By Stefanie Collins, editor b&c

McWilliam’s Wines has announced a new range of flavoured fortified wines and accompanying cocktail recipes developed with mixologist, Russ McFadden of the globally award winning Speakeasy Group.

The new flavours provide an opportunity to “transcend” the fortified wine category, with the brand saying that it is looking to appeal to “consumers interested in mixology and experimental combinations”.

There are three products in the range: McWilliam’s Strawberry Delight, McWilliam’s Spice Royale and McWilliam’s Espresso Press (pictured).

Russell Cody, McWilliam’s senior winemaker, has been making fortified wines for over 10 years and saw the potential for the creation of something innovative that would appeal to a broader range of people with an interest in the category.

“It was a labour of love to create these special wines and introduce them to a new generation of drinker,” Cody said. “The fortified category has so much history in the Australian wine industry and so does McWilliam’s, so it was an exciting project to be able to re-invent and launch them in the Australian market place.”

Designed to appeal to a new generation of drinker, the flavoured fortified wines are designed to be served “straight, chilled, on-the-rocks, or as a mixer”.

“They taste and smell exactly as the name describes them,” says Cody. “Not many younger people know what ‘tawny’ or ‘apera’ wines taste like – but they do know what espresso coffee or strawberries taste like. By combining the richness of fortified wine with new flavours to bring out the characteristics of the wine has really worked well.”

According to Vanessa Richardson, McWilliam’s brand manager, the packaging has a deliberate look and feel to reflect the drinks’ purpose.

“We worked hard on the packaging to reflect the history and heritage of ‘fortifieds’ within the McWilliam’s range – transporting the consumer back to a time when everyone was enjoying fortified wine but with a modern ‘retro feel’,” she says. “The clear bottles and striking labelling will stand out on any back bar or store display; appealing to the new generation of consumers.”

The brand has brought on board well-known and respected bartender Russ McFadden to created cocktail recipes with the flavoured fortifieds. That partnership will be displayed on the website, in the coming month.

McFadden is excited to be working with the new category innovation. “It’s fantastic to see more attention around the fortified category as well as exciting younger drinkers and expanding their palate and repertoire,” he says.

McWilliam’s Strawberry Delight is tart with natural sweetness; McWilliam’s Spice Royale has hints of vanilla, brown sugar, dried fruit, cinnamon and oak; while McWilliam’s Espresso Press combines roast coffee bean flavour with a touch of dark chocolate.

The new flavoured fortified wines are available now at Dan Murphy’s, BWS and selected on-premise venues.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *