Friends Of Australia Friday Cabernet, Shiraz & Blend, Lamburger

It’s once again an Australia Time Friday! It’s FRIDAY!!!!

The Tucker

This will be a simple Lamburger steak with garlic, salt, pepper, and smoked gouda or mushroom butter saute as the person wishes ( I’m going for a coin toss ;-)   As I’ve been sent into an “Emergency System Recovery” I’ve been rather running all over today.  That means “sides” are TBD.  We’ll see what pops when I’m in the middle of the cook.

Desert will be a redux.  Quoting from last time:  “But the desert! I found an interesting ice cream. Tillamook Malted Moo Shake.”  Though this time we are adding a tub of “Birthday cake” too.

“This is a malted vanilla base with small chunks of chocolate floating in it. It was being sold as overstock at the Bargain Market Grocery Outlet store for something like $3 / 1.75 qt. (the size their industry shrunk the 1/2 gallon to be about a decade+ back). That’s a very nice price.”

Ditto the Birthday cake!

The Wine

This is where it will get interesting tonight.  I have a bottle each of “The Original Martin’s Pick Up” in both Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz.  Plus I’m testing the blend of them.

We had the Martin’s Pick Up before and it was good.  Still is.  So I decided to test it in a blend just like we did earlier for Two Buck Chuck from Trader Joe’s.

The Cab and Shiraz are about the same color in the glass.  Deep red with amber overtones at the edges.  The Cab is full and round on the tongue, deep flavors of oak and mellow grapes.  The nose is full of oak barrel and age smells, even though it is a 2020 vintage.  I suspect they do something special to the barrels to get that to happen.  Very nice wine.

The Shiraz is more brash, while a year younger at 2019.  Less deep and mellow.  Lots of fruit and a bit of ‘bite’ that isn’t a bite.  Sort of a citrus nibble and saliva rush, but without the citrus.  Then the after taste blossoms into more flavors.  It just dances over the tongue and defies you to catch it,  Nose lacks the deep oak mellow of the Cab, more spring fruit and outdoors on the farm.

But once again the blend is a thing to behold.  I’m only doing a 50/50 blend this time.  Simply because I’ve still got to cook dinner and then do some additional computer work, so “One Shot Only, Vassily”…  But man is it good.  Once again the blend just “Wakes up” more than either alone.  It seems like the depth of flavors on the palate increases, as each fills in a bit for the other.  It still has the mellow oaken nose of the Cabernet, but now with hints of spice to come.

IF you are not playing around with Cabernet Sauvignon / Shiraz blends, you are really missing out.  Sure, some vintners will already be bottling this, and other, blends.  Those you likely can not improve.  But buy yourself some mid-scale wines that are likely straight vintages, not blends, and you can create things of unexpected beauty and attraction.

These two do it very well together.  Not as stodgy and “old school” as the Cabernet.  Not as “spice in your throat – what you wanted wine to savor?” as the Shiraz.  More interesting than the Cabernet.  More refined with deeper flavors than the Shiraz.  Just wonderful.  All from pouring a bit of each…

In Other News:

Unfortunately, I’ve got little here, today, due to that “Work Emergency” (and I thought those days were over…)

I can only note that China has stated Australian Military is a little morsel it can snack up without even a sweat should Australia fail to capitulate to the Han Chinese Dynastic Temper.

Y’all might want to inform them about your friends, globally.  USA, Great Britain & the United Kingdom, The Commonwealth, New Zealand, Japan, India, and doubtless dozens others.  (Don’t know how you and the EU are getting along these days, nor if Russia would be interested in a “you and him fight” or lending some “influence”…)  Bottom line is “You are not alone”.

There’s a LOT of water between Beijing and Canberra and a few different Navies all happy to make it a very bad day for any Hostiles in those waters. Just ask Japan…  I, for one, could not countenance ANY interruption in my wine and lamb supply… They best not cause this Anglo Saxon to remember how a Saxon Hates… nor that his ancestry includes the “Lady’s From Hell” Celts.  It, too, is a blend of unexpected results…

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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15 Responses to Friends Of Australia Friday Cabernet, Shiraz & Blend, Lamburger

  1. rhoda klapp says:

    The thing that might impede a grand coalition against a misbehaving China is the number of people in influential positions in the allied countries who are directly, indirectly or covertly on the Chinese payroll. Starting in the oval office..

  2. H.R. says:

    @Rhoda Klapp – I wrote on the Grab Bag thread that I thought China needed to get Biden back in line.

    I think he’s so far gone that he forgets what China has paid him to do. When he goes off script, he says whatever he thinks the audience wants to hear and he presents it with his “I’m a tough guy” persona.

    In the recent case, where China warns of nuclear war with the U.S., it’s like when you were a kid in the back seat of the car, squirming and squabbling with your siblings, and your dad threatens, “Don’t make me stop this car and come back there!”

    I’ve been interpreting that threat as China telling Joe to get back in line and get with the agreed upon program.

    Before Biden began succumbing to dementia, he screwed everything up with his runaway mouth. Now that he’s in the latter stages of dementia, it’s even worse.

    Perhaps China is beginning to think they may have bought a defective puppet. You pull the strings to make the puppet raise its arm and salute and instead, it drops its drawers and poops.

    But that’s my reading of the situation. I could be all wrong.

  3. p.g.sharrow says:

    @ HR you may be correct. And I see the hand of the White Hats being exposed correcting earlier Biden mis-steps in foreign policy. Biden may have been elected by the Congress but he is not Commander in Chief. Trump still uses the “Beast” and Airforce1 – 747 and the Brass recognizes Donald Trump as Commander in Chief..

  4. u.k.(us) says:

    Fair warning :)

  5. philjourdan says:

    China is only watching one person. Grandpa Gropes. And seeing his dementia, they do not care a whit about the rest of the heads of state. They figure when he starts peeing his pants and backs down, no one else will rise to defend. I am not too sure about that, but Bojo the clown does not give me warm ifuzzies either.

  6. E.M.Smith says:


    How cute… you actually think he drops his drawers before he poops…. (Badump, Bump!) ;-)


    There’s a huge contingent of the USA that loves Australia and would not accept a Chinese attack without reprisal. I’m pretty sure it would be enough to swing things.

    My Son was sent there as a Junior Ambassador (an organization you pay for a vacation that credentials on the college app…). On of my Great Uncles moved there, so I have family there. Mum’s friend from England moved to somewhere in Anzak. The list goes on.

    Then there’s that small matter of sharing a Queen with something like 26 nations…

    All that before you start adding in the “Shared Interests:” aspects of India, Taiwan & Japan.

    It would be incredibly bone headed for China to attack Australia… (OTOH, national leaders too full of themselves from Suck Ups have done a lot of bone headed invasions of the years… )

  7. pouncer says:

    It would be incredibly bone headed for China to attack Australia…

    How would we distinguish between an attack and “bad luck”?

    Bad luck includes things such as an epidemic, or a container ship’s engines catching fire, or airliners that go missing, or a low orbiting satellite that re-enters without burning up in the atmosphere and threatens to land HARD on a populated continent… How do we tell one government attacking another from a non-government — for-profit criminal — computer hack holding commercial — non-government institutions — pipelines and meat packing plants for ransom? If international commerce comes to a stop when a large ship gets stuck in a small canal — is that an act of war? If a undersea telephone/data cable suddenly goes dead — is that an attack or proof of the need for more “infrastructure investment”?

    It is even necessary to “hit” or damage the territory or property of the targeted entity to influence them? Or is a threat or indirect cause of damage enough? “Nice little shop you’re running here. It would sure be a shame if the power failed, or the street closed, or the sewer backed up. You’re really lucky there’s no gangs on this block. Yet. So, wouldn’t you be interested in working with a few like-minded shop keepers to keep things humming smoothly? We call our neighborhood a “belt” and “road” initiative… We’d love to have you with us.”

  8. H.R. says:

    E.M.: @H.R.: How cute… you actually think he drops his drawers before he poops…. (Badump, Bump!) ;-)”

    😲😲….. 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

    Well…….. it Depends®.
    Don’t you think all the interns and aides to Biden just absolutely dread ‘pooper scooper’ duty?

  9. YMMV says:

    “(Badump, Bump!) ;-)”

    Biden can make up stories to tell little girls and the fawning press.
    Xi does not have to pretend. He has survived “hardships” and learned. And now he is top dog.
    Not a spoiled brat.

  10. Graeme No.3 says:

    Jeremy Clarkson, the British writer/TV on cars retired recently to his 400acre farm. He got Covid (mildly) last year and had to quarantine in a room for at least a week. He decided to “catchup on James Bond movies” but wanted a drink. He looked up the advice on the UK Govt. page and was told No! you must not touch alcohol. The USA page on Covid said the same. He then checked the Australian page and they said he could drink, so he ordered a case of Australian wine and “had a nice illness”.

  11. Steven Fraser says:

    @EM: I like the idea of mixing the Cab and the Shiraz. I think I will give it a try. :-)

  12. E.M.Smith says:

    @Steven Fraser:

    Let us know what you think of the mixing. I would be nice to have more than one tongue response in the data set ;-)

    Some months back I did a full series of blends by about 10% jumps. IIRC it was best in the 40-60 to 60-40 range with 50-50 being a very good starting point. Also I discovered that some Name Wines (Châteauneuf-du-Pape?) from that particular region of France blended the two to get their characteristic flavor. So I’m not the first to discover it… just the latest.

  13. Graeme No.3 says:

    Chateaunef-du-Pape is most unlikely to contain Cabernet. It is a blend of anything up to 13 red grapes.
    Grenache noir is the most common variety, although some producers use a higher proportion of Mourvèdre. Grenache produces a sweet juice that can have almost a jam-like consistency when very ripe. Syrah (Shiraz) is typically blended to provide color and spice. Cinsault and others.
    Australia has long blended cabernet and shiraz, indeed Grange Hermitage at around $900 a bottle is just that.
    Re your Aussie wines:
    Casella Wines, whose Yellow Tail label became the most popular imported wine in the US, has posted the biggest turnover and volumes in its 60-year history, as Covid-19 meant consumers drank more wine at home.
    The family-owned, Griffith-based winery has enjoyed increased popularity both in its key market of the US and in Australia, where its Yellow Tail brand is the second most popular wine in the under-$10 a bottle category.
    Meanwhile its tiny exposure to China has meant the crippling tariffs imposed by Beijing in an escalating trade war with Australia won’t impact its growth.
    The winemaker is also now pushing out from its traditional activities to soon launch a whiskey, which is being produced and sold through its Morris of Rutherglen business.
    But the bulk of its business remains in wine, through the Casella brands as well as its other businesses Brand’s Laira, Peter Lehmann, Baileys of Glenrowan and Morris. (These last are long established premium labels.
    The Casella group reported record sales in fiscal 2020.

  14. beththeserf says:

    Everyone in OZ is drinkin’. Vicktoristana lockdown is dismal, dismal,dismal !

  15. E.M.Smith says:


    Well it is one of the easiest ways to get some anesthesia ;-)

    And it certainly is a “mood enhancer” too! ;-)

    @Graeme No. 3:

    I was actually thinking more about the Shiraz / Syrah component than the Cabernet grape, but I was likely unclear in that… what with “mind reading over the internet” not being fully developed yet. My use of “the two” does look like I’m thinking Cab & Shiraz when I was actually thinking “Shiraz & some red”… My bad.

    Modern history
    Syrah continues to be the main grape of the northern Rhône and is associated with classic wines such as Hermitage, Cornas and Côte-Rôtie. In the southern Rhône, it is used as a blending grape in such wines as Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Gigondas and Côtes du Rhône, where Grenache usually makes up the bulk of the blend. Although its best incarnations will age for decades, less-extracted styles may be enjoyed young for their lively red and blueberry characters and smooth tannin structure. Syrah has been widely used as a blending grape in the red wines of many countries due to its fleshy fruit mid-palate, balancing the weaknesses of other varieties and resulting in a “complete” wine.

    So while I know Shiraz / Syrah is in it, I don’t know what other grapes are in…

    But I also know that mixing it into “other reds” is a major win… So there’s likely a huge search space covering many other reds (perhaps even whites to make interesting pink wines?) and percentages.

    Say 10 varieties in 10% increments, so 100 blends as binary mixes… Then if you get to blending 3 wines… I don’t think I’d live through the experiment ;-)

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