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You get invited to a wine tasting with some of your friends, but you have Celiac Disease and aren’t sure if wine is gluten-free. What do you do?
Is wine gluten-free? Short answer, YES, you can have most wine! Long answer, you still have to do your research and be diligent!
I know, I know! You hate that it isn’t definitive one way or the other, but alas, that’s just how this Celiac Journey is.
Potential Issues with Processing/Storing
Now you might be wondering why I said “most”, well here’s the catch (isn’t there always a catch when you’re a Celiac???) – depending on how the wine is processed/stored depends on whether it is safe for Celiac’s or not.
Obviously, the majority of wine is made from grapes, although there was this amazing wine I had when I lived in Italy called Fragolina (strawberry wine)! I seriously miss that stuff!!! Whoops, I digress, lol.
Wine, by itself, is naturally gluten-free – woohoo!! However, depending on how it was processed and/or stored, is a whole other issue. Plus if they happen to add anything to enhance the flavor, there can be issues too.
Another issue is that wineries are not required (currently) to list the ingredients used in to create their wines. Fun, I know. But stick with me, I promise you that you CAN have wine. I just want to make sure you are informed so that you don’t get glutened.
During one step of the processing, gluten “can” (not common, but it happens) be used as a fining agent. Because of how it is used and subsequently removed, it is under the limit for gluten set by the FDA (20 parts per million (ppm)); HOWEVER, sensitive Celiacs may still react to that 0.002% so you need to be aware.
After the wine is done processing, it is put in a container to be aged. Wineries use stainless steel tanks, oak barrels, or other storage containers to age their wine.
Now, these containers need to be sealed to keep air out so the wine can age and not spoil. “Sometimes” oak barrels are sealed with wheat paste (the shock, the horror!!).
Again, the amount of gluten is extremely low, like 10 ppm; HOWEVER, as I stated earlier, some sensitive Celiacs may still react to those trace amounts of gluten.
So what can you do?
You guessed it, ASK the winery what they use as a fining agent and how they store their wine for the aging process.
If you prefer to not ask the winery or don’t have the time to wait for a response, choose a certified gluten-free wine instead or don’t drink the wine.
You can also just purchase certified gluten-free wine and just through your own wine tasting party (trust me, it will be fun!!).
Here’s a list of Certified GF Wines.
- You’re 21 right? You are an “adult”. If you are wanting to drink wine, drink wine. Wine coolers are for teens who think they are being so “cool” and sneaking the alcohol – not that I would know anything about that, moving on….
- The majority are made from barley, which contains gluten, which will make you sick!
- Don’t Drink Wine Coolers!!!
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