Back in the good old days, Australian wine labelling was simpler. There was none of this new-fangled varietal identification. If you wanted a red, you simply asked for "Burgundy" or "claret". It didn't matter what grapes were used; what mattered was the style. As it happened, many Aussie "clarets" were blends of shiraz and cabernet sauvignon. This wasn't unique to Australia; in 19th-century Bordeaux it was common practice to add plump syrah from the Rhône Valley to often-austere-tasting local cabernet. But the cabernet shiraz blend has come to be seen as an Australian classic, and with good reason: it's a terrific partner for robust wintry dishes, such as this one. The dark fruit sweetness of shiraz soaks up the earthy bitterness of the kohlrabi and silverbeet, while the grip of the cabernet sauvignon is exactly what you need to engage with the savoury meatiness of the ribs.
This robust wintry dish calls for Australia’s classic blend of plump shiraz and grippy cabernet, writes Max Allen.