Could There Be Gluten In That Wine?

Could There Be Gluten In That Wine? image

I learned something new at the Gluten & Allergy Free Expo last weekend and it is something I think you should know about. It was an odd discovery, made on the second day of the Expo while wandering through the last half of the vendor section. I saw a couple of vintners. Why would a wine company pay to have a table at a gluten free expo? I felt the need to find out so I approached the Siduri Wines table. After speaking to Catherine, a gluten free employee at Siduri Wines, I learned there was more to this then a quick explanation. We decided it would be best if I interview one of the owners of Siduri, Adam Lee.

Now I know this is a blog dedicated to dining out gluten free, but many people who are gluten free drink wine when they dine out, including yours truly. I feel it is important to know all potential sources of gluten contamination when dining out.”

Siduri Wines was founded on a dream that Adam and Diane both shared. Their love of fine pinot. Adam and Dianna decided to take a gamble by relocating from Austin, Texas to the Sonoma County wine country. They spent several years working at small, family owned wineries, learning as much as they could about the wine making process. In 1994 they launched Siduri Wines. Their first release yielded only 107 cases of wine. Today, Siduri Wines has grown to release 20,000 cases of wine annually.

Could There Be Gluten In That Wine? image

As I mentioned earlier, one of Siduri’s employees has a gluten allergy. Adam told me this really opened his eyes to the potential gluten issues. He felt this could be a big factor because so many people were discovering they couldn’t tolerate gluten. After research, Adam discovered many oak wine barrels are sealed with a flour paste. The flour paste seals the croze, or the groove in which the barrel head rests. It doesn’t matter where the barrels are manufactured, Hungary, France, or America. Using a flour paste seemed to be a standard practice in making these wine barrels. Adam recalls looking in barrels, some clean inside, and others with caked on flour paste. Every wine barrel used at Siduri Wines is washed thoroughly and sanitized before it is used to remove this flour paste. Some vintners are turning to using wax to seal the croze, a few other are now moving towards steel barrels.

Siduri Wines is one of the few wine makers to have all of their wines tested for gluten. They use a wine analysis company called ETS Labs. ETS Labs uses an ELISA test to determine if there is gluten in the wine. The cost to test their wines for gluten is minimal and the return, the peace of mind, is worth it to Adam and Dianna. Adam was also happy to say that none of Siduri’s wines have ever tested positive for containing gluten.

Another wonderful thing about Siduri Wines is that they are vegan. Many wines are refined with products containing animal products. These finishing products (Isenglass and egg whites) pull the wine solids to the bottom of the barrel. These finishes don’t affect the flavor of the wine. All of Siduri’s wines are both unfiltered and unfined which helps retain the character of each vineyard site in which they obtain their grapes. You can read more about Siduri Wines specialized wine making process here.

If you want to try Siduri Wines, and believe me, these stand out as some of the best pinots I have tried, you can find them in wine stores around the country, via their wine club, or by appointment daily at their vineyard from 11:30 to 4:30. Their wines range from $20 to $55 per bottle.

Siduri Wines

981-E Airway Ct

Santa Rosa, CA

(707) 578-3882

**Want to learn more about gluten and the wine barrel process? There is a great article in Wine Spectator that goes into more depth about gluten in wine barrels that you can read here.

 

Comments

  1. Sandi, This is a great post. I had never thought of wine as a source of gluten. I think you’ve done a great job educating others about the potential contamination of gluten in most wines. Another great point, is the fact that eggs are utilized in filtration process. I had no idea. This is also a concern since many people (my son included) are allergic to eggs. Thanks so much!

    • Thank you so much Laura! When I interviewed Adam, he told me in the old days they used Ox blood to pull the solids to the bottom of the wine. Eeeuuww. I don’t really like the idea of egg white or animal by products in my wine either. I have several friends who are allergic to both gluten and eggs that will benefit from this new knowledge as well.

      It certainly makes me look at all of the wine in my wine refrigerator a little differently now. I will have to research by bottle, calling every vintner to find out about how they wash their barrels.

  2. Fantastic post and insight into any issues that may arise in the wine world. I never even thought to think about whether or not there was gluten in wine based on its main ingredients (or even vegan for that matter!). Hopefully those with severe allergies don’t suffer from not even knowing to check. Thanks for revealing this information!

  3. Thank you for this great post!! I do get sick from wine sometimes. Even when I have a little. I thought I was being paranoid thinking it might be contaminated. Great site and love the restaurant guide too!
    Sincerely,
    Stacey

    • Thank you Stacey. Once in awhile I will drink a glass of wine and I will feel a little out of it. By the next morning I have a killer migraine. One glass of wine normally doesn’t do that to me, so now I wonder if the gluten could be causing that. If you need good restaurant recommendations that I feel really confident about, please let me know.

  4. Thanks for posting this. I remember hearing that wine was not safe many years ago, but have never come across an explanation before. I really appreciate your research into this. Thanks.

    • Thanks for your compliment Caryn 🙂 I find that most wines are okay, but every now and then I will feel very out of it from half a glass of wine. Those seem to be the ones I am reacting to. Have you noticed this?

  5. This is a great post Sandi. We normally do not think about what is hiding in our wines. With so many people having food allergies, today many winemakers are making great strides in making wines ‘cleaner’ so they can be enjoyed without side effects.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Could there be gluten in your wine? Siduri Wines is one of the only wineries that tests for gluten in their wines. Check out an interview with Siduri Wines by Sandi of Fearless Dining to understand how gluten can make its way into your wine glass. Sandi is one of my gluten-free support group members. […]

  2. […] Could there be gluten in your wine? Siduri Wines is one of the only wineries that tests for gluten in their wines. Check out an interview with Siduri Wines by Sandi of Fearless Dining to understand how gluten can make its way into your wine glass. Sandi is one of my gluten-free support group members. […]

  3. […] Is There Gluten In That Glass of Wine? – This one really surprised me. Occasionally, there is a bottle of wine that makes me really sick…often after only half a glass. Now I know why! […]

Speak Your Mind

*