ARE YOU PROUDLY VEGAN?
I love tasting and writing about vegan wines although I don’t get to see to many of them. For one, my partner is vegan and has been so, for over 6 years now. So I do cook and follow a rigourous vegan culinary diet at home for the two of us. Predominantly for health reasons but lately it has got to do with killing of animals, the sustainability in the planet, which has become a bigger issue, as we observe extinction and imbalance in the eco-system caused by mass capturing and killing of animals for our personal benefits.
THE VEGAN JOURNEY
Let me tell you from my experience, it is not difficult to follow the vegan diet. Mindset plays an important role to facilitate the practice. A purist vegan…. that is slightly challenging (not impossible by any standards though!). You can read more about purist vegans on my previous blog. Sadly the truth is that vegans find it tough to eat or relish anything outside their home environment without pre-checking, because nearly nothing is customised for them.
On a daily basis, eating animal products has become a universal norm. The butter we use to roast vegetables, the cream we add to soups and ….oh well eggs, they are the staple ingredient for many European dishes that require baking! All these are a strict NO NO for vegans.
It is indeed weird, with so many kosher and trendy cuisines, that I still have to call up top notch Micheline restaurants to ask if they do vegan, many of which have come up with nothing more than a basic pasta or simply….boring boiled vegetables (may be gradually looking brighter now on the hospitality front but there is a long way to go to making it mainstream). Aren’t vegans like any other humans? Vegans also love life and DO have epicurean desires, so why not use a wee bit of innovation to spark up the life for vegans!
That’s where I fell in love with the Label of “Proudly Vegan” when I was offered to taste and write about it. The best part is that I did not even have to check the label, the small print or even ask whether I can serve it to my vegan friends for dinner because its BOLDLY written on it, proudly and openly! We vegans are not used to such convenience, I can tell you that. Yes, this is the vegan brand of wines available at OCADO and AMAZON.
All we got to do is click, buy, open, sip and enjoy! Phew….just like how the rest of the world does?! Sometimes innovation can be harnessed by just thinking a tiny bit out of the box. And here is where it made me go back to the wine again…when I was told that it is not just vegan wine (ie fined using a special bentonite clay) but also uses vegan packaging, vegan labels, vegan glue and recycled materials approved by the Vegan Society. Dr Arabella Woodrow MW is the consultant for Broadland Wineries who has been working very closely to create the beautiful wines.
The Proudly Vegan’s Merlot range is luscious and intensely deep purple coloured mouth filling wine with crisp acidity. Aromas of ripe black cherries and blackberry compote are very prominent but so are the flavours of melted chocolate. A full-bodied wine with elegant rounded, silky and soft tannins, the structure of the wine is consistent and broad but also subdued making it the perfect match to Kale and Mushroom Risotto, Smoked Peppers served with Black Bean soup, Beet root and red onion tart, Quinoa Burrito Bowls and Roasted Aubergine served with sweet potato cutlets. Try these sumptuous winter vegan recipes with Proudly Vegan’s Merlot and you will thoroughly enjoy the experience of food and wine pairing. This wine is equally superb for an easy weekday sip if friends or neighbours pop by.
Image: Sumita Sarma
Image: Sumita Sarma
The Proudly Vegan’s Sauvignon Blanc wraps up the swashbuckling crisp acidity from the Chilean terroir along with notes of grapefruit, lime, stone fruits and passion fruit. Very upbeat and vibrant, the wine is expressive and shows immense concentration and classy notes of the grapes. A fabulous pairing with vegan starters such as Hummus Dips, Bruschetta, Tabbouleh and equally with main courses such as Stir fries, Vegan Phad Thai, Green curry and rice, Chickpea Masala, Roasted Cauliflower Steak, Aubergine and Chickpea Bake, South Indian Gothsu (Tamarind and pepper corn based vegetables cooked on a base of ground lentils) and Cabbage dry curry and even Mapo Tofu.
The Proudly Vegan’s Rosé range? Well its on its way to be launched! And I will bring you more on that soon….
Worth trying to be vegan for a few weeks in a year and see the changes it brings to your body and general well-being. You have wines now too, to enjoy pairing with. Yes, we vegans can finally relax and pursue our gastronomic passions.
Read my article for Winerist : Why aren’t all wines vegan?