Wine Guide Cassie Ferc loves wine and food, but there was a time when she had to adjust her diet for health reasons, and make the change to a gluten-free diet. We’re excited to welcome Cassie as a Guest Blogger to share her gluten-free journey and how wine fits into her GF lifestyle.
At first, I could not remember how I started my gluten-free journey. Then it came to me, I used to write a lot on my first blog site ever, Tumblr. Who remembers it? I went back and put all the pieces together.
How Cassie’s journey began
Without going into all the details, December 18, 2008, I was seventeen years old going to get my wisdom teeth pulled. Who knew this would start a life changing experience or was it just a coincidence? I lived on KFC mashed potatoes and mac and cheese–which was even better! I got an infection from my wisdom teeth that lead to an ear infection and other health issues.
In 2010, I was still struggling with health issues and did not feel right. I went to a Chiropractor who did more tests (a crazy amount of blood work). He told me I had a lot going on, some issues were a slight thyroid problem, a glucose issue and extremely low white blood cells. He also informed me that my stomach was very swollen, sensitive, and that I needed to start a gluten-free diet. Who would have thought a chiropractor would tell me about a gluten-free diet and give me answers? I went home and researched gluten free, I had no idea what it really was. It was slim pickings of food like bread, pasta, snacks, alcohol, etc. Unfortunately, I was only on the gluten-free diet for about four months because my weight was going down tremendously due to not eating enough.
Fast forward to 2016, where I had been eating gluten regularly for the past six years in college, graduated, moved back home and got a job. I was sitting at work one day eating a ham and cheese sandwich on white bread when I started to feel extremely dizzy and foggy. My head was pounding and I could barely keep my eyes open. Feeling this way made me come to a serious realization … that I was sick of feeling like this. I went home and told my family that I’d had it and was going to start a gluten-free lifestyle again.
How gluten-free is going … with wine!
I am going to start with stating, I am not a health professional and everyone that has celiac or a gluten sensitivity may react differently. Before consuming any food or alcohol, I do my own research on the product, checked labels, prepared my food in different areas, etc. What intrigued me through my research, was the wine making process. Wine is naturally gluten free, however, after fermentation there is a potential chance gluten exposure can occur. The reason there is a chance of gluten contamination is because of how wine is stored. Some wine barrels are coated in a wheat paste. A study found that when wine is stored in an oak barrel coated with wheat paste, the amount of gluten in these barrels contains less gluten than the FDA requires of the product for it to be considered gluten-free and labeled as such.
With this being said, I am happy to say, Traveling Vineyard wines have been safe for me and my friend who was diagnosed with Celiac. We have tried a variety of different wines that Traveling Vineyard offers and we have not reacted to them in a negative way. Let’s cheers to that!
Please note, if you are still concerned about gluten in your wine please do your own research, contact a health provider and/or reach out to the vineyard to confirm their wine making process.