Let’s talk wine – is it gluten free and vegan friendly? The answer is yes and maybe not.
Wine is considered gluten free
What is gluten? It is a protein found in grains like wheat, barley, and rye, which people with celiac disease cannot consume without serious consequences. Some people have a sensitivity or intolerance to gluten, and by not consuming it they just feel better.
Most wine is gluten free because it is made from grapes, which do not contain gluten. Good news for those with celiac disease or a gluten intolerance, wine is considered safe to drink! However, to avoid accidental exposure there are things you should know. Certain aspects of the wine-making process that can introduce gluten to the final product, such as using a flour or wheat paste to seal oak barrels used for aging wines. This could cause a reaction in someone with celiac disease. Other wines, such as dessert wines, may add coloring or flavoring ingredients that contain gluten.
If you are unsure, ask major wine manufacturers if their wines are gluten free and stick to what you know is safe.
(excerpted from Gluten-Free Survival Guide)
Gluten free, but maybe not vegan friendly
Wait. What?? Weird as it seems, your favorite wine might be vegan unfriendly.
Some winemakers use ingredients derived from animals as an aid to capture sediment in the wine. This is a way to speed things up in their filtering, or “fining”, process. These include isinglass (from fish bladders), gelatin (from boiled cow or pig body parts), albumin (egg whites), and casein (animal milk protein). There is no requirement for listing these ingredients on the label. Fortunately, many winemakers use either vegan fining ingredients, or they skip the fining practice entirely by giving the wine some time to settle before decanting it into bottles.
You can see an extensive list of vegan (& not) wines at Barnivore.
As always, you can count on us at Pour Vous to answer any questions and assist you in finding just the right wine – vegan, gluten free, or just your new favorite!
See you soon,
Ted – the old wine guy!