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Kylie Minogue on the similarities between making wine and music

The pop star tells Sam Wylie-Harris about her love of rosé, and why she wanted to make a non-alcoholic wine.

Kylie Minogue first set a trend for doing The Loco-Motion in 1987, and now she’s spearheading another movement: for non-alcoholic wine.

“I see it becoming a very mainstream choice, which is amazing. It isn’t simply a trend, it’s a movement – and I’m thrilled to be a part of it,” the 54-year-old says.

The singer-songwriter – who launched Kylie Minogue Wines in 2020 – released 0% Alcohol Sparkling Rosé wine in December, with The Drinks Business saying one was sold every 10 seconds in the run up to Christmas.

Kylie Minogue (Darenote Ltd/PA)

Minogue – who first found fame as Charlene in TV show Neighbours in the 1980s, recently reprising her role in the finale last year – says non-alcoholic wine has changed her drinking habits.

She wanted to launch the new product to have an option for non-drinkers or the sober-curious, but says: “The challenge was to get the flavour profile just right.”

She continues: “Our production process involves a blend of European premium grapes and green tea selected from the Liu-Da Mountains of Yunnan province in China, providing maximum development of wine attributes, without generating any alcohol.

“This careful selection of ingredients is reflected in the extraction process of the tea, with one bud and two leaves individually hand-plucked at a time.

“Brewed into a strong infusion and added to the grape ferment, the result is an additional mouthfeel and finish, rounded off with dried tannins to present a complex and finely balanced sparkling rosé, minus the alcohol.”

The pop star has released 15 studio albums over her career, with hits including Can’t Get You Out Of My Head, Spinning Around and All The Lovers. She’s since added winemaking to her CV, with Kylie Minogue Wines selling more than eight million bottles since it launched.

Minogue remembers the first time she had a glass of rosé, saying: “I’m sure it would have been in the South of France in the early Nineties.”

She continues: “The important encounter was in Nashville in 2017 when I was working on my album, Golden. It was the height of summer and after a day in the studio, I was enjoying a lovely crisp rosé whilst dining al fresco.

“There was a moment when the light caught my glass and it was so gorgeous, I proclaimed out loud, ‘I’d love to have a rosé one day!’ I had no idea how this would come to be, but as it turned out, a few years later I met my now business partner [Paul Schaafsma of Benchmark Drinks] and that dream became reality.”

Kylie Minogue performing at BBC Children in Need in 2020 (Matt Crossick/PA)

Fresh from performing at Sydney WorldPride on February 24, Minogue sees a similarity between making songs and wine.

“One of the wonders of wine, as I get deeper into my understanding and appreciation of it, is the journey. And just like music, the story starts anew once it reaches the listener or consumer,” she reflects.

“I always feel songs take on a new life the second they’re released to the world. People will hear that song and create their own moments, stories and sometimes landmarks. I’m finding this to be the same with my wines.”

Minogue currently lives in Melbourne, Australia (Alamy/PA)

To celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8, what does she think about the reputation of wine as a male-dominated field?

“Thankfully, this perception and reality is changing,” says the star. “As an example, I’m buoyed to see Liquid Icons, who hold the annual Golden Vines Awards, have a fantastic scholarship programme, where they highlight and support diversity within the world of wine.”

Beyond her wine mastery, the singer is busy working on a new album which she describes as a “pop-dance exploration”.

“I can’t give too much away, but there’s some 2000s electro, Nineties house and what I like to call emoto-pop,” says Minogue. “I can’t wait to share this with fans and enter the next era of music and live performance.”


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