Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley that can cause a number of health problems for people with a gluten intolerance or celiac disease. No matter what your reason for going gluten free, there is no denying that sticking to a gluten free diet can be challenging. With so many popular products containing gluten, and gluten-free alternatives still being pretty limited, you would not be alone in finding it all a bit frustrating. But what about wine? Well, DrinkWell is here to help - in this blog, we will answer your questions about gluten free wine, and introduce you to some of our current favourite gluten free wines that we have available for our customers.
So...is wine gluten free or not?
As wine is made from either red or white grapes, the vast majority of wines are naturally gluten free. The fermentation process used to make wine also does not involve any gluten. In almost every case, the level of gluten found in wine is below the legal limit of fewer than 20 parts per million of gluten, and therefore safe to consume on a gluten free diet.
This is generally true for red wines, white wines, rose wines and sparkling wines such as Champagne. However, some other types of wine that may have additional ingredients added such as fruity dessert wines, wine coolers or wine cocktails. As gluten is a potential allergen, winemakers are required to alert wine drinkers of the presence of gluten on the labelling, in the same way they do if a wine contains sulphites. So as long as the bottle of wine you are drinking does not say it contains gluten, it should be safe for your gluten free diet.
What can cause a wine to contain gluten?
Whilst the above is all great news for gluten-free wine lovers, there are some instances where very small amounts of gluten can end up in a wine. Below are some of the ways that gluten can sneak into this otherwise fruit based drink.
- Fining agents. All wine goes through a process called ‘fining’, where the juice stabilizes and becomes clear, with unwanted particles being removed. In some cases, wine is left to ‘self-fine’ naturally without the use of any additives. However, this process is time consuming, and the demand for wine is constantly high, so some winemakers speed up the process by adding ‘fining agents’. These fining agents bind to the unwanted particles so that they become bigger and easier to filter out. Some fining agents do contain gluten. The most common fining agents are derived from inherently gluten free substances, such as egg whites, gelatin and isinglass. However, to meet the demand for vegan friendly wines, some winemakers are opting to use gluten as a fining agent. That said, studies have found that even if there is gluten in the bottle after fining, it is much lower than the 20 parts per million legal limit. Some celiac sufferers can be sensitive to even lower amounts than the 20 parts per million, so we recommend looking for certified gluten free brands, which DrinkWell is proud to stock many of.
- Contamination during ageing and storage. Wine can be stored in a number of different types of containers during the ageing process - most commonly in stainless steel containers. However, sometimes wine is stored in oak barrels that have been sealed using a wheat paste, which has the potential to contaminate the wine with gluten. The use of wheat paste is becoming less common though, with most winemakers opting to use wax based materials as a sealant. Even in instances where wheat paste has been used, the level of gluten found in the wine is negligible - the Gluten-Free Watchdog found such wines to contain around 5 parts per million of gluten, so wines aged in this way can still be considered as gluten-free.
Gluten-free wines available at DrinkWell
DrinkWell stocks a large variety of gluten-free wines from many different wine regions across the globe, so whatever your taste, we will have you covered! On each of our product pages, we clearly display whether the wine is gluten free, as well as all the other nutritional information you could need - including calories, carbs, whether it is suitable for vegans and organic. Below are some of our new gluten-free additions.
Kind Wine is all about creating high quality wines whilst being kind to the environment. This 100% organic and gluten free wine is grown on 28 hectares of organically certified vines in Terra Alta, near Tarragona in Catalonia, Spain. Some of the initiatives that the team behind Kind Wine use to take care of the environment include using wind turbines to generate electricity, using leftover grape skins, pips and stalks for fertilizer and recycling rainwater. This particular Kind Wine white has a delightful peachy and apricot fruit with a nice freshness, and pairs well with grilled fish and salads. As well as being suitable for vegans and vegetarians, a 125ml glass of this wine contains just 0.02g of carbs and 96 calories. Order yourself a bottle from the DrinkWell website for £13.50, and a donation from each bottle sale will be made to the Grapes for Humanity charity.
Hailing from Château L'ermite D'auzan Rhône, France, this juicy red is made from a blend of Grenache and Syrah grapes that have been grown on 10 year old vines. Aromas of red bramble fruits and woodland herbs are complemented by bright raspberry and redcurrant fruit flavours on the palate. This 13.5% ABV red is 100% gluten free, organic and vegan friendly, as well as being lower in calories than standard red wines with just 84 calories per 125ml. It also contains just 0.01g of carbs, making it suitable for those following a keto diet as well. Try it for yourself and order a bottle from the DrinkWell website for £11.99.
Allow us to introduce you to Chateau Zero's Slimline White Sparkling Wine. With only 11% alcohol content, the Slimline White Sparkling Wine provides a light and enjoyable drinking experience. As well as being gluten-free and suitable for vegans, this dry sparkling white contains an unbelievable 75 calories per 125ml! The Slimline White captures the passion that the extraordinary SlimLine Winemakers have dedicated to the cultivation of their grapes with every taste. Why not give it a try, this Italian classic can be purchased today for only £13.99!