Toast to wine

Thank goodness: Wine is a safe haven for those of use who wish to be wheat- and gluten-free.

We all know that single-ingredient foods that occur in nature are wheat- and gluten-free: cucumbers, olives, basil, cranberries, etc. It’s when humans get involved and add ingredients derived from wheat (as well as from barley, rye, and oats) to human-processed foods that gluten and other wheat components enter the picture.

The vast majority of wines are made without exposure to anything wheat or gluten. Rare exception: Because of a push to get away from animal-derived clarifying agents, such as gelatin derived from cows (due to bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease), winemakers have sought non-animal sources of clarifying agents.

Clarifying agents are used to make wines clearer and more appealing to the consumer. Clarification removes residual grape skin, seeds, or stem debris; dead yeast cells; and various proteins. Among the most popular clarifying agent choices are bentonite, potassium sorbate, and sodium benzoate.

However, some winemakers have lately turned to gluten or deamidated gluten for wine clarification. Thankfully, this still remains an uncommon practice. I believe it will become less common as more and more of us raise a stink about gluten exposure in ANY food.

The available scientific data on gluten content in wines in which gluten has been used for clarification suggest that no gluten makes its way to the finished product you pour. There are three studies I’m aware of that have examined whether gluten used in the clarification process make their way to the wine itself. Here is one such study. Obviously, if you consume a rare rogue wine that provokes a gluten response, don’t drink it again, then be sure to tell the winemaker about it. Also, come back here and tell us about it.

So the overwhelming majority of wines are wheat- and gluten-free: chardonnay, pinot grigio, viognier, vinho verde, merlot, cabernet sauvignon, garnacha, malbec, rioja . . . along with all the other wines produced from other varietals and blends. More so than any other class of alcoholic beverage, wines are therefore nearly entirely wheat- and gluten-free–even when you toast with wine!

Now, vodka is another story . . .

This entry was posted in Gluten-free. Bookmark the permalink.

61 Responses to Toast to wine

  1. VickiB says:

    I have just finished another round of dieting with HCG, which has been very successful every time. The problem comes in when I get to the “for life” maintenance phase and add carbs (& wheat products) back into my diet. I read your book and have decided this time try following your recommendations when I can add more variety into my diet (which is very similar to the HCG diet recommendations). What I would like to know is, since it’s not a gluten sensitivity that’s leading me to do this, if I have an occasional mistep (not catching something on a label), will it still be fairly effective?

    • Dr. Davis says:

      No, Vicki. The gliadin opiate in wheat will trigger appetite for up to 5 days after a single wheat indulgence. You will then have to struggle with often overpowering desire for junk carbs.

      It’s just not worth it.

  2. Summer says:

    Should we avoid wine if we are trying to lose weight?

  3. Abbey says:

    I’ve been on diet for a week and haven’t lost a lb ! I habe no wheat at all or sugar! I have the nut bread for breakfast full cream with coffee, for lunch salad with full fat cheese and olive oil and vinegar raw nuts and cheese for snack and crust less pizza for dinner . I did have two glasses of red wine three times last week ! Helpppppp

    • David says:

      Give it time. Not everyone has instant results. I have dropped weight slowly over the past 30 days and I feel better and stronger. Expect to see gradual weight loss over a period of 3-6 months and even a year. Slow weight loss is better and tends to be maintained. Don’t count calories, just eat more meats, fish and whole vegetables and cut out all grains, vegetable oils, sugars and legumes. Don’t eat packaged foods…they are all loaded with wheat products, oils, sugars and additives. Eliminate canned food and bottled dressings and toppings. Drink plenty of water, get exercise and plenty of sunlight. Enjoy the process, don’t worry about the results, they will come in time.

  4. Abbey says:

    I have no idea how to count carbs on this program

    • gingerbread says:

      Hi Abby, go to or get the fitnesspal app. I think it is free. There are many apps out there. Their focus is on calories, but if you track your food, in the presentation of what you ate, it will tell you your carb and sugar count for foods entered each meal and totalling for the day. Hope this helps. Most packages will tell you the carb count of a food too. If you stay away from grains, corn, rice and wheat, you can still eat pretty good on 50 carbs per day and be very full.

    • Boundless says:

      Net carbs = total carbs minus fiber carbs

      Net carbs at or below 50 grams / day,
      and below 16 grams per meal or 6-hour period.

      If you aren’t counting, chances are the numbers are higher than you might guess.

  5. Christine Newman says:

    Dr Davis,
    You are truly a hero; saving lives!
    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!