Champagne & Grilling Are a Match Made in Heaven

Here are 11 dishes to prove it.

May 20, 2021
Photo by Mark Weinberg. Prop Stylist: Sophia Pappas. Food Stylist: Monica Pierini.

We've teamed up with G.H. Mumm—makers of outstanding Champagnes produced at Maison Mumm in the Champagne region of France since 1827—to celebrate their Grand Cordon Rosé with delicious food pairings ready for summer. Stock up for the season: Take 15% off your order of 6 bottles or more with the code SUMMER15.

Beer and hard seltzers tend to get all of the love during grilling season, when the weather is just right for backyard barbecues, picnics, and all manner of sunny outdoor activities. And while my go-to beverage during these hotter months is sparkling, refreshingly crisp, and great with food, it doesn't fall under either of those categories.

Though Champagne is most closely associated with traditionally celebratory occasions, from weddings to New Year's Eve, it's something that I keep stocked all year round—and not just because I think making it to Friday after a stressful work week is cause for celebration. This carefully produced sparkling wine (it has to come from the Champagne region of France to technically be called Champagne) makes an excellent sip all on its own, and also complements a wide variety of dishes.

This is especially true of grilled recipes. I know, I know, the idea of popping a bottle of fancy-schmancy Champagne might seem a little fussy next to a platter of laid-back burgers, but trust me when I say it's a game-changing combo.

I like to drink rosé Champagne in the summer, and my bottle of choice is G.H. Mumm’s Grand Cordon Rosé—it’s bright and fresh, with rich aromas of the fruits that are in season during this time, like wild red and black berries (thanks to the Pinot Noir grape that’s used to produce it). Those Pinot Noir-forward notes, coupled with a delicate effervescence, means this Champagne stands up well to the bold flavors of succulent grilled meats and shellfish, juicy grilled fruit, and crisp grilled veggies. Plus, I love anything that comes in a beautiful bottle, and this one is adorned with a bright-red indented sash that makes it stand out (and easier to grip when pouring!). No sticker label means you can chill it on ice without it getting soggy, too. Win-win.

Here are just a few of my favorite grilled recipes to serve alongside rosé Champagne. Make just one or put together a whole spread (Memorial Day weekend is right around the corner)—each and every one of them is ready for summer.

1. Sweet & Savory Burger With Fig Jam, Goat Cheese & Arugula

Sweet fig jam, creamy goat cheese, and peppery arugula team up for a burger topping that's anything but average. All those bold flavors get balanced out nicely by the fresh effervescence of rosé Champagne.

2. J. Kenji López-Alt’s Grilled Shrimp Scampi-ish With Garlic & Lemon

Garlicky, buttery, and packed with bright citrusy flavor, this Genius-approved Grilled Shrimp Scampi-ish would make a wonderful addition to any outdoor spread—on a platter sprinkled with parsley, mixed into pasta, or tossed into a salad.

3. Back-Pocket Marinade for Grilled Chicken

The only two ingredients you need for this overachieving marinade are mayo and hot sauce—yep, that's it. This simple duo makes the grilled chicken breasts tender and juicy, with a nice kick of heat.

4. Quick-Smoked Grilled Salmon

This simple yet effective technique takes a piece of fish from ho-hum to exceptional in about 10 or 15 minutes—the trick is to quickly smoke the herb-rubbed salmon in a covered hot grill. The result: tender, smoky fish that would work great as an appetizer, on a sandwich between toasty potato buns, or served next to grilled vegetables.

5. Grilled Peach & Apricot Salad

This stone fruit salad is a stunner—and doesn't skimp on flavor, either, thanks to the grilled peaches and apricots (which get soft and juicy over the heat), tangy feta, and ribbons of savory prosciutto. That mix of salty and sweet works really well with a Champagne like G.H. Mumm's Grand Cordon Rosé, with its fragrant fruit aromas and lively hint of spice.

6. Marcy Ragan's Grilled Panzanella Caprese

Just when we thought we couldn't love the classic caprese salad any more, this grilled panzanella version brings chunks of garlic-rubbed sourdough toast into the fold. A finishing drizzle of red wine vinegar and olive oil make all of the flavors sing in harmony.

7. Grilled Corn with Basil Butter

Corn on the cob is a summer staple. This recipe takes things up a few notches by grilling the corn to bring out its smoky-charred sweetness, then slathering the warm cobs in a bright basil butter.

8. Grilled Zucchini Orzo

This buttery orzo is studded with sharp goat cheese and grill-seared vegetables (zucchini, tomato, spring onions), all tossed in a punchy vinaigrette. Now that's how you do pasta salad.

9. Grilled Eggplant Agrodolce With Mint & Fresno Pepper

This quick eggplant dish needs just a few ingredients and a hot grill to get going, and can be served hot or at room temperature. It's an A+ side dish, but could easily become a main with the addition of chickpeas and shredded mozzarella or crumbled feta.

10. Ottolenghi's Burrata with Grilled Grapes & Basil

Burrata and grilled grapes make a dreamy, creamy combo in this showstopping appetizer (or side dish) from superstar Yotam Ottolenghi. If you want to get ahead of the game, you can start marinating the grapes the day before you plan to grill 'em.

11. Grilled Strawberries Romanoff

Picture this: You're lounging under an umbrella, nibbling on spoonfuls of vanilla ice cream topped with these juicy grilled strawberries and fresh herbs, sipping a glass of chilled rosé Champagne in between bites. Sounds like summer heaven, right? (Right.)

What grilled dishes would you pair up with Champagne? Sound off in the comments!

In partnership with G.H. Mumm, we're sharing all the fun, summer-perfect ways you can enjoy their Grand Cordon Rosé—it's made with Pinot Noir grapes, which bring a rich fruity aroma and elegant floral notes to the glass. Ideal for sipping or pairing with food, this is one bottle you'll want to keep stocked throughout the season (and all year long). Want it delivered straight to your doorstep? Start shopping here—take 15% off your order of 6 bottles or more with the code SUMMER15.

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Erin Alexander is the Brand Partnerships Editor at Food52, covering pop culture, travel, foods of the internet, and all things #sponsored. Formerly at Men’s Journal, Men’s Fitness, Us Weekly, and Hearst, she currently lives in New York City.