Being the festive season, and with exactly a week to go I thought I would introduce someone who is as passionate about wine as we are about creating books.
Alex absolutely has wine running through her blood. However, it’s very hard not too when you’re the fourth generation of a dynasty of celebrated vintners, the McGuigans. McGuigan Wines, is one of Australia’s most popular labels, and the only winery in the world to have won ‘world’s best winemaker’ three times, and Alex’s cousin Lisa McGuigan was the founder of Tempus Two wines.
It was last week that I attended Alex’s wine club for the first time, which was an incredibly fun night. I have known Alex for a few years now, however this was the first time I got the opportunity to attend. I love going out with Alex as she is truly one of a kind. She has this incredible contagious charisma and energy that surrounds her, and no matter what mood you were in before you saw her, you will immediately rise to the occasion and always blissfully have a fun time. However, what makes Alex more admirable is that other than having this vivid entertaining side, she carries this unique strength and independence, being a perfect example of what women can really achieve. This kind of person is someone you don’t come across every day, so here she is, with some tips on wine for Christmas time, and also her views about our upcoming book !
What’s your full name? Alexandra Jane McGuigan.
Born: Sydney, Australia.
Your nickname(s): Alex Mac, Guiggie, Guigsy. My family call me Lixy and my mum always used to call me Al Pal when I was little.
What are you wearing? Diane von Furstenburg, bangles from India, average black pumps and a gold, sapphire and diamond ring my auntie bought me.
Who’s your style icon? Kate Middleton, Rachel Weisz and Kate Hudson.
Where do you live? Surry Hills.
Siblings: 3 sisters, one older two younger all as fabulous as each other!
Education: BA Media Communications at Sydney University and MBA majoring in Finance and Strategy completed at the University of Technology Sydney, which a year was spent in France (Paris Dauphine and Reims Graduate School of Management).
What book are you currently reading? All that I am.
Who is your favourite author? I don’t have a favourite author but an author who I have read many books would be Roald Dahl. One of the greatest story tellers of all time in my opinion.
Languages you speak: English and French (however without practice it is hard to maintain)
So other than it been in your family, what made you continue to follow the legacy of wine? I just love it. There is a ceremony and romance to wine that is found with few other things. At every major event in one’s life wine is there to celebrate or commiserate. It is just a wonderful part of life.
Did you work for the family label? Yes for two years when I started out in my career. I was the Brand Ambassador for McGuigan Wines and worked with my gorgeous cousin Lisa McGuigan from whom I learnt a lot.
What companies did you then work for? BNY Mellon Asset Management, Investec and now Shed Enterprises.
What are you doing now? I work in Financial Services representing International wine fund managers in Australia.
You lived in France for over a year, what secrets can you tell about the wine over there? The wine is not named by the grape variety as it is over here. You will find that the wine is named after the region. This is because the French believe that certain climates should be used to grow certain varieties. This is referred to as the Terroir (or territory in English).
What is your favourite wine at the moment? Champagne is always my favourite and I doubt that will ever change. On a hot summers day though there is nothing better than a glass of crisp Rose or if you want a low alcohol version the Lisa McGuigan Moscato has just been released and is the perfect aperitif.
With this festive season what wines do you recommend? I had a Villa Maria Pinot Gris on Sunday night which was just delicious. I also had a McGuigan Verdelho at our family Christmas do on the weekend which was really easy to drink.
Can you tell us some of your best food and wine combinations for this time of the year? Oysters and champagne or a good Tasmanian sparkling = amazing. Fresh seafood and a light Riesling like the Pewsey Vale is perfect, or for something a little heavier probably a roast rack of lamb with a medium bodied merlot.
If you had to choose which one… blanc or rouge vino ? Blanc.
Sangria… what do you think of this? Delicious. My fellow wine clubber Steph have been known to share a jog of Sangria whilst looking at the view over Bondi beach.
What wine can you always drink, and never get sick of? Sparkling! There is something about the bubbles that has a festivity that makes for a great night.
You started a blog over a year ago why? Because I am a Sydney McGuigan which means that contrary to what people often think I started my wine journey knowing very little about wine. I want to help people understand wine from the bottom up with no pretensions. Everyone should have the ability to enjoy and understand good wine, not just the wine snobs out there.
What do you love most about what you do? Meeting new people, sharing my passion with others and having a bloody good time doing it.
Name your three most favorite cities you have travelled, and why? Paris, it is not possible to explain the beauty and possibilities that exist in this city one just has to experience it for themselves. Miami, I went to a BBQ one afternoon and a guy at the party said that they were going to a club that had an in house midget who danced on the bar pouring drinks in peoples mouths dressed as Napolean and did I want to come with them. Needless to say I went and saw and still disbelieve. Amsterdam, fell in love.
When you go traveling, what’s the one must-have article of clothing in your luggage? Throw on dress that can go from beach to dinner.
Tell me three things on your bucket list? Trans-Siberian train, Everest base camp, the Northern Lights.
The best beaches in the world where you’ve jumped in the ocean? Brazil, Thailand, Hawaii and Australia of course.
What is the most adventurous thing you have ever done? Lived with a French family for two months as their nanny on the Island of Corsica not speaking a word of English and barely knowing a word of French. Tres difficile!
Where are you traveling to next? Tasmania.
What do you think of the concept of being able to record your travels in your own book? I think that it is a must. I have always kept a journal for my travels sticking in postcards and tickets as I went.
You have had a sneak peak of what our book looks like what do you think? Fabulous concept and idea. Everyone should record their memories to look back on later and to show you how far you have come.
Is it something you would use? Definitely.
What are you most proud of? My wonderful beautiful family who have more love and strength than I could even imagine.
If you could spread one message to the world what would it be? Be kind to people and laugh at every chance you get because you never know when things will change forever.