Vegan Vino – Vegan Sommelier

Cautious vegans John Kerr and Gina Trippi like to enjoy a nice glass of wine when the workday is done. But not just any wine. Even a vintage that earns a near-perfect 99-point score from Wine Spectator may not match their standards.

Vegan Vino

Cautious vegans John Kerr and Gina Trippi like to enjoy a nice glass of wine when the workday is done. But not just any wine. Even a vintage that earns a near-perfect 99-point score from Wine Spectator may not match their standards.

“Most people aren’t aware that wines may be processed with animal products, even bovine tissue,” says Trippi, who, with her husband, runs Vegan Sommelier, an Arlington-based Internet distributor of animal-free varietals.

Vintners, she explains, sometimes use animal-derived products—such as gelatin, egg whites, fish bladders or milk protein—to remove bitterness, clarify, or stabilize some or all of their wines. This information typically is not included on the label.

Kerr and Trippi work with Virginia distributors to find small, family-owned wineries (both foreign and domestic) that process wine without animal ingredients. At any given time, six to 12 wines are available by mail, most in the $14 to $19 range.

For New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day or a winter wedding, they recommend the “crisp and invigorating” vegan French sparkling wine Domaine du Pas Saint Martin Saumur Brut ($19). 

Vegan Sommelier, 202-436-6743, www.vegansommelier.com