by Beth Heiserman, Reyes Winery
Last week, I saw an article that caught my interest. Is wine gluten free?
Yes, there can be gluten found in wine, but it is an insignificant amount. There are two ways it could be found in wine. One way is through fining agents, which remove the impurities and sediment in wine before bottling.
We use bentonite, which is mineral-based, wheat free and vegan. Bentonite is used to absorb and remove what is not wanted in a glass of wine. Sometimes, it can strip too much from the wine. We do a light filtration in order to retain the flavor and complexities of the wine. The bentonite clay possesses a negative electrostatic charge. It allows the particles or sediment to cling to it and then settle to the bottom of the barrel before we filter, so the wine can be clear. It is an effective way to remove the proteins that are not wanted. Plus, it can help reduce the capability to oxidize.
Another method utilized by some cooperages (including Barrel maker), is a wheat-based paste that seals the barrels. More common is the use of a wax-based product. Again, trace amounts can be found in the wine. I often hear how many people have allergies to certain wines, especially red wines. Since red wine is aged mainly in oak, this could be a reason that people who need wheat-free diets have a reaction. This is another reason to drink local.
Our newest release is our 2013 Syrah. It already earned a Double Gold and 94 points in the San Francisco International Wine Competition, in addition to Silver in the 2017 Los Angeles International Wine Competition. Our Estate Syrah was aged in French Oak for 23 months and brings blackberry, plum, pepper and fall herbs to your senses. Its silky finish lingers with soft tannins and a touch of smoky oak. Enjoy with lamb burgers or a mixed berry trifle. This will be featured on our tasting sheet this month and again in April.
Always check with the wine server at a tasting room to know if their wine is gluten free and vegan! Reyes Winery’s wine is! Our tasting room is open Saturday and Sunday from 11-5 p.m.