to far cheaper grapes from the same region and country.

I’m not fussed about country of origin but I’m more fussed about the grape. And I usually want to pay no more than $25 for a bottle of table wine and have often to hunt high and low, to find one that met both price and grape criteria.

Anyway, this post isn’t about my wish-list to Cold Storage to make its wine section more customer friendly.

typical wine label

Rather, it is to share my discovery that wines contain ingredients, trace tho these may be, that must make them unsuitable for those who adhere to a strict, permanent vegetarian diet, assuming that strict vegetarians — those who don’t eat meat or fish out of religious conviction– are allowed to imbibe alcohol, 😉 .

Apart from the ubiquitous declaration that sulphite has been added to the wines, my eyes widened on reading on typical labels (see above) that milk, egg and even fish — yes fish — could have gone into making the wine.

Perhaps this isn’t news to sophisticcated wine drinkers. To me, however, it’s a real revelation.

This discovery means when I go vegetarian for religious and spiritual reasons — perhaps only one day a year, usually on Chinese New Year day — I may have to forego alcohol altogether too, unless I can find a wine that goes well with vegetarian food but doesn’t contain any of the taboo ingredients!


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