Episode 58: The Vegetarian Dilemma

by whitney & christina on February 13, 2013

Egg whites and fish bladders. Whitney and Christina are talking animals and wine and why vegetarians should drink at their own risk. In pursuit of balance, that elusive word and what it really means when it comes to wine. Finally, the ladies tell you about the cool new wine tool you need if you’re lucky enough to have a cellar full of old bottles.

Whitney attended a lot of events surrounding a great tasting event in LA called In Pursuit of Balance. She loved the very recently released Raj Parr and Arnot-Roberts collab  RPM Gamay.

Fining and filtering. The 411 about how wine is clarified.

The Durand corkscrew. Worth $125?

Paper wine bottle. Helping the environment? Ugly? Both?

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Ellen February 15, 2013 at 1:36 am

As a vegetarian, I found a site with a huge list of what is vegan and what is not:

I’m bummed to find out animal products are in wine! I’m not vegan so egg whites are okay, but not fish bladder!


Whitney and Christina February 15, 2013 at 1:57 am

Hi Ellen, thanks so much for passing on this site! I’m sure there are plenty more wines that haven’t made it this list but which are vegetarian/vegan so best thing to do is find an independent merchant who you trust and find out from them as well. Also, if you live in a big city and have a wine store which specialises in ‘natural’ wines, your chances are much greater most of the wines will be vegan, and nearly all will be vegetarian. Good luck!


Ellen February 15, 2013 at 7:47 am

Hehe, now that I know about that I’ll be quizzing you at bit more deeply next time I’m at Domaine:)


Amy of Vspot February 17, 2013 at 9:07 pm

After just getting back from the most dubious road trip of life, ending up in a car accident and then having all my stuff stolen you guys just made my week! Thanks so much for answering my questions.

To answer some of yours I live in Halifax, Nova Scotia (a small city with not a lot of specialty wine shops) I am a good cook but I go out for sushi I’ll leave that to the professionals 😉 I’m not a huge ice wine fan but we do have quite a few vineyards around here.

Most vegetarians would just not want to drink wine filtered with animals products whether or not it ended up in the final product, the animal would still have to be killed (or harvested in terms of eggs) in order to produce it.

Thank you for all your suggestions. I am more of a red drinker but I think you guys have been turning me on to whites. I’m really excited to try orange wine now, just up to finding the stuff in the area.

Thanks again!!!



Whitney and Christina February 23, 2013 at 10:52 am

A pleasure Amy, and do let us know what you discovery. Sorry to hear about your bad luck with your road trip!!


Barbie Jean February 18, 2013 at 7:49 pm

Love the show (again)! And all those food/wine pairings made me hungry/thirsty.

I have a wood&wine pairing question for you!

So, the Husband and I were out for his 30th birthday in Cali & probably had one of the best meals of our lives… No joke. Anyway, his first course was a cauliflower pureed soup with lobster sauce (and some sauteed lobster goodness). It was incredible. We went with the wine-pairing since it was a special occasion, and out came a brut champagne (wish I could remember the producer, but I believe it was a blanc d’ blancs). Anyway, the dish & wine were both lovely on their own, and the Somm said that she liked that pairing since it was a nice contrast in textures… and in theory, I totally agreed. But when I tasted the wine after the soup… WHOA. It was just TOO intense.. something was off. I would have thought the bubbles and acidity would cut through the decadence of the soup, but maybe it did TOO much…

After tasting the soup, I was thinking a Gruner Veltliner (make a sekt?) or a Muller Thurgau?

1a) What would you guys suggest with a soup like that? Bubbles, no bubbles?
1b)When does contrast help, and when would you want complimentary flavors/textures?

2) What if you don’t totally like/agree with a food/wine pairing with a tasting menu? What you get is what you get, right? I mean, who am I to disagree with a super Somm, but everyone’s palate is different (the Husband found the pairing off too, by the way…)

(Sorry for the ridiculously long post!)

Thank you!!


Amanda February 20, 2013 at 8:43 pm

Hi Whitney + Christina!

I recently discovered your podcasts and I’ve been catching up on all your episodes. Great information, and you’ve really taught me a lot so far!

Forgive me if you’ve already talked about this, but I’m wondering if you’d be able to talk about “New Wine” or “Federweisser” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federweisser)? My husband and I recently visted some of my family in Germany and while we were there, everybody was talking about the “new wine”. We took a trip to the local vineyard to pick some up for a dinner party that my great-aunt was throwing and immedately became hooked on this stuff. Not for everyday drinking, of course, as it was really, really sweet. But it was nice as a treat.

Do you know why this stuff isn’t produced and sold in North America (I live in Canada) – or is it and I’ve just never heard of it?

Thanks! Amanda


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