Recently I've been drinking a lot of natural wines: wines made from biodynamic or organically grown grapes, fermented with natural yeast. I like them because they taste pure and wild, like true products of their terroir.
I never gave any thought to vegan wines until I read this excellent article by Katherine Cole in The Oregonian.
I'll summarize in a way Cole does not. "Vegan," for wine, says nothing about how the grapes are grown, which is the most important aspect of wine. It says nothing about the key decisions in winemaking -- type of yeast, barrels or tanks, time spent on the lees.
"Vegan" applies only to an aspect of winemaking so unimportant that it's optional -- "fining," in which some sort of protein is added to the wine to precipitate out particles that can make it cloudy.
Personally I like wine unfiltered and unfined, which would be vegan by definition. But most commercial wines are fined, often with egg whites. This adds no flavor; if anything, it removes flavors (particles do have flavor). It's not a nefarious new technology: the Romans fined their wines. I suspect few Romans were vegan.
The point is, it's really easy for an industrial wine to be vegan. Grapes can be grown on a factory farm anywhere, with the vines irrigated and fertilized and dusted with all manner of herbicides. The grapes can be harvested by machine and fermented in giant steel tanks. As long as the wine is fined with algae extract or bentonite instead of egg whites, it's vegan. Whoopee!
There's no reason to be against vegan wines; as I said, I prefer my wine unfined anyway. But just because a wine is vegan is no reason to give it any extra credit at all -- unless you're vegan. So you vegan folks just enjoy those wines; I'm going to leave off now because it's time for dinner, and we're having salmon and Pinot Noir. I can almost hear the fish crying.