Is Wine Gluten-Free? Maybe, maybe not.


One question is bound to come up at a restaurant, party or wedding when you start following the gluten-free diet. Can you have wine without suffering an allergic reaction? Does wine actually have gluten in it? And, if it does, then is it possible to find gluten-free wine? If you merely have a mild gluten allergy or gluten sensitivity then, you should be perfectly safe with wine, since it almost always has little or no gluten in it. There are several ways that tiny forms of gluten can sneak into wine, but, as long as you don’t have Celiac, this will not be a cause of worry for you. However, if you happen to be highly gluten-sensitive or if you have Celiac, than most kinds of wine might be allergenic for you. Certain wines will have added colorings or flavorings that might contain gluten. For instance, fruit-flavored dessert wines usually contain added ingredients which have gluten in them.

Another problem that could occur if you suffer from Celiac is gluten cross-contamination. In fact, wine is very frequently cross-contaminated with gluten. It is usually made and processed in a gluten-contaminated faculty on machines that usually process other wheat-based ingredients. There are also a few other ways that gluten can creep into wine. Gluten in the form of wheat is sometime used as a fining or clarifying substance in the wine. In other cases, a wheat paste that seals ancient, wooden wine casks occasionally becomes present in the wine itself. While none of these occurrences add more than a tiny amount of gluten, the extremely gluten sensitive people will notice it after they drink wine. Consider buying wine varieties that are stored in stainless steel casks, if you are in the “extremely sensitive to all forms of gluten” category. But, if you only mildly allergic or even moderately allergic to gluten, you should be fine with any type of wine that you buy from the store. Plus, if you use wine mainly for cooking, it will never pose any kind of allergy threat, even to the highly gluten-sensitive people. As long as you suffer from Celiac, it is advisable to avoid homemade wines unless you are sure that they have been sterile filtered. Never buy commercial wines, beers or other microbrews that are labeled as “unfiltered” if you are very sensitive to gluten. Also, stay away from Champagne-style wines and beers, since most of them have been gluten fermented in order to achieve that amazing fizz.

Just exercise the usual caution that you habitually practice when buying basically gluten-free foods and beverages in the store or online. It can be difficult, but being gluten-free is so worth it, since it saves you from those horrible allergic reactions that are caused by wheat-based foods. Do some research on different types of wine, time permitting of course, and find what works best for you. There is no reason to feel embarrassed at your next dinner party!

Tricia Fecteau

I have tried to share what I have learned years in my book called "Gluten-Free with Love" available on Amazon and on my website. I want to help you in your journey to good health.