Those of us familiar with various brewing techniques already know about this, but it’s relevant for most of you.
One of the biggest problems with the old red-with-meat, white-with-fish wine pairing advice is that it entirely misses the boat on vegetables, and of course wines work beautifully with even vegetarian meals. But before we talk about pairing Syrah with seitan or AlbariÃ±o with avocados, there’s something you may want to know: not all wines are — in the strictest sense of the words — vegan or even vegetarian.
The fact is that while an increasing number of wines are technically vegan, a substantial number of wines still use animal-based products in the “fining” process: clarifying the wine by removing proteins, yeasts and solid materials that would otherwise make the wine cloudy and visually unappealing, or would even create off-flavors or aromas. Fining agents act as magnets for unwanted materials, and carry the glop to the bottom of the barrel or tank. Then the wine is “racked” — poured off into another holding container, where the wine is separated from the solids. Racking is just like decanting, except on a humongous scale.Â LINK
I like this little interview given that a) all of my college friends are now professed Pollan-ites and b) given the fact that the Corn Refiners of America are fighting an ad war to convince Americans that they are not fat and unhealthy because they eat a pissload of refined sugar (and everything else). Read about it here. Also, the youtube video below is oh so relevant.
The Pollan video was relinked from Grist.