ALISTAIR GIBSON: Fabulous on-trend vegan wines from around the world
It seems to me every month now there is some sort of theme, from Dry JanuaryÂ to Movember.Â
ThisÂ month has seen the raising in the public consciousness of Veganuary.Â
According to the Vegan SocietyÂ there are now at least 542,000 people following a vegan diet in the UK, as opposed to 150,000 10 yearsÂ ago.
So there is no doubt veganism is very much a growing trend.
To qualify as vegan, the wines must notÂ have been fined, filtered or have been inÂ contact with anything derived from an animal or dairyÂ source.
Many wines are fined with egg whites or gelatin and often there is no indication of this on theÂ label.
It seems that vegan wines may well be one of the wine trendsÂ of 2018 and recently the Co-op hasÂ announced plans to increase its vegan range to 100 wines, Majestic last year added vegan and vegetarianÂ symbols to wines on itsÂ website and Waitrose has for some time added vegan and vegetarian symbols to itsÂ listed wines.
Here are a few vegan friendly wines to taste this month.
The Co-operative Truly IrresistibleÂ BrogliaÂ Gavi 2016, Piedmont (Co-op Â£7.99) is a very approachable, easy drinking white wine.
Made from cortese, an indigenous Italian white grape variety, this has notes of pear, white stone and citrus fruits onÂ the nose, followed by a fresh, silky plate with a crisp, dry finish.
This is great value and a very niceÂ alternative to chablis. Maybe match this with a ThaiÂ vegetable curry dish.
I learnt the other dayÂ most of the wines produced by Australia's oldest family-owned winery Yalumba, are vegan friendly.
Yalumba is one of Australia's finest wine producers,Â so this is another indication that vegan friendlyÂ wines are very much part of today's wine scene.
Yalumba Organic Viognier 2016, SouthÂ Australia (Waitrose,Â Ocado Â£9.99) has appeared in this column before but there is good reason for that.
It is very food-versatile and also one of the best example ofÂ viognier underÂ Â£10.
Viognier is very aromatic, and this is noÂ exception. With a bouquet of peach and apricot and a little spice, the palate is medium bodied and quiteÂ textured with an almost exotic finish.
Try with a Moroccan-inspired couscous dish.
The Co-operative TrulyÂ Irresistible Malbec, Bio Bio Valley 2015 (Co-op Â£6.99) is from Chile, as opposed to Argentina, which isÂ perhaps more associated with this very fashionable red grape.
It's been aged in French oak and it hasÂ plenty of dark, ripe fruit on the nose as well as some chocolate, floral and spice notes.
The palate is veryÂ pure with ripe tannins and rich, fruit packed finish.
This is another great value wine from the Co-op andÂ perfect for a mid-week supper, very food friendly, try this with a tomato based pasta dish.
Alistair Gibson is proprietor of Hermitage Cellars, Emsworth. Call (01243) 431002 or e-mail