Is Champagne Gluten-Free?

Champagne is gluten-free

Champagne is naturally gluten-free, meaning that traditional champagne contains no gluten-based ingredients.

The bubbles in champagne come from high levels of carbon dioxide, CO2, dissolved in the wine. This is generated by naturally fermented yeast. Confusion around whether this makes it safe for people with gluten intolerance or sensitivity stems from the use of brewer’s yeast in beer. Unlike the yeast used in champagne, brewer’s yeast does contain gluten so is not safe for those on a gluten-free diet.

Almost all champagne you can buy at the store or are served in a bar is gluten-free. As far as alcoholic drinks go, it’s a pretty safe bet for those of us on a gluten-free diet.

Because champagne is naturally gluten-free the manufacturers tend to not mention this on the label. This doesn’t mean the champagne contains gluten, it just isn’t seen as necessary to point this out. As with many naturally gluten-free foods and drinks, it is always best to check the label just to be sure.

Some brands may add in gluten during flavoring or as a preservative so be cautious with these types of champagne. If you aren’t sure about a particular brand, you can always contact the manufacturer directly to help put your mind at ease and to let you enjoy your champagne.

Read More >> Is Ginger Beer Gluten Free?

What is champagne?

Champagne is a sparkling wine produced under tightly controlled conditions in the Champagne region of France. It has a beautiful yellow-gold color and is filled with fine bubbles. Champagne typically is quite a dry, light bodied wine with high acidity and toasty flavors of citrus and almond.

Champagne has long been associated with the high life having been a favorite in the French royal court since the 17th century. Despite its noble connotations, the first champagne was actually made by accident.

For centuries, burgundy wine had been the pride of France. Wine makers in the region of Champagne tried to copy the success of burgundy but found that their coastal region was too cold for the wine to ferment properly. The chill of winter meant that the yeast went dormant, only becoming active again in the warmer summer months sometime later.

This generated excessive amounts of CO2 which made the wine fizzy. So fizzy in fact, that initially the wine makers had many of their bottles explode from the gas pressure. Over time sugar was added into the wine to kick-start a second fermentation process which eventually resulted in the delicious sparkling wine of today.

Not any sparking wine can be called champagne. Champagne was one of the first wine regions in France to be granted protected status in 1936. This meant that wine could only be sold as champagne if it adheres to an extensive list of requirements including where the wine is made, what grapes are used, and when the champagne is bottled.

Champagne has a fascinating history and is the perfect addition to any special moment – it seems only fair that everyone should get to enjoy it. But, is champagne gluten-free?

Champagne ingredients

The exact ingredients in champagne can vary according to the specifics of the manufacturer. Don’t worry though, none of the ingredients or their variations, in traditional champagne contain gluten. Below is a list of the ingredients in champagne.

  • Grapes

The most common grape varieties used in champagne are Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Gris.

  • Yeast

Specifically, a type of yeast called saccharomyces. This is different to the yeast used in brewing beer and is naturally gluten-free.

  • Sugar

Either cane sugar or beet sugar, neither of which contain gluten.

  • Sulfites

Sulfites are a natural product of yeast fermentation and are safe for people with gluten sensitivity.

  • Liqueur d’expédition

After the second fermentation of champagne, dead yeast is removed and the bottle is topped up with a liqueur d’éxpedition. This may be a different wine, a type of liqueur such as cognac, or a sugar syrup. None of these contain gluten.

Nutritional information

Champagne is typically served in a flute, a long stemmed, elongated glass. A flute contains around 147g of champagne, equivalent to around 180ml or 6-7 fluid ounces.

Below is a summary of the nutritional values of a standard flute of champagne. The vast majority of the calories in champagne come from the alcohol, a type of carbohydrate.

Calories (kcal) 121
Carbohydrates (g) 3.8
Protein (g) 0.1
Fat (g) 0
Sodium (mg) 7.4
Potassium (mg) 104

Final thoughts

Champagne is undoubtedly one of the most iconic products of France. As it is naturally gluten-free those of us on a gluten-free diet can enjoy a glass or two when the occasion arises. Most champagne is not labelled as gluten-free, but if you aren’t sure then check the label.

If the champagne you are drinking is flavored or in some way modified from traditional champagne, then be cautious as it may have had gluten added in.

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