If you are on a gluten-free diet or you have a gluten allergy, you probably keep a mental list in your head of all the foods and beverages you shouldn’t consume because they aren’t gluten-free. While some food items are easy to identify as containing gluten or being gluten-free, others can be a bit tricky.
One item, in particular, is a favored beverage, rose wine. You might know that as far as alcoholic drinks go, beer definitely has gluten, but does rose wine join it on the gluten list?
Rose wines do not typically contain gluten because they are produced from fermented grapes rather than other gluten-filled ingredients like most alcoholic beverages (ex. beer, whiskey, bourbon, etc.). Therefore, it is one of the few gluten-free alcoholic drinks you can consume.
In this article, we’ll discuss why rose wine is safe to drink for anyone who is gluten-free. We will also discuss any exceptions to this general rule and provide a list of additional gluten-free alcoholic beverages, so you don’t have to limit yourself to the rose.
Is Rose Wine Always Gluten-Free
When you live a gluten-free life, you’re used to giving up some of your favorite foods, so we understand if people are concerned about saying goodbye to their favorite pink drink. Luckily, you can keep your rose.
Generally, rose wine is never made with ingredients that contain gluten. It is typically a combination of white and red wine but can be made exclusively from blue grapes and other ingredients such as sugars, grape juice concentrate, and various flavorings.
The reason other favored alcoholic beverages aren’t gluten-free is that they contain grains such as barley, rye, wheat, all of which contain gluten. Rose wine does contain yeast, but vintners use Saccharomyces cerevisiae, also known as brewer’s or baker’s yeast, which is gluten-free.
There is only one ingredient gluten-free individuals need to be aware of in their rose wine, and that’s malt.
If you’re unfamiliar with this ingredient, malt when used for alcohol is a germinated grain, usually barley, that is specially dried through a process referred to as malting.
It is added to alcoholic beverages for flavor purposes as well as a starch source and a carbohydrate source for the yeast. However, since malt is made of barley, it is not gluten-free, so if you see a specialty rose wine that is malted or contains malt or malt liquor, you should steer clear of it.
Related Article: How to Make Rosé Wine
Gluten-Free Alcoholic Drinks Other Than Rose Wine
So, we know that rose wine is in the clear as a gluten-free beverage but is it the only gluten-free alcoholic drink?
“Our cup runneth over” as they say! Rose wine is only one of many alcoholic drinks that are gluten-free!
In addition to rose wine, anyone searching for gluten-free alternatives can turn to:
- White wine, red wine, champagne
- Hard ciders
If you don’t believe us, read on as we explain the ingredients that make up these beverages and why you don’t have to be worried about their gluten content.
White/Red Wine and Champagne
As you might have been able to infer from our discussion on rose wine, white and red wine are both in the clear as gluten-free drinks because they are all made using fermented grapes rather than any gluten-containing grain.
For those of you who don’t know, Champagne is simply a type of wine created specifically in Champagne, France, so it too gets a pass. That also goes for anything labeled “sparkling wine” as this is essentially Champagne that didn’t have the luxury of being made in that specific region of France.
Beer might be off the list for those of you living the gluten-free lifestyle, but you don’t have to give up that classic feeling of sipping a crisp, fizzy alcoholic drink from a bottle or can. The best alternative to the classic beer and its many variations would be a hard cider.
Hard ciders are basically spiked apple juice, as they are created from fermented apples, similar to how wine is created from fermented grapes. As a result, they are almost always gluten-free, with the rare exception of a gluten ingredient added for flavoring or other purposes.
Sometimes gluten can also be introduced to a hard cider if it is made in the same facility as other gluten-containing beverages, like beer in a brewery, so it never hurts to check for a gluten-free label on the packaging.
Wine and ciders are great, but some people can’t stand these fruity beverages, or they’d prefer their alcohol mixed in a cocktail or swallowed quickly from a shot glass. Since whiskey, scotch, and bourbon are off the table, nothing will do the trick better than some vodka.
This might seem like an odd addition to the gluten-free list considering vodka is typically made form rye, which is a gluten-based grain. However, the process of distillation for this liquor removes the gluten protein that causes unpleasant reactions in people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivities.
As a result, vodka is considered gluten-free even if it is made with gluten-based grains. Of course, if you’re not comfortable rolling that dice, you can do some extra research and find one of the many vodkas that are made with potatoes rather than gluten-based grains and don’t have any gluten additives.
Continuing the liquor trend is another gluten-free option, rum. If you like your shots to have a bit of sweetness to them, then rum is the gluten-free choice for you because it is made from sugar cane.
So, if you’re looking at a bottle of pure, distilled rum, you’re good to go for a gluten-free night of fun. That being said, there are many rums that contain gluten-based flavorings, spices, or additives, so keep your eyes peeled for those while you’re scouring the liquor shelves.
The last gluten-free alcohol option is none other than tequila! And for those of you wondering what is mezcal and why is it here, it’s essentially the sparkling wine of Tequila.
Liquors only get this prestigious title when they’re distilled from a blue agave plant, versus mezcal can be made from any agave plant. But, regardless of which plant they’re made from, agave, in general, is gluten-free.
Not only can all of you living a gluten-free life rest easy knowing your delicious rose wine is gluten-free, but you’ve also learned a number of other gluten-free alcohols you can add to your partying or lounging arsenal.
Just make sure you either settle for these beverages in their 100% pure form or check to make sure those that aren’t pure and don’t contain any gluten-based flavors or additives.