Did you ever wonder if wine could carry a gluten threat? No? Guess you’re not on twitter. Well, fine. Here’s a little bit about the winemaking process that’s causing the concern.
image via Frey Wines
Fining agents are adsorptive or reactive substances used to alter the clarity or flavor of wines. By adding a fining agent, little bits of unwanted winemaking what-nots can collect and settle. The clarified wine can be separated from the sediment and siphoned off. The majority of wines that are fined are also filtered which would remove residual traces of the fining agent.
Fining agents can include: bentonite, gelatin, isinglass, egg whites, Irish moss, hydrolyzed wheat gluten, and milk protein. Some wine makers list fining agents on their website. For example, Frey Wines uses only bentonite (natural clay) when making their white wines. Great for vegan wine lovers!
The other concern is that wine aged in oak barrels may contain traces of wheat from paste that’s used in the barrels. I sent an email and got a quick response from Nathan Frey –
“All of our wines were fermented solely in stainless steel tanks with the exception of our Dessertage Port sweet wine and our Biodynamic Petite Sirah. Those two wines spent some time in oak barrels.”