September 21, 2004


Diana Kerry may think little of us, but a group of US Foreign Service officers hails everything Australian:

Let us all get down on our knees and thank the Lord for the Aussies. Take an Aussie to lunch; buy a bottle of Australian wine; get some Aussie beer; send a fan letter to Nicole Kidman; visit the Aussie bloggers and drop them a note of appreciation; thank Australia for sending us Rupert Murdoch to save the American media. Compare the Aussies to the Canadians and you'll soon see there is no comparison. Australia is a vibrant, proud, confident country. And we Diplomads are proud to call them our friends.

Those Diplomads won’t be buying a single drink if they ever get to Australia. Thanks, friends.

(Via the no-longer-blogging Steven Den Beste. Return soon, SDB.)

Posted by Tim Blair at September 21, 2004 02:49 AM

Hey, let's admire Den Beste for stepping away from the pulpit when he no longer felt the spirit. When's the last time you saw a paid newspaper columnist admit they were tapped out, as opposed to spending years commenting on autopilot and collecting a check?

Posted by: Mike G at September 21, 2004 at 02:53 AM

i try to drink at least one bottle of australian wine per day...

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at September 21, 2004 at 02:58 AM

I'm an American who only buys Australian wine now. At one point, after giving up buying French wine for life (I'm serious) I was buying Australian reds and California whites. But then it occurred to me that California wine country is probably more anti-American than France. So now I buy Australian whites as well. (They are fine).

Australians are the salt of the earth. Further, they fundamentally get it. I simply proud and grateful they are our friends.

Posted by: Chris at September 21, 2004 at 03:14 AM

What? no in the linkage? Forgive me if I missed it. But I have had too many standard drinks per hour. Thank god for ctrl-z or I would of spend an hour retyping my message. OMG LOLOLOL. :)

Posted by: drscoorgemcduck at September 21, 2004 at 03:15 AM

I'm very grateful that the Aussies are with us in the War on Terrorism. You're good people, and we don't forget our friends.

Next time I'm in the market for wine, I'll try to get an Australian brand. Any recommendations?

Posted by: Larry J at September 21, 2004 at 03:33 AM

Scrooge -- linkage supplied by me!

Posted by: tim at September 21, 2004 at 03:35 AM

OK, I clicked on one of these links and was first greeted by The world’s first penis atlas. Not even Aussie, specifically, but definitely vibrant, proud and confident.

Posted by: didn't bookmark it at September 21, 2004 at 03:45 AM

I have been drinking Australian wine for about, oh, three years now.

Posted by: Latino at September 21, 2004 at 03:50 AM

Larry J, looking for Australian wine - Lindemans and Jacobs Creek are good but if you can possibly find it anywhere, buy


Their Shiraz, especially, is the nectar of the gods.

Posted by: Annalucia at September 21, 2004 at 03:51 AM

Penfolds is popular, reasonably priced, and good, as long as you don't go for their cheapest. I like the Koonuga Hill line. (I don't tend to like the Rawson's Retreat line). But try, drink, and if you can, remember what you liked. (I have problems with this last part, for obvious reasons).

Posted by: Chris at September 21, 2004 at 03:57 AM

The willing star of Dogville can go straight to Moulin Rouge. I still miss the Four 'n' Twenty pies and Toohey's Old from my vacation. And the North Sydney Bears. And I like Anne McCue, the Sydneysider guitarist who opened for Heart this summer. Question: What does an Jewish Aussie Rules fan do when the Grand Final's on Yom Kippur?

Posted by: chrisbenoist at September 21, 2004 at 04:00 AM

I'm planning to get to Australia someday before I die (if I can ever persuade the Other to get on an airplane again). And I like Australian wine.

But I have to mourn the loss of Canada.

Posted by: Rebecca at September 21, 2004 at 04:36 AM

When will we be able to buy Victoria Bitter in the States? Much better than Molson.

And Tim Tams, while I'm at it. Where are my Tim Tams? I want VB and bikkies now!

Posted by: Butch at September 21, 2004 at 04:49 AM

kudos to you aussies . I just wish I could be as proud of my former countrymen

Posted by: ken the ex-canuck at September 21, 2004 at 05:00 AM

Aussies kick ass. I kid you not, they remind me of my countrymen in the Fair Republic of Texas. And there is no higher compliment from a Texan.

Posted by: Phil Smith at September 21, 2004 at 05:31 AM

For Phil Smith: When I was visiting Melbourne in '97, I heard a radio broadcast live from Brisbane where a local attending the state fair told the host, 'There's only one state in Australia, mate, and that's Queensland. Never mind about the Mexicans who invade us!" The host, an NPR type, stammered, 'I find that....uh..."

Posted by: chrisbenoist at September 21, 2004 at 06:02 AM

If I could, I would make Australia our honorary "52nd state," both as a token of our deep affection and to watch Bob Hawke squirm.

I love Aussies. They're the only people in the world more American than Americans. I mean that as a compliment, in case that's not clear.

Posted by: Rocketeer at September 21, 2004 at 06:03 AM

Rebecca -

Get on a plane and go without him, then, but GO! Australia is wonderful, Australians are wonderful. And if there is an exception to American exceptionalism, it is to be found there.

Posted by: Andrew at September 21, 2004 at 06:08 AM

All hail the Aussies!!

20 years ago I spent 3 months down there and learned a lot:

1) the meaning of "fine" wine. (After that 20 yr. old Brokenwood Hermitage it's been downhill.

2) that even weird looking street people can look healthy if they walk everywhere.

3) to appreciate the views at Manly and Bondi (and I don't mean the water, wink, wink)

4) to "tip a Toohey's or two"

5) to appreciate cricket (already saw VFL on ESPN)

6) don't drive around rotaries if you can see the BACK of the sign. (luckily it was 6:00AM in Cairns)

7) They named it XXXX cause they can't spell beer.

8) Beet root on a burger is pretty good if you don't mind the color.

Keep up that strong individualism and get rid of some of those socialists. I'll need somewhere to retire to pretty soon.

Posted by: AlanC at September 21, 2004 at 06:17 AM

And the North Sydney Bears.

Unfortunately they no longer exist. Merged briefly with the Manly team to form the Northern
Eagles, but then that petered out and Manly gave them the boot.

Posted by: Quentin George at September 21, 2004 at 07:47 AM

I am a brand new FSO in the Dept of State and I cannot tell you HOW DAMN HAPPY I AM TO FIND SOME LIKE-MINDED SOULS!!!

God bless ya, Tim. If I'm ever posted to Australia, I'm buying the beer!


Posted by: KevinV at September 21, 2004 at 08:24 AM

God bless the Aussies. A proud people with much to be proud of.

Posted by: G. Lukes at September 21, 2004 at 09:55 AM

Many (most?) Australians think the same way about Americans. Though Americans might find it hard to believe many New Zealanders hold Americans in high regard. One of my early pre-school memories is of standing in my grandmother's kitchen in outback New Zealand listening in astonishment to a cacophony of church bells on the radio. I was told that they were celebrating the end of WW2. My grandmother told me never to forget that the Americans had saved NZ; I never have. I now realise that if NZ had been invaded my generation would probably not be alive today.

So although we may sometimes repeat the wartime complaint that the Yanks are overpaid, oversexed and over here, we really love youse all.

John (now an almost-Australian)

Posted by: John Elliot at September 21, 2004 at 10:24 AM

Could we do a swap and exchange them for our 43 dessicated daiquiri diplomats? Unfortunately, while a great gain for us, it would be insulting to send our lot O/S as representative of Australia.

Posted by: Freddyboy at September 21, 2004 at 10:45 AM

All hail the Aussies. They are the best. And yes, I'm a regular Aussie wine drinker now.

Posted by: Gary B at September 21, 2004 at 11:09 AM

I just checked my wine rack...all Aussie, except for one Italian red table wine. I shop with my conscience; apparently, so does the US Army/Air Force Exchange Service. I was in the liquor store on the USAF base nearby today and saw lots more Aussie wine than anything else. The French selection was mighty small...the German wine inventory not much more.

Aussies are great poeple...I once worked with a Petty Officer Wyatt (he spelled his name WHITE).

Posted by: Cowboy Blob at September 21, 2004 at 11:51 AM

chrisbenoist, try TiVo, a DVR or a videotape. Or, wait three months or so and the AFL will probably sell a DVD of the complete Grand Final.

Australian wine is great, but the rugby is even better!

Posted by: Tom at September 21, 2004 at 12:19 PM

I have been buying Australian wine since the run-up to war. Also, Italian and domestic. Enjoyed Spanish vino while Aznar the Magnificent ruled, mas no mas. Then there's British beer, Japanese saki, and Polish vodka.

Just trying to do my duty, but I'm a mess

Posted by: staggering responsibility at September 21, 2004 at 12:58 PM

We love you 'murricans too. Great people who get out there and have a go. I'm sure both countries have their bed-wetters to annoy us but a good bottle of aussie red after a few VB's will fix most ills.

On my brief visit to the USA, I saw LA, Vegas, Frisco and the Napa Valley. The people were always friendly and the place felt just like home except for the 1,000 kilometres I spent driving on the wrong side of the road.

Very disappointed in the wine in the Napa Valley - very expensive and a little watery. I think your vines are planted and irrigated too intensively.

Come on out here here and have some full flavoured wine at a fraction of the cost, real food without all the processing and packaging and try some of our glorious boutique beers from James Squire or Little Creatures.

You won't want to go back home.

Posted by: Fool to Himself & Burden to Others at September 21, 2004 at 01:02 PM

Hey Fella's (mates) My brother's family in OZ is big into the wine thing. Most of the vinyards are owned by the french, . Please do your research. As much as I like free enterprise/capitalism, I have to buy carefully nowdays

Posted by: djnaz at September 21, 2004 at 01:34 PM

Count me in, I'll buy some Fosters! Aussies got balls! Um, you don't call them footballs Down Under, do you? :-)

Posted by: Squatch at September 21, 2004 at 02:49 PM

Long live friendship between the only two civilized countries in the world!

Posted by: unironic at September 21, 2004 at 02:51 PM

Sadly, the shot at Canada is totally justified. Our government has created a terrible image of us as a nation, and our reputation as a bunch of limp-wristed wankers is largely accurate.

But Canada is a huge country, and it's important to note that there is one province, Alberta (a sort of Canadian Texas), which stands out among the crowd as vocal supporters of freedom and justice.

As ashamed as I am to be Canadian sometimes, I'm always proud to be an Albertan, who, generally speaking, are more willing to stand behind our American and Aussie friends in the pursuit of liberty for all.

Posted by: Nash Kato at September 21, 2004 at 03:28 PM

Well, Tim, I tried my best to buy you at least a drink in Albuquerque, but the gods didn't wish it, so perhaps another time. I had no idea the topic would be your wonderful wines, but before I pulled up your blog, I had poured myself a healthy glass of Australian Shiraz, which I have been drinking for years since I first read Auberon Waugh's encomia in The Spectator. (At 63, I have more than five decades' experience of good wine, so it's not just a vehicle for alcohol. Your wines are worth a lot more than I pay for them. Just a week ago, at our new Lao-owned World Market here, I overheard three young men talking about wines from Oz. They had heard good things, but had never tried them. After a little avuncular urging, they put several bottles of Rosemount and Yellowtail into their shopping cart.) I can't tell you how much pleasure it has given me to act as PR man for all things Australian (except, of course, for Margo and Germaine). And Patrick White's a bit too ponderous for me, but otherwise . . .

Posted by: ossian at September 21, 2004 at 05:13 PM

Hi everyone,

To Larry J (and others) above - If you're after Australian wines, I recommend "Rosewood Vineyards" muscat, from Rutherglen. It's undoubtedly the best dessert wine under $A50. Also (icing on the cake) the Chambers family, who own it, are one of the major backers of the National Party in that part of the Riverina.

Posted by: Pacman at September 21, 2004 at 06:57 PM

Been drinking Aussie wine for nearly 10 years, ever since I dated a girl who lived Down Under for a year. Those were the days when great shiraz could be had dirt cheap. Then the Wine Spectator did a cover story on the stuff and my favorite brand tripled in price overnight.

I still drink the stuff, though. Had most of a bottle of "The Little Penguin" last night. I don't drink Jacob's Creek anymore. Not since I found out it's owned by Orlando Wyndham, which is owned by the French Pernod-Ricard group.

Also, just noticed the other day in Madison Square Park here in NYC a tree planted by the Aussies in memory of Americans killed in WWI. Nice. Thanks, guys.

Posted by: growler at September 22, 2004 at 01:30 AM

Quentin George: The Bears' demise still bugs me. I loved my day at North Sydney Oval (they beat old Balmain), and circumnavigated the hallowed ground;; they came out to 'La Grange' by ZZ Top, ah-huh-haw-haw-haw!. Tom: My Yom KIppur dilemma was theoretical, but thanks for the tips; down the line there must be an Australian Sandy Koufax or Hank Greenberg, observant baseball Hall of Famers who were heroes off the diamond as well.

Posted by: chrisbenoist at September 22, 2004 at 02:19 AM