Is Red Wine Gluten-Free?

Yes, red wines are generally gluten-free like all wine. It’s made from a gluten-free ingredients like grapes and animal-based fining agents.

Worried about gluten sneaking into your wine glass and asking, “Is red wine gluten-free?”

You’ve got the right to know what’s in your bottle. And lucky you, this article is just for that.

The quick answer is yes; it’s usually and naturally gluten-free. But you must beware of some additives added in the process as they may introduce trace amounts of gluten.

Now, let’s learn more and explore what you must look for to ensure you enjoy a naturally gluten-free red wine. Remember, being celiac doesn’t mean you have to leave your liberated life.

Is Red Wine Good for Gluten-Free Diet?

The Black Pig red wine on a table with a glass next to it

You can surely enjoy your red wine despite having severe celiac disease because it’s made from naturally gluten-free grapes. However, it can rarely contain gluten due to some winemaking processes and additives.

For example, barley or wheat gluten enzymes are sometimes used during fermentation, and in rare cases, gluten can be used as a fining agent to clarify the wine. Even wine coolers may use barley malt, introducing gluten into the mix.

But don’t panic! The gluten content from these sources is usually minimal. Also, there’s a low risk of gluten contamination because many wineries now prefer silicone or wax for oak barrel sealing.

However, checking the label or contacting the manufacturer is always advisable if you have a gluten intolerance.

Red Wine VS. White Wine

Red and white wine next to each other on a table with the sea in the background

Both red and white wines follow the traditional wine ingredients, which are all gluten-free. So you don’t really have to worry whether one contains glutenous grains. 

The only difference between the two is the use of different types of grapes. Red wines are made with darker black grapes and include the skins in fermentation, which give the wine its red color. 

White wine can be from white and red grapes, but the skins are separated from the juice before fermentation— thus the lighter color.

Also, both types of wine have health benefits aside from being gluten-free. Red wine is known to be a source of resveratrol, a dietary flavonoid with antioxidant properties. On the other hand, white wine is less calorific compared to red.

What Makes Wine Naturally Gluten-Free?

Due to its naturally gluten-free base ingredients, drinking wine can be enjoyed by people with celiac disease. 

But remember, wines are not created all equal. Some wines have additives and are processed differently, which can introduce gluten. 

Here are what to look for to ensure that your wine is safe for your dietary restrictions:

  1. Fining Agents: These are substances used to remove impurities or ‘fine’ the wine. The common fining agents are animal-based and gluten-free, but there are rare cases where gluten-based agents are used.
  2. Fermentation: Enzymes derived from wheat or barley might be used during this process. However, the gluten content from these enzymes is usually minimal.
  3. Barrel Sealing: Many wineries use silicone or wax to seal barrels instead of wheat paste, reducing the risk of gluten contamination.

Common Gluten-Free Ingredients in Wine

Red wine and grapes on a white table

If you’re asking, “Is wine gluten-free?” looking at its core ingredients is important to assure yourself that you’re in a safe hand. 

And lucky you, traditional wines only contain naturally gluten-free ingredients, so you don’t have to worry about your gluten intake. 


Grapes are the primary ingredient in red wine and are naturally gluten-free. That is crucial when serving wine to those with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease.

However, it’s important to remember that while the grape is free from gluten, other ingredients and processes involved in winemaking can introduce gluten into the final product. 

But don’t worry; if you have a non-celiac gluten sensitivity, you’ll not be affected by the faint content of gluten. 

Distilled Spirits

It’s important to remember that distilled alcoholic beverages like tequila, whiskey, bourbon, gin, and rum used in some wines are also gluten-free. 

That is because the distillation removes gluten proteins from the grains used. This process makes them safe to consume, even if you follow a strict gluten-free diet.

Animal-Based Fining Agents

Most fining agents in winemaking are animal-based, meaning they’re naturally gluten-free. However, it’s important to note that not all fining agents are created equal. 

In rare instances, some winemakers may opt for alternatives, such as gluten-based enzymes. While the resulting gluten content is usually minimal, it’s still a factor to consider when serving those with gluten-related health concerns.

Process of Winemaking

Barrels stored in a basement

The winemaking process is straightforward and primarily depends on the choice of ingredients and additives.

It starts with selecting naturally gluten-free grapes. It’s crucial to know that the fermentation process doesn’t involve enzymes derived from wheat or barley.

Here’s a quick glance at the winemaking process:

StepGluten-full ProcessGluten-free Process
Ingredient SelectionGrapes + potential gluten additivesGrapes only
FermentationEnzymes potentially from wheat or barleyGluten-free enzymes
FiningPossible gluten-based agentsAnimal-based or other gluten-free agents
AgingOften in oak barrels sealed with wheat pasteIn stainless steel vats or barrels sealed without gluten

Trusted Gluten-Free Wine Brands

In your exploration of gluten-free wines, identifying trustworthy brands is crucial. 

As you explore the world of wines, understanding the gluten content in various brands can help you make informed decisions for your health. 

Identifying Gluten-Free Wine Brands

Recognizing gluten-free wine brands that cater to your dietary needs is important. Some notable and trusted brands would be:

  1. Wilson Creek Winery
  2. Solterra Winery Kitchen 
  3. Coopers Hawk
  4. Nashoba Valley Winery

These vineyards acknowledge the need for gluten-free options and remain transparent about their winemaking process. 

They ensure their wines avoid contact with oak barrels sealed with wheat paste, favoring stainless-steel vats. Also, they avoid adding flavorings or additives that may contain gluten.

By supporting these brands, you’re satisfying your taste buds and encouraging a more inclusive winemaking community that values the health and well-being of all patrons.

Other Gluten-Free Alcoholic Drinks and Contamination Risks

When considering your gluten-free alcoholic drink choices, it’s important to remember that wine, distilled spirits, and certain beers are typically safe options. 

Another delicious alcoholic drink that you may be interested in finding out more about the gluten content is Limoncello.

However, you must remain vigilant about potential contamination risks during winemaking.

For example, there is the rare use of gluten-based fining agents or the less common practice of sealing oak barrels with wheat paste. 

Despite the generally minimal gluten content in wines, it’s still best to check labels, inquire with manufacturers, and seek out specific recommendations for gluten-free wines to ensure you’re making the best choices for your health.

Gluten-Free Alcoholic Drink Choices

You’ve got plenty of gluten-free alcoholic drink options to choose from. 

That includes wines made from naturally gluten-free grapes and distilled spirits like tequila, whiskey, bourbon, gin, and rum. 

The risk of gluten contamination from oak barrels sealed with wheat paste is low, especially as many wines now use silicone or wax to seal barrels. To be extra cautious, opt for wines aged in stainless-steel vats.

Flavored wine cocktails might contain gluten, so it’s safer to avoid them. Also, look for wines or any other alcoholic beverages with gluten-free labeling. 

Gluten Content in Wines

Rest assured, most wines have minimal gluten content, if any at all. The gluten content from fining agents or enzymes used during fermentation is usually negligible. 

The FDA even lists authorized wine treatment materials, none containing gluten. However, some dessert wines or fortified wines may include additives or flavorings that do contain gluten. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How is the gluten content in wine measured and regulated?

Gluten content in wine is measured in ppm. The FDA regulates this, requiring labels for wines treated or processed to remove gluten.

Can gluten-free wines be differentiated by taste or color?

No, you can’t differentiate gluten-free wines by taste or color. Gluten content or lack of it don’t impact these characteristics. 

Are there specific types of wines that are more likely to contain gluten?

Dessert and fortified wines are more likely to contain gluten due to additives or flavorings. Also, wine coolers can have gluten from barley malt. Always check labels or contact the manufacturer for specifics.

Are there wines made specifically for people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance?

Yes, some wineries offer wines made specifically for gluten-intolerant and celiac individuals. These are examples of Wilson Creek Winery, Solterra Winery Kitchen, Coopers Hawk, and Nashoba Valley Winery.

How reliable are the labels on wines claiming to be gluten-free?

Labels on gluten-free wines are generally reliable as they must comply with regulations. However, to be certain, it’s best to contact the winery or check for third-party certifications confirming their gluten-free status.


So, is red wine gluten-free and safe for celiacs? Absolutely!

Like other wines, red wines only contain naturally gluten-free ingredients like grapes and animal-based fining agents. Gluten in wine comes mainly from certain winemaking processes, but it’s usually minimal.

Want to know more about the gluten content in other food and drinks? Check out my full list here: What Is Gluten In?

Other Alcoholic Drinks

John Benedict
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