Cham­pagne on the rocks

Qantas - - DINING ROOMS GET COSY -

Purists clutched their pearls at first but soon warmed to the idea of serv­ing cham­pagne over ice. There’s some­thing charm­ingly low-key and laid-back about it. Be­sides, some­times you just want that ex­tra chill in your fizz, es­pe­cially in hot weather.

Moët & Chan­don (moet.com) was a pi­o­neer of the trend. In 2011, the cham­pagne house launched Moët Ice Im­périal, a stronger style of bub­bly de­signed to stand up to di­lu­tion. Em­bold­ened, wine­mak­ers, sell­ers and drinkers qui­etly be­gan slip­ping ice cubes into all sorts of wines – and to hell with the haters. In Mediter­ranean restau­rants, it’s in­creas­ingly com­mon to be of­fered ice for your wine when the tem­per­a­ture rises. The French even have a term for this wa­tery, winy de­li­cious­ness: à la piscine, mean­ing “by the swim­ming pool”.

Wine ex­perts seem re­mark­ably lais­sez-faire about it. “If you want ice, have ice,” David Moore, owner of Lon­don’s Miche­lin-starred Pied à Terre restau­rant, told The In­de­pen­dent last year with re­fresh­ing blunt­ness.

The new­est fron­tier is pink cham­pagne on ice, with Moët & Chan­don once again lead­ing the charge. The com­pany is re­leas­ing Moët Ice Im­périal Rosé – the world’s first rosé cham­pagne in­tended to be served on the rocks – in Aus­tralia this month. It looks set to be the drink of the sea­son – fresh, light, pretty, chic – and is sure to add sparkle to your In­sta­gram feed all sum­mer. Here’s to clink­ing the pink.

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