You are not supposed to put ice in your Champagne. It dilutes the wine. At least that’s the thinking among most wine experts. But that rule doesn’t apply to the winemakers at Möet Chandon, who are hoping you’ll sip their new Möet Ice Imperial Rose on ice, on a 95-degree sunlit rooftop deck in Los Angeles.
The wine, which will start showing up in select Los Angeles bars in mid July, was made specifically to be sipped on ice in Los Angeles or Miami.
“L.A. and Miami are trendsetters,”said Elise Losfelt, who has been a winemaker at Möet Chandon since 2012. “There are so many rooftops here and you can sip it by the pool.”
This new rose Champagne is the company’s second Ice Imperial. The first, Möet Ice Imperial, a brut Champagne, was released a couple of years ago, and was the first Champagne created to be served on ice.
“It’s really a Champagne that breaks the rules — it’s disruptive,” said Losfelt of the two Ice Imperial wines. “Champagne is a region that’s really quite traditional. When we were making it, people said ‘What are you doing, are you super crazy?’”
Möet Ice Imperial Rose is made with mostly Pinot Noir (45% to 55 %), some Pinot Meunier (35% to 45%) and Chardonnay (5% to 10%). And Losfelt, who is a sixth-generation winemaker in France, said it respects all the rules of making Champagne.
It’s a soft pink color in the glass with a bouquet of cranberries, cherries and raspberries. The wine starts on the sweet side but mellows as the ice melts.
“It’s a wine that has a super intense aroma, super rich texture on the palate, and has acidity and bitterness,” said Losfelt. “So when it’s blended with ice, it balances it.”
The Möet Chandon team hand-picked the Los Angeles bars, hotels and restaurants that will carry the Champagne. You’ll be able to find the Champagne by mid-July at the following venues: the Montage Beverly HIlls (served by the pool), the Beverly Hills Hotel, Terrenea Resort, the Beverly Wilshire, the Four Seasons Los Angeles, Bagatelle, W Hollywood, Geoffrey’s Malibu, Chateau Marmont (served by the pool), and at Neiman Marcus in Beverly Hills.
“It’s important that it’s served properly,” said Losfelt, who added you should not drink the Champagne without ice. “I think it will probably take around 10 years for people to get used to it.”
The Champagne should be served in a large wine glass with around three ice cubes. And you’re supposed to finish the Champagne before the ice completely melts (as if that’s going to be a problem).
So what do you eat while you sip Champagne on ice by the pool?
“Whatever you can eat with your fingers will go well with it,” said Losfelt. Think light canapes and a cheese board.
Losfelt is also encouraging people to garnish the Champagne with a couple of berries — also something generally discouraged in the wine world.
“You can finally put a strawberry in your Champagne,” said Losfelt.
The Champagne is expected to be available in a couple more yet-to-be-announced cities later this year.
Bubbly tastes better on a rooftop. Seriously. Follow me on Twitter & Instagram @Jenn_Harris_