Australia explained …

For my many overseas visitors, a little explanation is sometimes in order. A couple of current topics are cases in point.

The first thing to remember is that Australia brought its governance style, constitution, respect for the rule of law etc from the Old Art, ie England. It is no surprise that to understand some aspects of our lives we must look to English history. First cab off the rank then …

The Star Chamber (Latin: Camera stellata) was an Englishcourt of law that sat at the royal Palace of Westminster from the late 15th century until 1641. It was made up of Privy Councillors, as well as common-law judges and supplemented the activities of the common-law and equity courts in both civil and criminal matters. The court was set up to ensure the fair enforcement of laws against prominent people, those so powerful that ordinary courts would never convict them of their crimes.

Court sessions were held in secret, with no indictments, and no witnesses. Evidence was presented in writing. Over time it evolved into a political weapon, a symbol of the misuse and abuse of power by the English monarchy and courts.

In modern usage, legal or administrative bodies with strict, arbitrary rulings and secretive proceedings are sometimes called, metaphorically or poetically, star chambers. This is a pejorative term and intended to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the proceedings. The inherent lack of objectivity of politically motivated charges has led to substantial reforms in English law in most jurisdictions since that time.

It is also handy to know that Penfold’s Grange is Australia’s premier wine, a 1959 can cost an entire career …

From the Penfolds website (my emphasis) …

Grange is arguably Australia’s most famous wine and is officially listed as a Heritage Icon of South Australia. Grange boasts an unbroken line of vintages from the experimental 1951 and clearly demonstrates the synergy between Shiraz and the soils and climates of South Australia.

Penfolds Grange displays fully ripe, intensely flavoured and textured Shiraz grapes. The result is a unique Australian style that is now recognised as one of the most consistent of the world’s great wines. The Grange style is the original and most powerful expression of Penfolds multi-vineyard, multi-district blending philosophy.

From humble beginnings in the 1950s, Grange has maintained its place as Australia’s most prestigious red wine over five decades. Today, it is a wine of international renown, with each vintage eagerly awaited by collectors both in Australia and overseas.

Penfolds Grange is a wine of extraordinary dimension and power. Richly textured, intensely concentrated and packed with fruit sweetness, these wines, regardless of vintage, require medium to long-term cellaring. They develop into immensely complex, beguiling wines that seduce the senses.

An Australian icon, Grange represents a tradition in winemaking that is totally uncompromising. Grange has bypassed the fads and trends of modern winemaking in the sense that it has maintained an integrity of style and remained true to its origins in the mind of Max Schubert. Penfolds Grange is the quality standard against which all other Australian red wines are judged. To share a mature Grange, 15 to 20 years old, in fine condition, is one of the great wine experiences.

  • Food Matches
  • Beef, dehydrated vegetables, shaved mojama, quinoa, braised oxtail and horseradish
  • Rare roasted aged fillet of beef with a red wine reduction
  • Wagyu beef
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