1 cup dry red wine
2 tbsp sugar
1 Turkish or 1/2 California bay leaf
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp pink peppercorns (optional), crushed
1 large or 2 small cantaloupes, chilled
Simmer all ingredients except cantaloupes in a 1-quart heavy saucepan until reduced to about 1/4 cup, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and cool in saucepan set in a bowl of ice and cold water. Discard bay leaf.
Halve each cantaloupe and discard seeds. Scoop out curls from melon halves with an ice cream scoop (not one with a lever), then divide curls among 4 bowls along with any juices. Just before serving, drizzle each serving with about 1 tbsp cooled spiced wine.