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Gluten Free Wine

Many people are sensitive to gluten. The most commonly known issue is celiac disease. Is it safe for people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity to drink wine?

Gluten is a protein that's found in a variety of grains. Those grains include - but are not limited to - barley, wheat, and rye. For that reason, most people who are sensitive to gluten avoid beer products. They then wonder if wine should fall into the same avoidance group.

Wine is made from grapes. Grapes don't contain glutens. However, when wine barrels are made from oak trees, there is a small amount of grain product used along the inside of the barrel as part of the barrel making process. The barrel is supposed to be thoroughly rinsed out before the wine is put into it, for fairly obvious reasons. The winemaker wants to have a sterile environment for their wine activities. However, sometimes even those tiny amounts of gluten can upset someone who is very sensitive.

However, not all wines are made in oak barrels. Many wines are made solely in stainless steel. Most white wines, for example, are made in stainless steel. It's important to note that some winemakers do make white wines in oak barrels though.

So the key is to read the label or contact the winery. Ask them if they made the wine you're interested in stainless steel or a barrel. If the wine is in stainless steel only, you should be fine. There's really no reason for any grain products to be in contact with a wine other than in the case of a barrel aged wine. And even there, it's only a tiny amount that *might* be present depending on how thoroughly they rinsed the wine barrel out before using it.

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