Balcatta scientist picks champagne with all her courses

Emma Donnelly is doing research on champagne. Picture: Andrew Ritchie d470021
Emma Donnelly is doing research on champagne. Picture: Andrew Ritchie d470021

A THESIS on French Champagne is a sweet gig according to Balcatta scientist Emma Donnelly who will complete one as part of her diploma with the University of Champagne-Ardenne and Le Cordon Bleu (Paris).

The Curtin University science communicator visited France last year to take part in the two-week course, which covered the history, science, law and economics of the famed bubble.

Ms Donnelly, a foodie and former My Kitchen Rules contestant said she spent her two weeks away eating, sleeping and breathing champagne and it was a “money can’t buy experience”.

She now hopes data found from the champagne research sessions, will allow complete her thesis and to obtain her diploma.

Ms Donnelly said she held several tasting sessions an Osborne Park cafe with about eight to 11 people per session with each person tasting four samples to measure the temporal dominance of sensation via special computer-based software.

“Basically what that means is taste over time,” she said.

“I was trying to track a group of consumers using software, so when they taste it they touch something on their smartphone and it records the results.

“What it does (the software) is allow regular consumers to give their opinion and their experience towards the product.

“It’s the first time it’s been done on champagne so I’ll hopefully see results differentiate between the four samples I’ve given people.”

Having completed the tastings Ms Donnelly said she looked at bubble size, amount of bubbles, fizziness in the mouth, flavours and whether they liked the taste or not.

“I love champagne, it’s a product that not only has a lot of science behind it but it’s magic and when combined with science; it’s gorgeous.”

Ms Donnelly expects to use the results to determine whether another study will be required and hopes to be in France for her October graduation.

Expressions of interest for the next course will be taken at

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