The cross-contamination process:
The worry of cross contamination when it comes to wine is actually much different to what those fear from beer. Beer is often not gluten-free since it can be derived from wheat, malt, barley, and many other gluten filled ingredients. But unlike beer, wine is fermented from fruit and is made in a completely different process. So where is the cross contamination coming from?
It really is astonishing to me but the cross contamination in wine is actually coming from the barrels they are stored in. Wine companies are buying old and reused oak barrels which are lined with wheat paste making cross contamination very likely. Since the wine is sitting in these wheat paste lined barrels for a long amount of time, it is very possible it can get mixed in the wine while distributed.
Also, the barrels reused to store the wine could in some cases be previously used for wheat or oats. Again this would make cross contamination a possibility since the wine is being stored in these barrels for a long amount of time and is going through fermentation in an environment where wheat or oats previously was stored. These are all things to consider when thinking about wine and their process, but to confirm some of this there is a statement made below.
Here is a statement on the matter from a major alcoholic beverage company, Constellation Brands: (This is an email sent from the corporation to Laurie of www.mygfgirlfriend.com)
Thank you for taking the time to contact us at CONSTELLATION BRANDS Consumer Relations. We appreciate hearing from you.
Our main objective is to produce quality products that satisfy our customers. We are pleased that you find CONSTELLATION BRANDS enjoyable.
We purchase our barrels from many different cooperages. As a result, some of our barrels may have been sealed with wheat paste. Where one’s health is of a concern, we always recommend that you consult with your physician.
Customers like you are certainly a pleasure and we thank you for your support. We appreciate your business and look forward to serving you as a valued customer.
Really after reading this I didn't know what to think. Even though I don't have to worry about alcohol, it is very scary to think that there are some in the gluten-free community that may be drinking wine, getting sick, and continuously not knowing why. This is a very serious issue and is something that many of you need to be made aware of. Other than Constellation Brands, I am not sure which companies may or may not store their wine in barrels lined with wheat paste.
Here is a list of all the wines from Constellation Brands which you can avoid if you feel it's necessary.
I'm sure there really are a lot of things to consider when choosing alcohol, especially when it comes to beer since it is usually not gluten-free. But worrying about wine is one I don't think many people have thought about before. I would strongly encourage being more aware of the things you drink and would possibly recommend avoiding wine from this company in general. If you feel that the wine you are drinking is giving you some celiac like symptoms, then it may be important to find another brand or research into that brand more.
Disclaimer: Even though I wrote this article on alcohol, I do not drink wine or alcohol... I'm 16.