Kyla Kirkpatrick a.k.a The Champagne Dame
Imagine living a life touring, drinking and talking about Champagne. Kyla Kirkpatrick (a.k.a. The Champagne Dame) lives this dream, and is bringing here incredible experience and knowledge to Sydney's Bistro Moncur in a one-off event for those who are truly passionate about their bubbles.
OutInSydney talked to the Champagne Dame about her life with Champagne, emerging styles and what you can expect should you be lucky enough to attend any of her sensational Masterclasses.
Your Masterclass is amazing. What’s in store for champagne fans who haven’t yet attended?
As you would expect, we will certainly examine the subtle differences between different Champagne houses, but the important thing is you can’t taste the wines in isolation.
With hundreds of years of growing and refinements, as well as our isolation here in Australia, we don’t realise that behind a lot of the brands that we know are families… and with families come stories. We’ll be exploring a lot of these tales.
What’s the biggest faux pas you can make when ordering champagne?
You should never, ever ask for Champagne – a product of the famous French region – when you have no intention of drinking a French wine. It might result in you probably spending a lot more than you intended on the glass that lands in front of you!
Where’s the most interesting place your champagne journey has taken you?
I’m incredibly lucky to have made my love my job, and I hope I continue to pinch myself at the access I have to this incredible product. I really hope it continues, and that I never forget how amazing this experience is.
One of the most of the most incredible moments was a ‘Seven Sensualities’ dinner at a chateau owned by Louis Vuitton Moet with a Dom Perignon degustation dinner. The wines were all 20-30 years old, and every knife, every fork every plate had been handcrafted to best present the flavours of the particular dish.
It’s a very exclusive invitation. The week before me Madonna was the special guest, and two weeks after it was Beyoncé. It was very surreal to be there.
The dinner was as indulgent as you can imagine, and the seventh course in the vineyard, and it consists of a cigar with another glass of vintage champagne under the stars with the smells of the vines all around you. It was exquisite.
What are the broad trends moving through the champagne industry?
One big trend is for ‘Growers’ Champagne’. As consumers become overly familiar with the brands we have seen for the last few decades, there is now an opportunity to experience rarer flavours as producers begins to release under their own names.
It’s really exciting for aficionados as we move away from the art of blending to single great wines… and these labels aren’t necessarily expensive.
The tours in France that you host look incredible. What treats are in store for those lucky enough to go along?
It’s the ultimate indulgence - The Insiders Tour of Champagne. We start with a beautiful Perfume and Champagne Masterclass in the private boudoir of Serge Luten’s parfumerie, Les Salons du Palais-Royal.
Our sense of smell is of entwined with our memories. During this session, everyone in the group gets to design their own perfume to wear every day of the tour so that when they return home, simply applying the fragrance will bring back memories of their time in Champagne.
It’s amazing… and that’s just the first day!
Finally, Strawberry, or no strawberry?
Never a strawberry in champagne! They’re only used to mask the flavours of cheap sparkling wines.
Tempted? Check out The Champagne Dame’s website to see when her next Masterclass happened near you.