What’s in My Glass? Sparkles & Melon.


While rosé and “Frosé” are stealing summer’s proverbial show, I’ve been mixing their tickled pink shades with wine’s most refreshing element: bubbles.

Not in the form of wine coolers (though I’m all over those on The Kitchn right now) but with traditional sparkling wines accented by frozen elements, and the occasional pink hue.

Though roughly 20% of annual bubbly sales happen in the last week of December, these wines are equally festive and delicious during heatwaves and at summer fêtes. Carbonation lets the wine cut through salty, greasy favorites (like fried chicken or cool charcuterie) while delicate flavors won’t overpower light salads or grilled seafood. Plus they’re meant to be served cold (and are fantastic far colder than recommended).

palmer-co-rose-reserve-brut-champagne-france-10717078Recently, I discovered some fantastic sparklers from Champagne Palmer, a new-to-the-US brand with making really delicious bubbly. During sultry days, I always look to Champagne for something rich, yet still refreshing and that’s exactly what Champagne Palmer’s Brut Reserve delivered–lots of toasty, yeasty brioche aromas followed by tons of bright golden apple and lemon flavors.

The house, which was established after WWII, also makes a Rosé Reserve which is the opposite of most candy-coated rosés. Strong potpurri (yes, bagged dried flowers) and tart cherry tones dominated with an earthy touch, but this wine still melded seamlessly with everything from a grilled romaine salads to duck confit. And that is a win. I’ve been on the hunt for more Palmer since I last tried it, and you should be too! Really, there’s nothing better than classic Champagne for Wednesdays a splurge.

While I wouldn’t toss frozen melon balls into Champagne Palmer, I don’t hesitate to  toss them into most inexpensive sparklers and white wines for a kick of extra flavor. Feel like giving rosé the break she deserves? Look no further than the sparkling section.

Summer Sparklers Uncorked:

Laura Loves: Ruffino Sparkling Rosé, a strawberry-scented rosé bubbly from Italy. Slightly off-dry, it’s perfect for summer desserts like fruity shortcakes or for guzzling poolside with frozen melon chunks instead of ice cubes. (And it’s a total steal at just $15)

Domaine Allimant Laugner Brut Rosé–a dry Champagne-style rosé from Alsace. It’s all strawberries and cream, fantastic with light salads or a chaise lounge.

Fun Facts: Champagne Palmer uses a Solera system to age the red wines that go into its complex and earthy rosé Champagne. The Pinot Noir in their Reserve Rosé is 20 years old!

Standard white wine glasses are better vessels for serving sparkling wines than flutes, since they allow the aromas to circulate more widely.

Freeze-tastic Wine Ideas: Freeze berries, melon balls, or pears and use them to cool glasses of white or sparkling wines and make insta-sangria.

Pour bubbly over a popsicle like this for a dessert and drink in one!

Grab some of these tools or freezable glasses to keep summer bubbly cold and invigorating.