Have you ever hoarded a bottle of wine because you knew it was going to be absolutely fabulous? Not that you were saving it for a special occasion, per se, but because you wanted to serve it with a mouthwatering spread of cheeses, crackers, fruit and perhaps a little smoked salmon?
You cue up your favorite British comedy (okay, so it’s not for everyone), plate some tasty nibbles and finally, the piece de resistance! Anxiously, you pour the wine, knowing you are on the verge of being insanely amazed by its fruity goodness. And then, you sniff, sip, pause, swallow and almost in the same moment, become utterly disenchanted. Welcome to our Monday night.
Thankfully, we still had our sitcom and tasty nibbles, but the wine. Oh, the wine! How you let us down! It wasn’t bad enough for the drain. We did finish it after all, mostly because I think we were hoping it would get better. That somehow, we might warm up to it if it warmed to room temperature.
We found our bottle of Charonge, a California wine, on an end cap at our local Fred Meyer and on sale for $7.99. The bottle was cool, and in the midst of one of the hottest summers on record in Idaho, naturally a white wine spiked with oranges would be a refreshing treat once chilled. Right? Wrong.
After our less than perfect new wine adventure. I thought I would check out the website, in case there might be a taste disclaimer. Instead, this is what I read:
“It’s a white wine, but like no other. Its sun kissed with a twist. The flavors are so mouth-watering & refreshing, you’d swear citrus mermaids from far-off Orangeopia just hand-squeezed their magical nectar of refreshment into your mouth. No sniffing, no swirling. We buried the pretentions in a sandy spot along the warm coastline. We return from time to time just to throw a party full of kicking back and relaxing. That’s what Charonge is all about. Lift your glasses to the sky. Your thirst will thank you & so will your taste buds.”
Gag. Citrus mermaids from Orangeopia? Really?
I seriously doubt the wordsmith who crafted that little ditty has actually sampled this wine at all, because if they had they would have written something more like this:
“It’s a white wine, but like no other. The flavor is so bitter, it’s like eating an orange rind and the aftertaste akin to a bad sunburn that won’t end. You’d swear incontinent mermaids from Pirates of the Caribbean just pissed in your mouth. No sniffing, no swirling. We buried the pretentions, along with our integrity in a sandy spot along the warm coastline. We return from time to time, just to kick sand in the faces of all the hopeful patrons who purchased our product and to roll around in our profits. That’s what Charonge is all about. Open your wallets and buy something else! Your thirst will thank you and so will your taste buds.”
Yet, even though our love affair with Charonge was over just as soon as it began, we will purchase a second bottle. That’s right. We are willing give it a second chance. Think of it like a bad first date. Maybe, the expectation was a little high and it didn’t go as planned, but the evening wasn’t a total loss because you remembered you had a bottle of coconut rum in the pantry. And coconut rum makes everything better. And so, our next date will be with a Charonge Sunset. A little coconut rum, orange juice, Charonge, a splash of raspberry liquor and garnished with a slice of fresh orange. Shaken, not stirred of course. Cheers wine lovers!
Aromatique: Fresh oranges and peaches. Very fruity.
SipQuips: Slightly effervescent feel.Tart flavor, even when served with salty food. Unfavorable bitter finish of orange rind.
Kitchen Couplings: Served with strawberries, nectarines, grapes, herbed goat cheese, Oregonzola (gorgonzola from Oregon – AWESOME), dill Triscuits and smoked salmon.