Kylie’s wine memories
AJ: Your earliest wine memories, Kylie?
Kylie: Lambrusco – that was the wine I bought as an 18-year-old and my earliest wine memory. Then when I was 21, I was dating a guy who I thought was very worldly. Actually he was very worldly; he was a bit older than me. We went on a trip through France and on into Italy. I can’t remember what all the wines were, but I do remember there was a lot of Chablis on the table … that was my starter. From stuff that doesn’t really taste too wine-like to being exposed to amazing, elevated European wines in their own environments in just two or three years – it was great.
AJ: How about rosé?
Kylie: That kicked in … probably 2016. And in 2017 I was working in Nashville for two weeks, in July, and it was really hot, just swimming-through-the-air hot. I said to Polly, one of my managers, ‘I need to get my resistance up: we’re going to have to drink rosé’. It’s sensible working hours in Nashville; you’re always done by 6.30 or 7. So there was lots of alfresco dining, lots of Whispering Angel on the table, and I just remember looking at the glass and really enjoying it. Then I just said ‘What if I have a rosé one day?’ The thought literally dropped on one of those dinner tables, and later it turned out that Paul [Paul Schaafsma of Benchmark Wines, Kylie’s wine-sourcing partner] had the same idea. It was great timing and it came together.
Making the Kylie wine range
AJ: You’re involved in the wine selection and blending?
Kylie: At our first meeting, I remember Paul said ‘We’ve got this window of opportunity since there’s this fruit there to buy’ and I thought ‘Fruit? What are you talking about?’ Every term in the wine glossary has been new to me. I never said this to Paul but I did feel quite nervous and intimidated. I told them I was going to ask all the dumb questions but of course there are no dumb questions. They held my hand, they listened to me when I tried to find a way to express myself, and in fact it was really exciting. I certainly never expected to be drinking wine for research, or thinking anything other than ‘what is my response to this? Do I want another glass?’”