- Courtesy Of Patricia Trafton/Salt & Bubbles
- Kayla Silver of Salt & Bubbles
Few things go together better than sparkling wine and salty snacks. Those pairings — Champagne and fried chicken, pét-nat and popcorn, cava and charcuterie — inspired Salt & Bubbles, a new wine bar and market coming to the Essex Experience this summer.
The wine won't all be sparkling, owner-manager Kayla Silver noted, but the business will embrace what the bubbles represent: celebration. "When you think about sparkling wine, you think about happy occasions," Silver said. "[Salt & Bubbles] is a place for all the good moments to happen."
Regulars may recognize Silver from Honey Road, where she has done everything from serving to bartending to managing the front of the house to working the takeout window during the pandemic. A certified sommelier, she also spent time developing her wine chops at Dedalus Wine Shop, Market & Wine Bar and Shelburne's now-closed Taverna Khione.
The pandemic gave Silver time to dream up and develop Salt & Bubbles, she said. She moved to Essex a year and a half ago with her husband, Black Flannel Brewing & Distilling executive chef Trenton Endres, and quickly saw the demand for a vendor of quality wines closer than Burlington, she said.
She'll source the wines served at the bar and stocked on the retail shelves with affordability in mind, she added, looking to underrepresented winemaking regions to keep most prices between $15 and $23.
"We're supporting winemakers who care about the land and the people they work with," Silver said. She prefers to use more specific terms than the current buzzword "natural wine" — a topic she's looking forward to diving into with customers through her education program.
When Salt & Bubbles joins the growing food and drink scene at the Essex Experience early in the summer, it will offer patio seating, a snack-based menu and even flights of wine. A "fun-draising" program, in lieu of tipping, will support local nonprofits such as the Vermont Foodbank and Vermont Works for Women.
"I wanted to create a system where my staff could make a livable wage," Silver said. "And at the same time — like Lawson's Finest Liquids has done, and many others — create a sustainable way for us to give back."