Veganism is in the news. You cannot go online or open the paper without seeing a mention of the plant-based diet. At Scarlet we are no exception; our new menu makes it easy to choose enjoyable, healthy, vegan options. It is worth remembering why we are all doing this. The answer is simple, Carbon Dioxide. Our planet is rapidly warming and unless we take very urgent action, we are jeopardising our children’s lives. Sorry to put that bluntly, I realise you came here to read about wine! But it is the truth we all need to face. One of the biggest single ways to reduce your carbon footprint is to become vegan. Animal agriculture emits huge quantities of greenhouse gasses, so it is best avoided, particularly red meats. If you can’t bring yourself to go fully vegan, at least eat mostly vegan food. Please think about this - nothing in the world is as important right now. So, sermon over, what about wine? The good news is that most wines are vegan. What makes wines non-vegan is when they are “fined” using an animal product. Fining is a way to effectively filter out particles in the wine to make it clearer. The traditional materials used for this are egg white and something called isinglass from fish. These techniques are actually quite expensive, so often are only applied to more expensive and traditional wines. Around half of the wines at Scarlet are vegan and we are just updating our shelving info to show which ones are. Many of the ones marked non-vegan may actually be vegan, but unless we are sure we have played safe and left them marked that way. Here then are a few vegan beauties to whet your appetites.
- Castel del Lupo, Pinot Nero, Oltrepo Pavese. A lovely pinot noir from Northern Italy, this is warm, ripe, black-fruited, spicy and complex with a lovely silky feel in the mouth. £12
- Domaine Mas Barrau, Cabernet Franc, Gard France. A sappy, snappy black fruited thing from Southern France. This has a lovely complex forest floor perfume, great length, rich fleshy fruit flavours, a hint wood and a thread of honey to top it off. £10
- Labranche-Laffont Madiran. This is largely from Tannat, the local grape of Madiran. It gives this some nice ripe cassis and liquorice flavours, intense fruit and a hint of spice. £17
- Domaine du Pre Baron, Sauvignon de Touraine. From the idle reaches of the River Loire, this is a French Sauvignon with a big nod towards New Zealand. Pungently fresh and fruity, there is gooseberry and passion fruit here with a lovely vibrant freshness. £11
- Adobe Reserve Gewurtztraminer, Chile. An absolute cracker this, proper lychee, rose petal, full bodied Gewurtztraminer, with just the right freshness to fruit balance. £10
- Leon Boesch, La Cabane, Pinot Blanc. Super complex, spicy, fascinating Pinot Blanc from Alsace with bags of clear cut, zesty, lemon fruit and even a hint of ginger. £18