McWilliam’s Family Winemakers reveals new look for the holidays Iconic Australian brand’s time-tested wines shine through in the bottle


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Just as Canadians are set to honour their own time-tested holiday traditions, McWilliam’s Family Winemakers, an iconic Australian wine producer, unveils a new look to pay homage to its time-tested wines and inspire Canadians to bring quality Australian wines to the table this season.

Quality and tradition are on the minds of Canadian wine lovers during the holidays when it comes to entertaining and gift giving. McWilliam’s Family’s award-winning Hanwood Estate and J. J. McWilliam’s wines offer a similar proposition, inspired by a family tradition that is captured in the bottle: fresh vibrant wines that are true in character, delivering quality, consistency and value to wine lovers since 1877.

“Awarded winery of the year by Matthew Jukes in the Best 100 Wines of 2014, our extensive list of McWilliam’s wines provides the perfect gift this holiday season for every type of wine lover,” says Jennifer Smith-Vaillancourt, Marketing Manager. “We take pride in our wines, made with fruit sourced from our own estate and from local growers for fresh, vibrant wines that bring the taste of Australia to life.”

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Here’s a wine party planning tip sheet to help plan and calculate how much wine and glassware you will need, and what type of wine works best for your holiday entertaining.

How Much

For cocktail parties:
• ½ bottle of wine/person for each 2-hour period
If guests serve themselves, add 10 per cent to your estimate

For dinner events:
• 1.5 glasses per course per person
• Each 750 ml bottle will provide five ounce servings
• The wine and dinner equation: # of guests x 1.5 = # of bottles you will need per course

Glassware

For cocktail parties
• Less than 3 hours: 1.5 glasses per person.
• Over 3 hours: 2 glasses per person.
Self-Service for Guests
• Offer a red, white and sparkling (if appropriate) for guests.

For dinner events
• For larger gatherings, rent glassware from a local party rentals shop.
• Arrange each place setting with separate red and white wine glasses, plus a water glass.
• For fine wine tastings, there is varietal-specific glassware available that will enhance each wine’s specific character. Riedel is an excellent choice.

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Wine Selection

For cocktail parties
Events before 5pm:
70% white wine, 30% red wine
Events after 5pm:
40% white wine, 60% red wine
White Wine Choices:
• McWilliam’s Hanwood Estate Chardonnay is extremely popular, and also very versatile.
• For weekend brunches serve a crisp, refreshing JJ McWilliam’s Pinot Grigio.
• If you are serving spicy foods, McWilliam’s Hanwood Estate Riesling is a perfect pairing.
• Fruity desserts and sweet appetizers such as Foie Gras pair wonderfully with white dessert wines such as our McWilliam’s Hanwood Estate Moscato.
Red Wine Choices:
• JJ McWilliam’s Cabernet Merlot is a popular crowd pleaser because of its dark fruit flavours of plum ad cassis flowing through to a long finish.
• J.J. McWilliam’s Shiraz-Cabernet is soft and medium bodied, showing flavours of red cherry and forest berries with fine grain tannins from French oak.
• McWilliam’s Hanwood Estate Shiraz offers aromas of stewed plum, currants and dark cherry with hints of black pepper and spices that pair well with grilled foods.
• McWilliam’s Hanwood Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is recommended for pairing with beef, lamb, other hearty main courses and dark chocolate desserts.

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Dinner Events
Pair the wine varietal with each course
Choose Similar Flavors
Similar food and wine flavors complement each other.
Choose Similar Weight and Texture
Similarly weighted food and wine complement each other. Food and wine can be light, medium or heavy-bodied.
Example: Lobster and Hanwood Estate Chardonnay are both medium-weight and rich so they complement each other.
Choose the Same Sweetness Level
Wine should be equal to or higher in sugar than the dish.
Salt Needs Crispness
Crisp wines balance salty flavors.
Example: A crisp JJ McWilliam’s Pinot Grigio balances salty olives and feta cheese.
Pair with the Sauce
Pair the wine to the sauce served.
Example: Red and meat sauces match JJ McWilliam’s Cabernet-Merlot
Spicy Foods
Sweeter wines offer relief from spicy foods.
Example: Hanwood Estate Riesling pairs well with Asian cuisines.
Tannins Need Fat to Balance Out
Tannic wines such as Hanwood Estate Cabernet Sauvignon cut through the coating that fat leaves in the mouth.
Example: Hanwood Estate Cabernet Sauvignon pairs great with steak.
Look: Pair by Color
Nature has color-coded fruit and vegetables with the wine best suited to their flavors. Light wines – light foods; deeply colored wines – rich foods.
Consider Acid Levels
Like sweetness, wine should be equal to, or higher, in acid than the dish.

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James Chung

Founder & Editor in Chief of Hello Vancity magazine. Email [email protected]

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