Friday, January 24, 2014

Cheers to Australia Day: Jan. 26

So, I haven't been blogging about wine nearly as much as I used to, for my own (good, and temporary!) reasons, but every now and then I like to share a bottle I've discovered over the years, especially when it is a wine at a good value and has a festive tie-in to a national holiday. Each January, Australians the world over recognize Australia Day on January 26.  Australia is a top 3 destination on my travel bucket list.
I wish I could say this photo was taken in Australia, but it was taken right here in town -- yep, at Busch Gardens. Anyway, like our own Fourth of July, Australia Day celebrates "love for one's country" and inspires parades, fireworks, events and gatherings large and small. 
An excellent choice to celebrate Australia Day would be Australia’s Banrock Station wine. 
This is their Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon blend.  Shiraz is the flagship grape of Australia. I always wondered before really getting into this type of wine, what's the difference between Syrah and Shiraz? Aren't they basically the same thing?
The answer is, yes and no. Shiraz and Syrah are made from the same type of dark-skinned grape. But based on the climate and soil in different parts of the world, the grapes of this varietal can vary greatly. European countries label this type of wine “Syrah" -- and the wines from this grape will be full-bodied reds. If the wine comes from Australia, it will be labeled Shiraz and will be "New World" style wines -- fruit forward with peppery and blackberry flavors. So, the basic answer is: same ingredient, different end result.

The Banrock Station Shiraz has aromas of blackberry, raspberry and plum with hints of spice and vanilla oak. The palate is rich with fruity sweetness, vanilla oak and spice  with a dry finish.  In addition to a delicious Shiraz Cab blend, Banrock Station makes ChardonnayMerlot, and Moscato. Cheers to Australia Day and enjoy a glass for me!

Have you been to Australia? Do you prefer Shiraz or Syrah? Leave a comment below!


  1. Mike and I want to go to Australia so bad. One day we will make our way there!

  2. Such a cute pic of you and the roo's! Wine sounds delicious too!