I don’t think that it was a waste to have chosen the Baco Noir (although I agree that we should try to find a more widespread label). I have never heard of this varietal, and it sounds great. I’ll look for it from now on.
I know that I can find Fat Bastard; here’s hoping they have the Shiraz, although with my luck they’ll have everything but. Seeing that the wine is French, I was a bit surprised to see it called “Shiraz”. I know that shiraz and syrah are the same grape, and my extremely limited wine knowledge is that, while they can be used interchangeably, Syrah typically refers to the old-style “black peppery” style usually found in France, while Shiraz typically refers to the New World “fruity” style usually favored in Australia. I did a little searching and it appears that this does in fact conform to the newer fruitier style. I’ll look for it on the way home tonight.
While we wait, I’ll add a few notes on previous wines that I brought on vacation for… ummm… research.
Smoking Loon Viognier: I know that one of the attractions of viognier is the floral bouquet. Unfortunately, I don’t have a finely developed sense of smell, so that may be why it really didn’t register with me and why I was generally disappointed with this one. If you folks had better results, I may have just had an off bottle, but I don’t think that I’ll buy this again. On the other hand, I’m drinking a Kestrel Viognier now (well, not right now, I’m at work, but last night) and I really like it. Of course, it is also two or three times what I paid for the Smoking Loon. For those in the Virginia area, I have heard that Horton Vineyards makes a nice Viognier, but I have yet to find a bottle in this area.
Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc: This was the second bottle I’ve had of this, and I just like it more and more with each glass. Crisp, nice “clean” scent. And it goes great with fresh PEI mussels.