In the hospitality industry, we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to entertainment options. From roving performers and mesmerising musicians to the all-out spectacle of aerial artists, dazzling the crowd while suspended from unimaginable heights. However, it’s rare for an entertainer to simultaneously be captivating and educational.
Kyla Kirkpatrick is The Champagne Dame. No ordinary entertainer, Kyla is an educator who delivers incredible experiences based around the drink we all know and love – Champagne.
After witnessing her talents first hand, we needed to know how The Champagne Dame came about…
So what was the inspiration behind The Champagne Dame?
I was first inspired by the world of champagne upon reading a book about Napoleon Bonaparte and his relationship to Jean Remy Moët – nephew of the founder of Moët & Chandon. I read book after book about champagne after this and fell in love with the region and its fascinating history.
On a whim, I decided to write a letter to the author of one of my favourite books. I sent it off without any expectations and lo and behold a few weeks later I received his response – an invitation to go to Champagne and learn all there is to know! I was shocked but I thought this is one opportunity I couldn’t miss. I packed up my life and next thing I knew I was amongst the vineyards in the French countryside. That was 2005 and I haven’t looked back since.
Talk us through a typical champagne presentation at an event?
My presentations are full of interesting information and stories about the drink we all love, but many don’t know much about. I start off with a little bit about me and how I came to be doing this unusual but awesome job.
I take guests back in time to walk in the shoes of Dom Perignon, the godfather of Champagne, and then we get stuck into the most important part – the tasting!
In a full masterclass we taste up to 5 different champagnes ranging from a blanc de blanc (100% chardonnay) to a brut, vintage, rosé and demi-sec which is a sweeter style of wine.
Each one of my guests always leave my shows learning a lot about the wine and the region. I pack in a lot of information so it’s a bit of a whirlwind but I can guarantee a damn good time.
Have you noticed an increased interest for Champagne presentations?
I have! Slowly but surely Australia is embracing champagne and not just the big brands everyone knows, but the smaller, more boutique growers. The Champagne region is large and there’s so much more to it than what Australia sees and has access to. That’s why I created Emperor Champagne, so more of the wonders of the region can make it over here and into the glasses of champagne lovers.
What type of person/brand typically hires you to present?
I present for a lot of corporate clients – namely large corporations that love entertaining and we regularly hold our own events. I am also hired by a lot of luxury brands as champagne goes so well with the other finer things in life!
This year I’ve also been involved with a few charities which were amazing. I occasionally host the odd private party for birthdays, hens days, anniversaries, you name it!
Other than Champagne, what’s your favourite drink?
My nightly tipple is whisky – I’m loyal to Scottish Single Malts. Keeps you young and keeps the flu at bay – I swear by it.
Dare to let us know about what the future holds for the Champagne Dame?
I never stop and I never stand still. Every year I launch something new. I have two major projects for next year – one on TV (top secret for now of course!) and I’m also launching Champagne Week Australia for the first time. This will be a week-long festival of events focusing on Champagne and honouring this incredible wine. Watch out for details on this project – it will be amazing! Can’t wait for 2020.