So many who are gluten free often wonder is there is gluten in wine. I spoke to a winemaker and got all of the information to help guide you in deciding if wine is okay for you.
Is There Gluten In Wine?
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 needed 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 interviewed 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."
If you are new to gluten free, I wrote a handy guide to help you get started in learning to live a gluten free lifestyle.
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 discovered they couldn't tolerate gluten. After research, Adam discovered many oak wine barrels are sealed with a flour paste.
Why are barrels sealed in flour paste?
The flour paste seals the croze or the groove in which the barrel headrests. It doesn't matter where the barrels are manufactured, Hungary, France, or America. Using a flour paste was 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 others are now moving towards steel barrels.
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 that goes into more depth about gluten in wine barrels that you can read here.
Siduri Wines is one of the few winemakers 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.
You can read more about Siduri Wine's specialized winemaking process here.
While you are here, don't forget to grab some delicious Gluten Free Appetizer Recipes to try with your wine!!
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peter @Feed Your Soul Too
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!
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 🙂
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.
Thank you Joanne. It was definitely an eye opener for me as well.
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?
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!
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.
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!
I appreciate your comment Minerva. I can honestly say I learn something new every day 🙂
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.