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Wine Barrels Sealed With Flour Paste
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41 posts in this topic

my brother recently told me that a gal he dated is celiac and cannot drink red wine because the wine barrels are sealed with flour paste -

I inquired of a friend who manages a winery - this is her response, after questioning her wine maker:

Apparently it's common practice to seal the barrel heads with flour paste. It's a mixture of unbleached flour and distilled water used to assure a leak-proof seal. Here's the web site with more info

http://www.stavin.com/barrelsystems/insert.htm

Does anyone have additional information on this topic ??????

Thank you.

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The good news is that not ALL wine barrels are sealed with a flour paste. :)

The flour paste is used only to seal oak barrels; if a wine is un-oaked, there is no flour paste involved. Also, this practice varies by region. From what I've discovered, it can be quite common in aged French wines, but less common in Spanish wines and American wines. Some vineyards use new barrels and do not need such a paste, some vineyards used older barrels which have previously used the paste, or old barrels that are cracked and require such a paste.

I'm not claiming to be an expert on the subject at all! But I have started to do research on it. If someone is more knowledgeable, please add some info!

When in doubt, contact each vineyard. Ask specifically if they use flour paste, and ask about their filtering processes, too. (Some wines use casein or soy or other things in their filtering process which can cause problems for those with intolerances or allergies.)

I contacted a few vineyards and received not only actual responses, but some free stuff, too! I know that Tapena wines, Big House wines, and Ten Spoon wines are gluten-free and do not use a flour paste/oaked barrels.

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Thank you for the vineyard/label names that you have contacted Julirama - I was looking for a list! And it does appear this will be a maker by maker search/ inquiry -

The wine maker that I got the information from is American - NAPA Valley (J Lohr), and I understood that it was new and reconditioned barrels (they add new oak panels for flavor as well as repair). She advised to seek wine makers that use a stainless steel fermentation process - I also just found reference to white wines using new oak barrels sealed with flour paste.

I will start and edit a GLUTEN FREE WINE list here:

Tapena wines

Big House wines

Ten Spoon wines

* these wines have been posted as gluten-free by forum members on this thread, compiled for your convenience - please refer to the wine maker for current gluten-free information and questions

I also want to cross reference this thread for readers - it contains several good links for additional info. http://www.celiac.com/gluten-free/index.ph...213&hl=wine

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Thank you for this thread. I believe Barefoot wines are unoaked as well as 4 vines, but you might want to check the 4 vines again.

We have been seeking unoaked once we knew about the flour paste- too bad because I love oaked wines!

lisa

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Does it say on the label that the wine is "unoaked" or do we need to call individual wineries?? Does anyone have a safe list going?

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http://gfkitchen.server101.com/GFAlcohol.htm#Wine

http://www.glutenfreedrinks.com/AlcoholBeverages_Wines.htm

You might find this informative. I do not know the reliability of these references. I would also advise to contact the manufacturer, if you find yourself sensitive to wines.

I, personally, have never had an issue.

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http://gfkitchen.server101.com/GFAlcohol.htm#Wine

http://www.glutenfreedrinks.com/AlcoholBeverages_Wines.htm

You might find this informative. I do not know the reliability of these references. I would also advise to contact the manufacture, if you find yourself sensitive to wines.

I, personally, have never had an issue.

They only time I've had problems are with expensive reds. Which I guess makes sense now! Thanks :D

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Sometimes the "oaked" wines get that way, not by barrel-aging, but by the winemaker adding oak chips :o So I was told by a winery rep. I imagine these would be the cheaper oaked wines.

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Take this with a grain of salt, but I drink a LOT of red wine and I have never had a problem. Ever.

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Take this with a grain of salt, but I drink a LOT of red wine and I have never had a problem. Ever.

Same here. :)

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Take this with a grain of salt, but I drink a LOT of red wine and I have never had a problem. Ever.

me too and either

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http://gfkitchen.server101.com/GFAlcohol.htm#Wine

http://www.glutenfreedrinks.com/AlcoholBeverages_Wines.htm

You might find this informative. I do not know the reliability of these references. I would also advise to contact the manufacturer, if you find yourself sensitive to wines.

I, personally, have never had an issue.

I drink A LOT of wine!!! Having a glass right now. And I can say that I have never had a problem with any wine that I have drank. Occasionally I will get an acid stomach from a bottle that was aged in stainless steel. I must have Oaked wines. They are my favorite! I will be careful, but not so careful as to eliminate the oaked wines.

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Thanks so much for posting on this subject!

On and off over the years, I've had reactions to some red wines (and white), and not others...mostly have reactions to French wines...never knew why, but recently, my sister who has worked in the food biz and knows a fair amont about vinyards and wine making mentioned that some wineries seal the barrel with a flour paste and that might be the problem. Her comment was the first I'd heard of it...so, to find this post is timely and perfect! (I adore a good glass of red wine)...Cheers!

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I have a friend that works at a wine boutique. I asked her if she had any information about what kind of wine is safe for people with Celiac's Disease. Random people, nutritionists, and blogs "guess" that most American wines are "ok" for people with Celiac's Disease.

My friend, whom works for a wine boutique, asked the wine specialist that runs the boutique. His information is the most in-depth I have yet to find, which makes me confident in knowing what I can drink.

---From my friend---

I spoke to my colleague this afternoon, Paul LaPenas of Bay State Wines. There is no such thing as gluten-free wine...and I believe him because he wears a bow tie (wink). He's been in the industry 20 plus years. I guess sometimes flour is used to seal off cracks in oak barrels, and when it gets wet it acts like a coagulant, which intensifies during malolactic fermentation.

Also barrels can be purchased used, such as whiskey barrels, which contain wheat residue, so you might be getting some of the leftover junk in your system. Also, you have to take into consideration the area where the vines are grown...other substitutes might exist in the soil such as tobacco, coffee, wheat, etc. All wines are made with yeast, so you might want to see an allergist to see if you're allergic. Maybe wines that are more fruity, where the grapes are plucked young, and don't require such an intense fermentation process?

You're best bet is unoaked wines, which are age in stainless steel barrels that are sterilized. I have a few suggestions for chardonnay-Tapestry, Kim Crawford, Wishing Tree, and Tohu. Other than that you might want to try some organic or sulfite-free wines like Badger Mountain, Our Daily Red, Ventura, and Bontera

-------

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I have a friend that works at a wine boutique. I asked her if she had any information about what kind of wine is safe for people with Celiac's Disease. Random people, nutritionists, and blogs "guess" that most American wines are "ok" for people with Celiac's Disease.

My friend, whom works for a wine boutique, asked the wine specialist that runs the boutique. His information is the most in-depth I have yet to find, which makes me confident in knowing what I can drink.

---From my friend---

I spoke to my colleague this afternoon, Paul LaPenas of Bay State Wines. There is no such thing as gluten-free wine...and I believe him because he wears a bow tie (wink). He's been in the industry 20 plus years. I guess sometimes flour is used to seal off cracks in oak barrels, and when it gets wet it acts like a coagulant, which intensifies during malolactic fermentation.

Also barrels can be purchased used, such as whiskey barrels, which contain wheat residue, so you might be getting some of the leftover junk in your system. Also, you have to take into consideration the area where the vines are grown...other substitutes might exist in the soil such as tobacco, coffee, wheat, etc. All wines are made with yeast, so you might want to see an allergist to see if you're allergic. Maybe wines that are more fruity, where the grapes are plucked young, and don't require such an intense fermentation process?

You're best bet is unoaked wines, which are age in stainless steel barrels that are sterilized. I have a few suggestions for chardonnay-Tapestry, Kim Crawford, Wishing Tree, and Tohu. Other than that you might want to try some organic or sulfite-free wines like Badger Mountain, Our Daily Red, Ventura, and Bontera

-------

As many others have said, I drink red wine everyday and am a HIGHLY sensitive Celiac. If there is a trace amount of gluten in anything, and I eat it, I feel like crap and know I have ingested gluten. I have never, ever gotten sick from any kind of wine I have ingested. In fact, if there is no such thing as a gluten free wine, my blood work should be sky high and I should be in the hospital by now because I drink everyday. I think this all revolves around sulfites or another ingredient people may be sensitive to and not gluten. It just would not be possible for me to drink red wine everyday and not be sick as hell if that statement were true. Either that or I am incredibly lucky to have picked "safe" wines to drink. ;)

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I'm terribly sensitive to the slightest bit of gluten and am happy to say that I've never had an issue with wine of any kind.

Thank goodness :D

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I, too, drink wine almost every day. I've gotten a headache from excess :ph34r: , but not from gluten.

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As many others have said, I drink red wine everyday and am a HIGHLY sensitive Celiac. If there is a trace amount of gluten in anything, and I eat it, I feel like crap and know I have ingested gluten. I have never, ever gotten sick from any kind of wine I have ingested. In fact, if there is no such thing as a gluten free wine, my blood work should be sky high and I should be in the hospital by now because I drink everyday. I think this all revolves around sulfites or another ingredient people may be sensitive to and not gluten. It just would not be possible for me to drink red wine everyday and not be sick as hell if that statement were true. Either that or I am incredibly lucky to have picked "safe" wines to drink. ;)

My husband and I are both celiacs; I've been gluten free since November and he has since January. He has severe DH right now. I didn't believe that there could be gluten in wine until both of us were glutened by a red wine (a Pinot Noir) from one of our favorite little Central Coast wineries, Claiborne and Churchill.

We are both absolutely certain that the gluten came from the wine, because we hadn't ingested ANYTHING else unusual, and we both had reactions at the same time, and we both drank the wine. We're being extremely careful right now because of his horrible case of DH, which was healing nicely, but has now flared up again.

I sent the winery email asking if they purchased barrels from a European coopersmith who used some sort of wheat paste to seal the barrels. Here is the reply I got:

Hello,

I must say I was totally unaware of this issue until your e-mail. I checked with the representative of the cooperage in Burgundy we get our barrels from, and was told that their paste is a mixture of rye flour, ashes and water. (Apparently every cooper has his own recipe.)

I also learned that the paste is used not to seal the staves but rather to coat the outside of the croze just before the head is put in place. This would seem to me to suggest that the paste is not likely to enter the inside of the barrel. However, I am not claiming any expertise in this matter.

As an added piece of information, we only use new barrels on our Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. We also fill them and rinse them with hot water before using them for wine. For the other wines we use older barrels. I can't imagine that there is any residual wheat gluten in a barrel that has been used for years.

I would think that a scientific study would be useful. Fill a new barrel with water and then after a period of time subject a sample of this water to a protein analysis.

Hope this helps,

Clay Thompson

I looked up what a "croze" is....it's the notch inside the barrel where the barrel head fits. So there is a definite possibility of contamination there. Note that he said that they only use the new barrels for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. And it was a Pinot that glutened us. The rest of the shipment didn't have any effect on us.

As it turns out, several of the larger wineries are supposed to be gluten free, such as Beringer and Kendall Jackson. The only coopersmiths that use wheat or rye paste in barrel construction are in Europe. American wine barrels are gluten free.

Well, that's our experience, for anyone who might benefit from it. :)

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I looked up what a "croze" is....it's the notch inside the barrel where the barrel head fits. So there is a definite possibility of contamination there. Note that he said that they only use the new barrels for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. And it was a Pinot that glutened us. The rest of the shipment didn't have any effect on us.

Huh, how interesting. I thought I had been glutened by a Beringer Pinot Noir a couple of months ago. I mostly drink South American wines now, and usually don't have any problems. I guess it's a matter of the process at each winery.

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For a while I thought I was having problems with sulfites because I was having reactions to a lot of wines, especially imported red wines. But I wasn't having reactions to any other sulfite-containing products. All of this wheat paste stuff is news to me, but it actually makes some sense. Several months back I tried the Tolosa no-oak chardonnay (a San Luis Obispo wine) and really thought it was great, and best of all, I didn't get sick. Since then I have been buying a lot more local wines--though when I go on tastings, I'll be sure to ask where their barrels come from or what kind they use. My diet is so restrictive with gluten, alium, and other intolerances that I'm just not willing to give up wine--that being said, I've gotten sick from quite a few wines, and I'll be sure to be more careful in the future.

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I love wine. Isn't it the food of the gods? Along with garlic? And fresh basil?

Let's see, how can we change this? "a loaf of bread"... NO! "a rice patty???, a jug of wine and thou?????!"

!Salud!

lisa

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"I spoke to my colleague this afternoon, Paul LaPenas of Bay State Wines. There is no such thing as gluten-free wine"

Can this be accurate because we have establised some red wines are gluten free when they are prepared with out the flour or from non-gluten containing barrels, or were you trying to say that your friend is stating there is no way to be certain that red wine could be gluten free since the barrell's origin can never be truly verified?

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"I spoke to my colleague this afternoon, Paul LaPenas of Bay State Wines. There is no such thing as gluten-free wine"

Can this be accurate because we have establised some red wines are gluten free when they are prepared with out the flour or from non-gluten containing barrels, or were you trying to say that your friend is stating there is no way to be certain that red wine could be gluten free since the barrell's origin can never be truly verified?

Wheat Paste to seal Oak Barrels MAY still be practised in small wineries where they make their own barrels, Most modern day Oak barrel makers seal the barrels with an edible wax.

Here's something to read. http://organicwines.blogspot.com/2009/04/hello-michel-thank-you-so-much-for.html

Best Regards,

David

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Wheat Paste to seal Oak Barrels MAY still be practised in small wineries where they make their own barrels, Most modern day Oak barrel makers seal the barrels with an edible wax.

Here's something to read. http://organicwines.blogspot.com/2009/04/hello-michel-thank-you-so-much-for.html

Best Regards,

David

I received this from Columbia Crest, because, although it never makes me sick and I am very careful with my diet, I have had some skin and neurological symptoms that have made me wonder about Columbia Crest. I had believed that California wine was mostly safe. And maybe it is, but those casks are sealed with flour, more often than not, from my research. Anyway, the email:

Re: gluten in your wines?

From:

"info@columbia-crest.com" <info@columbia-crest.com>

View Contact

To: Lorraine F (edited for privacy)

Thank you for contacting Columbia Crest. In answer to your questions:

1) Yes, the Cabernet is aged in oak casks.

2) While our wines are not produced using gluten as a fining agent, it is common practice for barrel makers to seal the barrel heads (the top and bottom of a barrel) with a wheat paste. The paste is applied to the barrel in an area that doesn't directly contact the wine, and all barrels are washed inside and out by the barrel maker and by the Columbia Crest team prior to use

3) There are no additives or flavors added to the wines.

Hope this helps!

Mary Kae

Columbia Crest Concierge

-----Lorraine F (edited for privacy) -----

To: info@columbia-crest.com

From: Lorraine F (edited for privacy)

Date: 01/08/2011 12:43PM

Subject: gluten in your wines?

Three questions regarding Columbia Crest Cabernet Sauvingnon:

1. Is it aged in wooden casks?

2. If so, are the casks sealed with flour and water?

3. What additives and flavors, if any do you add to the wines?

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Lol I agree. My blood work would be "to the moon and back" as we have at least a glass every day & go wine tasting once a week. I always figured that I would handle the food limitations of gluten-free as long as i had my wine!

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