Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

Wine Notes: The vegan-friendly Australian whites and reds to watch out for

Post Thumbnail

Our wine columnist John Kelman of Rutabaga reveals his top wines from Down Under made without animal products, and his favourite food pairings to go with them.

In the next leg of our wine journey we’re off to visit Australia. A huge country with lots to offer, this time around I’ll be highlighting purely vegan wines and pairing them with some classic dishes.

If you’re wondering what constitutes a vegan wine, they are made without the animal-derived products that are often used in wine-making to act as a filter for particles.

Australian wines have been known historically to be big, ripe and robust. When red, expect dry, and with white, think easy drinking.

Nowadays there is a level of sophistication and real regionality within the nation’s output.

The Chardonnay is usually oak-aged and was for a long time the style found coming from Oz. Now, it is much closer in style with Sauvignon Blanc and stainless steel fermentation.

Grenache (Garnacha) has spicy high points from the hot and dry conditions favoured by this variety. It is very popular in blends including GSM which is a red wine blended from Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre.

Durif (Petite Sirah) is a wine variety from the crossing of Syrah and Peloursin in France. It boasts big tannins and ripe fruits. Rutherglen, a small town in Victoria, Australia favour this variety.

John Kelman of Rutabaga.

For Mataro (Mourvedre/Monastrell), worldwide it is best to look to Bandol for its rose in Provence where it is the most noble grape variety. In warmer global regions, this variety gives some body to thinner blends like GSM in Barossa Valley in Adelaide in particular.

When exploring the vast array of potential travelling companions we went with Virgin Wines, Fountainhall Wines and Rutabaga who represent some of the best online and local independent retailers.

With decades of experience with food and drink in and around Aberdeen and Scotland, there’s some perfect pairings in the mix for you to enjoy, too.

Black Flag Winemakers, Mataro/ Durif/ Shiraz, Barossa Valley/ Langhorne Creek, Australia, 2017 – 14% alc./vol.

A big, rich blend with hints of high-percentage dark chocolate and peppery spices, this wine goes perfectly with curried cauliflower, potato, tomato and chickpea with some fresh flatbread – a winner indeed!

£13.99 for a 750ml bottle from Virgin Wines.

Black Flag Winemakers, Pinot Noir, Adelaide Hills, Australia, 2018 (Vegan) – 13.5% alc./vol.

This cheery bomb of a Pinot Noir has some background Chinese-style five spice. Sit back and enjoy or whip up a cheeky bakewell tart made with pickled cherries as your fruit variant. Mmm…

£21.99 for a 750ml bottle from Virgin Wines.

Black Flag Winemakers, Shiraz/ Durif/ Grenache, McLaren Vale, Australia, 2016 (Vegan) – 14.5% alc./vol.

From a small cache of wine produced with an exclusive original artwork by artist Charlie Roberts copied for this wine label, this big wine offers a little spice but lots of fruit with deep tannins. For this dish, cook up a delicious chilli-oil-marinated cauliflower steak cooked over a high heat (to char), with grilled tenderstem broccoli, and an artichoke puree.

£15.99 for a 750ml bottle from Virgin Wines.

Black Flag Winemakers, Grenache, McLaren Vale, Australia, 2018 (Vegan) – 14% alc./vol.

A subtle but generous wine from old vines, its sophisticated, soft fruity palate benefits from a little oak ageing. A beetroot, shiitake mushroom risotto with some peppery rocket and pea shoots would pair perfectly.

£25.99 for a 750ml bottle from Virgin Wines.

Xanadu, Exmoor, Cabdernet Sauvignon, Margaret River, Australia, 2017 (Vegan) – 14.5% alc./vol.

Our only pick from Margaret River has to be a Cabernet Sauvignon from one of the regions founding vineyards. Big, juicy dark fruits with a long finish. It has also spent 14 months in oak barrels. Homemade vegan haggis spring rolls incorporating pearl barley, mushrooms with tomato chilli jam accompaniment is the go-to for this bottle.

£13.99 for a 750ml bottle from Foutainhall Wines (Stonehaven)

D’Arenberg, The Hermit Crab, Viognier/ Marsanne, McLaren Vale, Australia 2018 – 13.5% alc./vol.

A recognisable-brand bottling from a well-established house. At the forefront you’ll fine stone fruits with it ending on a citrusy finish. Rhone in style, it is best paired with vegan gnocchi rolled through toasted walnuts and wilted radicchio. Grate over some dairy free cashew cheese for a little extra indulgence.

£13.99 for a 750ml bottle from Foutainhall Wines (Stonehaven)

Some Young Punks, Quickie, Sauvignon Blanc, Adelaide Hills, Australia, 2017 (Vegan) – 12.5% alc./vol.

These young winemakers have created a Sauvignon Blanc with a little texture and with a little time in oak for an old-world style twist. There’s a real bit of body and structure with this wine. How about a Caesar-style vegan salad sans anchovies to tantalise the taste buds?

£11.99 for a 750ml bottle from Foutainhall Wines (Stonehaven)

Berton Vineyard, The Winemaker’s Reserve, Shiraz, Padthaway, Australia, 2017 (Vegan) – 14.5% alc./vol.

Big with spice, plummy fruits and dark chocolate notes resonate through this high-octane wine. Good value, pair it with a dairy-free chocolate brownie as your dessert treat, finishing it with end-of-season raspberry compote.

£10.99 for a 750ml bottle from Foutainhall Wines (Stonehaven)

Wild and Wilder, Tabula Rasa, Semillon/ Sauvignon Blanc/ Arneis/ Petit Manseng, Adelaide Hills, Australia, 2018 (Vegan) – 13% alc./vol.

With this little “stubbie” you get the perfect mid-week drop. Two generous guilt-free glasses full of predominantly refreshing Semillon. A dry palate with a zesty gooseberry flavour, try it with some lightly pickled mackerel over a soba noodle salad laced with fresh ginger and chilli.

£9 for a 500ml bottle from Rutabaga

Chaffey Bros Wine Co, Battle for Barossa, La Resistance! Grenache/ Syrah/ Mourvèdre, Barossa Valley, South Australia, 2016 (Vegan), – 14.5% alc./vol.

A juicy drop of red with peppery highlights the GSM blends are a Barossa staple. Pair with a rustic meat-free lasagne with plenty of in-season mushrooms.

£16 for a 750ml bottle from Rutabaga

The Musician, Cabernet Sauvignon/ Shiraz, Coonawarra, Australia, 2016 (Vegan), – 13.5% alc./vol.

A blend which is more than three quarters Cabernet Sauvignon, it shows plenty of red ripe fruits throughout. Pizza is a great vegan staple so char some of your favourite vegetables and make your own music.

£15 for a 750ml bottle from Rutabaga

The Wrong’ un, Shiraz/ Cabernet Sauvignon, Western Cape, South Australia, 2018 (Vegan) , – 14% alc./vol.

Another blend but with more than three quarters Shiraz, it’s big smooth blackcurrant flavours that feature in this wine that has spent a little time in oak. Fantastic value for money. Tabbouleh (a Levatine vegetarian salad) with all your favourite seasonal vegetables, herbs and confit garlic is best, and be sure to serve with hummus and warm bread – perfect!

£10 for a 750ml bottle from Rutabaga

When not scribbling down wine-tasting notes, John Kelman can be found hosting virtual tastings at

For more in this series…