A selection of great value award-winning vegan wines one of which lets you taste a piece of wine history. Peter Morrell reports
Over half a million people worldwide signed up to take part in Veganuary 2021 – double the number who pledged to take part in 2019. Over a quarter of these were located in the UK, and numbers are expected to increase even more this year. This is on top of the 3% of the UK population identifying as vegan all year round.
With over 200 vegan-friendly bottles to choose from at Tesco, picking your vegan-friendly wines has never been easier. Whether you’re already a committed vegan, dipping your toe in the water this January, or thinking of switching to a plant-based diet long term, there is something for every taste, occasion and budget at Tesco. Even better, shoppers can find vegan options in stores all year round, from award-winning sparkling wines to elegant whites and aromatic reds.
IWSC 2021 Commended
I have tasted this wine and it really is something quite special. It is the oldest sparkling wine in the world. In 1531 the monks at the Abbey of Saint-Hilaire near Limoux discovered how to make sparkling wine. It was bottled in late autumn before fermentation had finished. When the yeast in the bottle ‘woke up’ the following Spring fermentation restarted and created the bubbles. The other clever thing the monks discovered was cork from just across the border in northern Spain, so they could keep the bubbles in the bottle.. It wasn’t until 1693 that Dom Perignon refined the process to create Champagne.
The predominant grape in the wine was Mauzac, known in Limoux as Blanquette, hence the name. After nearly 500 years Banquette de Limoux is still about 90% Mauzac, and 10% Chenin Blanc.
This fine example from Tesco has been aged in the bottle for 12 months to produce a wine that’s bursting with complex flavours. The wine pours a light golden colour, with generous streams of fast-moving bubbles. In the bouquet there are aromas of fresh citrus and green apples, and on the palate the citrus and apple flavours persist and are joined by tastes of toasted brioche, yeast, peach, and a little hint of honeysuckle. There is good minerality with well-balanced acidity making the wine very refreshing, and a good companion to food. The finish is bright and fruity. Drink it before a meal, or pair with seafood, quiches, or light chicken dishes.
Here is a range of other vegan wines Tesco has curated for Veganuary
This blush-coloured sparkling wine made from Pinot Noir grapes grown in the Australian sun of Adelaide Hills is the perfect glass to brighten up your January. Crisp and elegant, it has strawberry and cherry on the nose, lifted by floral hints.
Perfect served as an apéritif or with fruity desserts.
IWC 2021 Bronze Medal Winner
Made from Pinot Blanc, Bacchus and Chardonnay grapes, this exceptionally aromatic white wine combines notes of fresh hedgerow, bright citrus and white flowers. It is dry, crisp and very refreshing, with flavours of zesty lemon, pear and subtle white peach.
An excellent match for cauliflower steaks or pesto pasta.
IWSC 2021 Gold Medal Winner
This elegant white has been made using the finest Garganega grapes, hand-picked on Italy’s Soave Classico hills. Partially aged in oak for 10 months, its mineral character is balanced with layers of peach, apple and citrus with the characteristic notes of almond blossom typical of top-quality Soave.
Try it with artichoke and caper pasta or alongside a spinach and potato curry.
This fresh South African Sauvignon Blanc offers rich tropical flavours with hints of asparagus and ripe gooseberries. On the nose there are aromas of fresh cut grass and stone fruits.
Serve with tofu stir fry or lemon and caper pasta.
IWC & IWSC 2021 Bronze Medal Winner
Created for Tesco by premium Provence producer Castel Frères, this dry rosé is made with a combination of Cinsault, Grenache and Syrah grapes. Expect flavours of juicy red berries and delicate citrus fruit.
A great match for vegetable paëlla or a peach salad.
Produced by the family-run d’Arenberg winery in McLaren Vale, South Australia, this distinctive Shiraz has a soft palate, offering flavours of mulberry, pomegranate and dried herbs. It concludes with rustic and wild notes, characterised by firm tannins and acidity.
Serve it with a nut roast or vegan aubergine parmigiana.
This organic Primitivo is made with hand-harvested grapes grown in Puglia. The result is a rich and full-bodied red with flavours of ripe cherries, blackberries and some sweet spices on the finish.
Perfect alongside a mushroom wellington or ratatouille.
Made of grapes grown in Chile’s Valle Central, one of the world’s most prestigious wine growing regions, this full-bodied red offers a lovely combination of blackcurrant flavours and a touch of spice with a balanced and smooth finish.
Serve with a bean and lentil chilli or mushroom stroganoff.