Casein, Contamination

Gluten In Wines?

19 Comments 15 April 2011

Gluten In Wines?

A subject that has been weighing heavily on my mind lately is the concept that all wines may not be gluten-free. I may be “late to the prom” and have somehow just missed this topic. But as far as I have ever heard or read, liquors and wines are gluten-free.

What changed my opinion on this was after a knowledgeable reader wrote in asking about this, and then I noticed on Yellow Tail Wine’s very interactive website they have a tab for each of their wines called “nutritional info” which states whether a wine is vegan (free of gelatin, casein, egg whites or isinglass) or gluten-free.

According to Yellow Tail’s website:

  • All Red wines and Reserve Reds are gluten-free and vegan
  • All Chardonnays, Pinot Grigios, Sparkling Wines and the Reisling are gluten-free, but not vegan
  • And the Sauvignon Blanc is NOT gluten-free or vegan

I have, however asked for more information from this allergy-responsible company. As while contacting other companies I learned that a good rule-of-thumb is that a barrel-free wine is likely a gluten-free wine, and Yellow Tail does use some barrels, so I am curious as to whether they take specific measures are taken to avoid the use of gluten in their barrels.

According to Bogle Winery:

  • Their wines are not vegan. But in the past couple of years they did stop using casein specifically, but not other non-vegan fining agents.
  • They also told me that the wheat-paste used to seal the barrels is used in the manufacturing, not the wine making. But they also said that the paste should be washed away in the initial rising.
  • I do not know what the initial rinsing entails, but based on this information, unless I hear otherwise I will therefore assume their wines are NOT gluten-free

According to Castle Rock Winery:

  • All wines are barrel-free and thus gluten-free except for their Chardonnay
  • All are also vegan friendly

According to Cline Cellars:

  • All wines are vegan
  • They said that all wines are gluten-free, but I have inquired for more information, as they do use oak barrels in the aging process, so I am not ready to assume that these wines are safe

I will keep contacting winemakers and trying to learn more about this. I am far from being a Wine Maker and know very little about the use of wheat paste in barrels, but as far as I can conclude thus far, wines that are not aged in barrels are less likely to contain gluten. And with Australian standards for gluten-free labeling perhaps a bit ahead of ours, if Yellow Tail’s website labels all but one of their wines gluten-free, that is likely good information.

- who has written 106 posts on Gluten Free Fox.

Kristen Campbell and her "wonder dog" Waylon are both severely intolerant to gluten. Celiac? Perhaps. But they've never had the endoscopy to tell (human or dog--does that exist?). Fortunately, they found each other! When Kristen isn't busy at work, she loves mixing up natural, gluten-free beauty products under her self titled line, spending time with her favorite "wonder dog" and catching up with friends.

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19 Comments so far

  1. Annette Frey says:

    We have a great wine shop (and I rarely drink wine but everything they have is great so awesome for gifting w/o knowledge) that has some “stated” gluten free wines so this would make sense.

    I’ll ask them about it next time I’m by there.

    • Thanks so much for letting us know! It sucks that it’s another area to be careful about, but GOOD to know the real deal! Let us know what you find out!

      • Mary Jo Kameka says:

        Hi: I heard from a friend that wines ages in barrels contain less nitrates & (chemicals in general). But, if wheat is a problem in the barrels, what is the solution!? Thank you.

  2. maddie says:

    Hey thank you soooo muuh. I had no idea and just read your post on casein and gluten in wine. if your late too the prom on this, I totally missed it/ didn have a date. first time visitor and will be back . Thanks again .

  3. Pete Bronski says:

    Hi Kristen,

    Late last year I did a detailed blog post on this topic, which I recently updated with new information. Thought you’d be interested…

    Cheers, Pete

  4. Jason says:

    hmmm . . . seems like the Australians are going a little overboard on labeling. We need a standard that protects us, but without too many false positives. Our exposure will never be zero, no matter what we do.

    @Pete – awesome article!

  5. Elma Bunch says:

    Have just realized I need to be gluten free per my Dr.’s request. Just getting used to this and needing some options. Grateful for this website! Thank you

  6. KIM says:

    Thank you for the very helpful info. Not that I drink a great deal of wine, but as of late, have had some issues with the chosen brands. This prompted me into further investigating the presence of gluten in wine, which I thought was gluten free! From my research, it does appear that the Australians and New Zealanders have done their homework. Thank you!

  7. bakingbarb says:

    I’ve had issues with this topic, people love to tell me wine is grapes of course it is gluten free. ARGH of course it isn’t that simple.
    Good to know these wines are gluten free, thank you.

  8. BW says:

    A medical group dietician I consulted when initially diagnosed with Celiac Disease told me to avoid wines from Europe & South Africa because the casks are sealed with a flour paste. She said US, Chilean and Australian vinters used some other process to seal the casks and, so, are safe. She also told me that anything that has been distilled, which whiskeys and liquors are, will be gluten free. But others tell me that’s not true. Sure makes life diffcult.

  9. This is a great, informative article! Thank you for posting!! I need to print this off and carry it with me since I hate having to google everything to make sure it’s safe when I am at the grocery store.

  10. beth says:

    Yellowtail Chardonnay IS NOT Gluten-free…The website says it if you look but I even called them…the Non-barreled (?) has no wheat paste..but is manufactured & stored in the same facility…not safe for Celiac…
    we have to sooo overanalyze just for a glass of wine….
    Marietta Zinfandel (red) IS gluten free…FYI!

  11. Colleen says:

    Thank you for this post. I’ve been concerned about gluten free wines since learning about the wheat paste they seal barrels with and didn’t know how to find out. This was a great find and also, I try to be vegan when possible so I love that bonus info too!

  12. suzanne says:

    Thank you I was put on a gf diet last june and all my symptoms stopped. Unless of course I get gluten. Tonight I had a home cooked meal with pepperjack cab sav. Have spent the last 45mins in the bathroom. Its the only I had that could of contained gluten. But cant find out yay or nay

  13. Patricia Carlin says:

    I am on a strict gluten free diet for past 6 months – all my symptoms have albeit disappeared – until this week – when I changed my brand of wine to Co op fair trade Sauvignon Blanc from South Africa. The co op have told me it is gluten free..should I be asking Co op to look into this in more detail? I note the piece about Yellow Tail saying their Sauvignon Blanc is NOT gluten free. Si well done YT for telling us. What do,others think? Would welcome any comments. Trish

  14. Cocoa says:

    Thank you for this – it’s great info!

  15. Scott Sterbenz says:

    Thanks so much for your article and this website.

    I have more education now than before, which gives me hope.

    Currently suffering, but the glass is half full.

  16. gaie says:

    Last night had Robert Mondavi, merlot,
    2012, has to have gluten, born with
    celiac disease, have had bathrooms
    issues since 3AM, wine was fabulous

  17. Juddy Mac says:

    Interesting,I never thought about it. Wine makers use flour paste as glue for their barrels and unless flour is used as a finishing agent, stainless vats would be gluten free. Cool Beans.
    Also, any idea if Martini and rossi dry vermouth is gluten free. Their Email doesn’t work.

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