So many who have Celiac disease or are gluten-intolerant often wonder is there gluten in wine. I spoke to a winemaker and got all the facts to help you decide if wine is safe for you to drink.

Is There Gluten In Wine?

I learned something new at the Gluten & Allergy Free Expo, and I think you should know about it. It was an odd discovery made on the second day of the Expo. I was wandering the aisles of vendors with a few gluten-free friends. I saw a couple of vintners. This was the first time I saw wine vendors at a gluten-free expo. I was curious, 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 than a quick explanation. I decided it would be best if I interviewed one of Siduri’s owners, Adam Lee.

A row of wine barrels at a winery cellar.

As I mentioned earlier, one of Siduri’s employees has a gluten intolerance. Adam told me this really opened his eyes to the potential for gluten issues in winemaking. He felt this could be important for winemakers because so many people discovered they couldn’t tolerate gluten. After a lot of research, Adam discovered that many oak wine barrels are sealed with a flour paste.

Siduri Wines is one of the few winemakers to have all of its wine 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 that none of Siduri’s wines had ever tested positive for gluten-containing ingredients.

Why are barrels sealed in flour paste?

The flour paste seals the croze or the groove in which the barrel headrests are. It doesn’t matter where the barrels are manufactured—Hungary, France, or America. Using flour paste was standard practice in making these wine barrels. Adam recalls looking in barrels. Some barrels were clean inside, and others were caked with this 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 others are now moving towards using steel barrels to make their wine.

NOTE: Many wineries use aluminum barrels with oak chips for their winemaking process and this wine has no gluten.”

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

A woman pouring white wine into a stemless wine glass she is holding.

If you are new to gluten-free, I wrote a handy guide to help you learn to live a gluten-free lifestyle. I have a huge resources page to help you not only learn how to live a gluten-free lifestyle, but I cover all aspects of gluten-free, including many baking tutorials and resources.

You can read more about Siduri Wine’s specialized winemaking process here.

Gluten-Free Appetizers To Pair With Wine:

While you are here, don’t forget to grab some delicious Gluten-Free Appetizer Recipes to try with your wine!

Do you love wine?

We would love to hear which wines you drink. I love finding new gluten-free favorites. Please leave a comment. Thank you!

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  1. Sandi, as you know I have gone gluten free in earnest. Came to your site to get ideas on what I may not be considering. Hence, I am at your wine post. Fascinating how much there is to learn and be cautious of. Thx for sharing and being a great resource!

    1. I am so glad you are now gluten free Peter. I know we have talked quite a bit about it and I am so excited to see what you create 🙂

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

    1. 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?

  4. 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!

    1. 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.

  5. 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!

  6. 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!

    1. 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.