As gluten-free lifestyles become more popular, you may find yourself wondering if you could still drink your favorite bottles of red or white wine if you switch to this new diet. In short, yes, wine is gluten-free. Generally, gluten-free wines are regular wines that you can find with ease.
However, just because the wine itself is free of gluten does not mean that gluten couldn’t have been introduced to the wine at some point during the wine-making process. There are four basic steps in wine-making:
- Crushing and pressing
- Aging and storage
People living with gluten intolerance, celiac disease or a gluten-free diet should pay special attention to the clarification and aging and storage stages, as they are usually when gluten might be introduced into the wine. We’ll take a look at these processes below.
Clarification refers to the process winemakers use to remove any particles and debris that may be present in the wine. Once this stage is complete, the wine achieves that clear, smooth finish we all expect. Many winemakers use fining to achieve this quality, which is the process of introducing a binding agent into the wine that attaches to the particles for easier removal.
Although these fining tools are usually gluten-free, like egg whites or bentonite clay, there may be times winemakers use gluten as the agent. In these cases, almost all of the gluten is left behind as sediment.
Still, the FDA and the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) allow wines to be labeled as “gluten-free” with trace amounts — less than 20 parts per million — in the drink. So, if you need a truly gluten-free wine due to your body’s sensitivity, the best way to know for sure is to call the vineyard itself and confirm their process does not introduce gluten into the wine at any point.
Aging and Storage
Gluten entering your wine is even less likely during this stage. The only reason gluten might become incorporated into wine at this point is if the wine is aged in a wooden barrel that is sealed with a flour paste. If this product does contaminate the wine, it’s likely to be trace amounts that will not affect most people, even if they have celiac disease.
A Word About Wine Coolers
If you know anything about wine, you probably recognize the difference between wine and wine coolers. Wine coolers are made with malt, a barley grain that contains gluten. If you have a gluten-free diet, it would be best to avoid these drinks. Instead, consider branching out in your wine tastes and picking out sweeter options that are similar to wine coolers.
Shop Marketview Liquor’s Gluten-Free Wines Online Today
Although most wines are safe for people on a gluten-free diet, it’s better to be safe, especially if you experience life-threatening celiac symptoms. That’s why Marketview Liquor has an entire category on our website for gluten-free wines that you can feel safe drinking. White, red or rosé, still or sparkling — whatever your wine preference is, we have the gluten-free solution for you.