Since you heard about gluten or Celiac disease, you have probably gone out of your way to ensure that your wine, alcohol or any other favorite beverages are gluten-free. Well, let’s first get to understand the terms ‘gluten’ and ‘Celiac disease’.
Unraveling ‘gluten’ and ‘Celiac disease’
Gluten is a protein usually found in barley, rye, and wheat- ingredients in your favorite beverage? Celiac disease is a reaction that results from taking gluten. There will be a reaction in your small intestine which ultimately produces an inflammation.
The small intestine lining gets damaged, thus some nutrients are not absorbed. Worse still, the nervous system, liver, brain, bones and other major body organs will lack nutrients. It is no wonder then that we want to steer clear of gluten. But, is wine gluten free?
Is wine gluten free?
Well, yes and no. That’s a contradiction, but read on. Wine is gluten free, in that, it’s made from grapes. However, it can also contain gluten depending on how it is made. So as to fine wine, gluten could be used.
However, other proteins could be used too. Another process that involves gluten is the sealing of oak barrels. The barrel will be sealed using a paste that contains gluten. These two processes involve addition of very little amounts of gluten, and are more common in Europe than in the U.S. You can only react to this amount if you are overly sensitive.
Flavoring or coloring is an indicator of gluten. An example is dessert wines that are fruit-flavored. It is advisable to contact the manufacturer and confirm.
Just ask whether the wine was aged using oak barrels, whether they were sealed using a paste that contained gluten, or whether the wine was fined using the protein. After making these considerations, you can choose whether to take wine with gluten or not, depending on how sensitive you are to this protein.
If you are sensitive to gluten, get wine that has aged in stainless steel casks, rather than oak barrels. If you can, contact people with vineyards- they will tell you what agents they use to fine their wine. Better still, just identify a specific type that you don’t react to and go with it.
A good option: non-Chardonnay white wines, that cost less than $12.00. Price should be an indicator, since most oak barrel-based wines are expensive. Others are: Riesling, Pinot Grigio, and Blanc.
You now know, so go for what works for you!