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You May Never Drink Another Glass of Wine Again After Hearing How It's Made

PopSugar logo PopSugar 11/10/2017 Dominique Astorino
Is Wine Vegan? © POPSUGAR Photography / Mark Popovich Is Wine Vegan?

Look, we're not sommeliers or anything, but we've assumed that wine was just . . . grapes . . . right? Wrong.

According to PETA (and several other sources!), not all wine is vegan. Which means, as you may have guessed, that animal products are used in the winemaking process. Oof.

Here's the deal: fining agents are added to wine and used to de-cloud it and eliminate solids. The Winerist reported that these agents are important to remove aggressive tannins and help the wine taste smoother. We're into that . . . but what are fining agents? You can use multiple materials, but here are some common ones (spoiler: all animal products):

  • Chitosan, aka crustacean exoskeleton (think shrimp tails)
  • Egg whites
  • Gelatin
  • Isinglass (collagen from fish bladders)
  • Blood and bone marrow
  • Milk protein (casein)

Because a small amount of these animal products and byproducts may be absorbed into the wine itself, it means that unless otherwise specified, wine is not vegan (or vegetarian, for that matter).

Are there vegan wines? Totally (Barnivore has a great list). Some finishing agents are made from volcanic clay and sediment. Not that either of those sound especially appetizing, but at least it's not blood and bladders.

The more you know, right? Cheers . . . ?

Slideshow: Could you be allergic to alcohol? (Courtesy: Refinery29) 

<p>What's your hangover type? Do you get a little headache the next day? Are you more of a barf-on-the-sidewalk-the-morning-after person? Or do you get a stuffy nose, red skin, and diarrhea while you're still at the bar? If that last one sounds like you, that could be a sign of something more serious than just a hangover, <a href="https://www.bustle.com/articles/123630-5-signs-youre-allergic-to-alcohol-not-just-alcohol-intolerant">like an alcohol allergy or intolerance</a>.</p><p>Everyone is different when it comes to how much they can drink before feeling sick, but people with alcohol intolerance get ferocious symptoms immediately after drinking alcohol, no matter how much they drink, and they feel more acute than a classic hangover. <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/alcohol-intolerance/basics/definition/con-20034907">Alcohol intolerance isn't an allergy per se</a> (those are pretty uncommon), but "intolerance" refers to uncomfortable feelings right after drinking alcohol, according to the Mayo Clinic. A 2006 study suggests that alcohol intolerance could be caused by a genetic disorder that makes it <a href="http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1530-0277.2006.00128.x/abstract">harder for your body to break down alcohol</a> in a drink.</p><p>Exactly <a href="http://www.menshealth.com/health/are-you-allergic-to-booze">how many people have alcohol intolerance</a> can be tricky to pinpoint, because some of the symptoms can be confused for a hangover. In a 2007 study of 6,000 people, about 14% of participants reported having <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17927799">some reaction to alcohol</a> and said that they felt it in their respiratory tract or on their skin. Alcohol intolerance is usually genetic, and is <a href="https://bmcevolbiol.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1471-2148-10-15">more common in people of East Asian descent,</a> according to a 2009 study. The <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/alcohol-intolerance/basics/treatment/con-20034907">only real way to treat alcohol intolerance</a> is to stop drinking alcohol; and if you are allergic to something in alcohol, you might be able to take an antihistamine drug before drinking, or find a drink that doesn't include the thing that causes a reaction (but, of course, talk to your doctor first).</p><p>It's possible that people experience painful symptoms after drinking because specific ingredients in alcohol — like grains or sulfites — <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/alcohol-intolerance/basics/causes/con-20034907">cause an allergic reaction</a>, according to the Mayo Clinic. If you're concerned about how drinking alcohol makes your body feel, you should keep track of your symptoms and talk to your doctor. They'll probably do a skin prick test to determine if you're allergic to anything in alcoholic drinks, or they might take a blood test to measure your immune system response, according to the Mayo Clinic.</p><p>Here are some symptoms that could be a sign of alcohol intolerance or an alcohol allergy.</p> Could You Be Allergic To Alcohol?

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