Ask The Gluten Free RD: Is wine gluten free? | Rachel Begun, MS, RD


This is a great question.

Wine is ineherently gluten free, as it is made from grapes. However, there are two control points in the winemaking process where gluten may be introduced, although both seem to be rare instances in U.S.-made wines.  The first is the practice of using a flour paste to seal oak barrels. Again, this seems to be a more common practice in Europe than in the U.S.  The second is the practice of fining, which is done to clarify wine.  Gluten can be used to fine wine, but more often a different protein is used.  It seems that when gluten is used to clarify wine that it results in far less than the proposed safety threshold of 20 ppm.

For the most part, it seems to be that wine is generally safe for most celiacs to consume, but I have to raise the above issues so that each individual can make their own personal decision based on their experiences and level of sensitivity.  It seems that U.S.-made wines are less likely to include a winemaking process that introduces gluten.

If you are concerned, ask the wine maker if:

1) oak barrels are used to age the wine

2) a gluten-containing paste is used to seal the oak barrel

3) gluten or another protein is used to fine the wine.

Here are links to two articles on this subject:

Dr. Vino – Is Wine Gluten Free?

Gluten Free Living – Is Wine Gluten Free?

I have never had a reaction to gluten when drinking wine.  I’d love to hear from you all about what your experiences have been.

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15 Responses to Ask The Gluten Free RD: Is wine gluten free?

  1. Thanks so much for addressing this topic. I’d heard about occasional sealing of oak barrels, but I had never heard about fining. Very interesting. Do you have any info on specific wines that you — or anyone else — has verified to be gluten-free (or not)? Thanks!

  2. Rachel Begun says:

    I do not have that information, but am going to look into it.

  3. Sithara says:

    That statement is just plain wrong. Gluten incleorante or celiac disease is not an allergy. There is such a thing as a wheat allergy but that is an entirely different thing. You could be allergic to wheat and still able to eat rye or spelt. So, let’s be clear; a reaction to just wheat is an allergy, while a reaction to gluten is more of a disease. But I agree with Collette. Whatever it is, if it makes you sick, stay away froma0it.

  4. Vivianne DeLu says:

    I have only recently realized that I have a gluten allergy. I think it’s interesting to note in my own wine preferences that I tend to stay away from oaky Chardonnays as well as Big Italian Reds in general (wines obviously not gluten-free). It makes me wonder if I avoid it because I don’t like it, or if my body knows it’s not good for me? Either way, seems as if my eonophilia is safe for now (at least a little). :)

  5. Diane says:

    Rachel, ther are however gluten free beers!

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  7. Cyndi Ivy says:

    I get sick IMMEDIATELY upon swallowing wine. I have no idea what causes the reaction; however, it is every brand and type I have tried. I have celiac, I’m not sure what causes the reaction; however, I have no desire to go near any wine ever again!

  8. Mariah says:

    Beer makes me absolutely sick – and I cannot handle more than one.

    Wine, on the other hand, has never given me a problem. There is virtually no hangover with it. With beer there is about a two-three day sick/bloated/worst feeling ever. Which is a shame, because I love to sample different beers from micro-breweries.

    By no means am I a drunk – but you might mistake a reaction to anything with gluten in it for being someone ten-in. The difference is astounding in what I can handle and the aftermath.

  9. Raymond says:

    Above you wrote;
    3) gluten or another protein is used to fine the wine.
    What protein are you referring to? Are Celiacs allergic to all proteins or just those from grains?

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  12. Theresa says:

    I have a reaction to gluten and only now i know why when i drink wine i get this rash

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