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Champagne on the rocks may sound like an ill-judged drinks offering at an affluent teen’s sweet 16 party, but Champagne over ice is already one of this summer’s biggest drinks trends.
As reported in the The New York Times, revellers have been seen quaffing Champagne on the rocks (a drink known as a “piscine” in the South of France, where it has long been drunk) at various social events, including the Coachella music festival and at the tennis at Indian Wells. Sweeter Champagnes work best, as they taste less sweet at a lower temperature and Moët & Chandon already have two specific Champagnes on the market for this purpose: Moët Ice Imperial and a rosé.
While some Champagne buffs may be gripping their flutes with horror at the prospect of diluting their favourite elixir – three large ice cubes are recommended, no crushed ice – our resident wine expert Ilkka Sirén has been swayed.
“At first the whole trend seemed weird,” says Sirén. “I mean Champagne on ice?! Unless you’re Bill Murray [a fan of the drink] or P Diddy you really shouldn’t be allowed to do that. I’m not really a conservative wine drinker and even I had trouble wrapping my head around it.
"But I recently sat down with the cellar master of Veurve Clicquot, Mr Dominique Demarville in Helsinki," Sirén continues, "and he served me their Rich, on ice, with a slice of paprika. I thought he was out of his mind, but it actually tasted great. That really changed my mind-set and suddenly it wasn’t all that weird. Think of it as a Champagne cocktail rather than just 'Champagne on ice.' That opens up all kinds of delicious possibilities.”
Prepare to get some very odd looks when you order “Champagne on the rocks,” but hey, you’re a trendsetter – you're as cool as, well, Champagne over ice.