The case of the missing New World

Tonight I made grilled chicken breasts stuffed with roasted red peppers and mozzarella cheese with sides of rice and corn on the cob. My selection of white wines is pretty limited right now, so I grabbed a New World 2010 Chardonnay (South Africa) and tossed it in the freezer to chill while the chicken grilled.

When I opened the bottle, I detected a bit of apple scent. At first sip, the chardonnay is bright with a melon twist.  The flavor is tart but the mouthfeel is creamy. Quite tasty!

This is a very sippable wine on its own, but it really hits the spot with the grilled chicken. I don’t know if it was the char from the barbecue, or the roasted red peppers, but something in the dish blended perfectly with the chardonnay and made both more enjoyable.

I can’t find any information online about New World. I ordered it through Barclay’s Wine for about $10 I think, and the only information on the bottle is that it’s imported by Barclay’s. This doesn’t tell me much.  I couldn’t even tell you for sure where you can buy it because it’s no longer on the Barclay’s website. This does not bode well for my readers or the value of this post. But hey, I’m drinking tasty wine, so there! (That was uncalled for, I suppose. Sorry, readers.)

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Great finds on Barclay’s Wines

Several weeks ago I bought a Groupon for $75 of Barclay’s wine for only $25 (plus shipping). Barclay’s is a wine shop/club, best described on its website: “The internet and the information age have changed all of that in a very exciting way. It is now possible for the passionate winemaker to tell his story (that is actually the easy part) and get his wines to the enthusiastic consumer (which is still a difficult task) without the filter of an overbearing bureaucracy. Put simply, that is how we fit in. Not to make the wine or write the story but just to be the conduit that allows the winemaker and the consumer to meet.”

I quickly redeemed my Groupon and got to pick any wines I wanted from the Barclay’s stock that added up to $75. Since I’m all about the deals, I stuck with the $12 bottles and got a selection of six wines for only $25, plus about $8 shipping.

This is a good time to talk about customer service. I stupidly used my home address for shipping, not thinking about the fact I’d need to be home to sign for the delivery, but my 9-5, Monday-Friday, job kind of makes that an impossible task. Barclay’s failed to send me a shipping notice with tracking number, so I was surprised when FedEx attempted to delivery just a few days after I placed my order. I missed three attempted deliveries by FedEx, then left for a work trip and didn’t do anything about the delivery for an entire week. When I got home I e-mailed Barclay’s asking for a confirmation number and a way to track where the package was because I was sure I missed it. They didn’t return my e-mail until the next day, so in the meantime I got impatient and called.

The Barclay’s rep didn’t make me go through my well-practice speech on why the failed delivery was their fault (not mine, of course, for providing an address where no one would be). The rep quickly and nicely tracked the package, allowed me to change the delivery address and informed FedEx of the change. My package arrived the next day. That, my friends, is customer service!

Tonight I’m trying the Washington Hills 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon (no longer listed on the website, but was available for $12.95). It’s from the Columbia Valley in Washington state, and those northwesterners know their wine! The wine is a dark cherry red, but not thick — swirling leaves no legs on the edge of the glass.

The aroma is a gentle blend of berry and cigar, so the subtle flavor of dark cherry, tobacco and coffee is no surprise. It has a great mouthfeel, just a touch of bright tingle without inducing a pucker.

I’m looking forward to trying my other Barclay’s finds. If they’re as good as tonight’s wine, I’ll be singing the praises of Groupon and Barclay’s from the rooftops.