Fishy fingers and goat’s breath

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.”

A little harsh? Perhaps. (Especially if you actually enjoy a tart white wine with a finish of bitter orange rind.)

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.

10 Responses to “Fishy fingers and goat’s breath”

  1. Jim Ferguson says:

    Hey! I’m the guy who created Charonge and as much as I would have prefered that you actually liked my new creation I thought your comments were hilarious. Hopefully the next time you try my newest child you’ll fall in love with it, like the rest of us have (although admitedly there are a few who didn’t think it was their cup of Charonge!) Hey that’s what makes the world go up and down. Chill it down to icy cold and then add a few slices of frozen oranges to the wine! Keep the blogs coming, their very funny! Adios! Jim

    • BraDebbie says:

      We are so pleased you took the time to not only read, but comment on our little blog! We are honored, truly. While another winemaker might have been offended by our review, we are delighted you found humor in it. One of the reasons we were so anxious to try your wine was because of the recommendations by others. Clearly, Charonge has a fan base. We must admit, your comment regarding your latest creation has peaked our interest and we look forward to giving it a humorously glowing review! We appreciate your serving suggestions and as we said, we will definitely give Charonge another go! Cheers, Jim!

      Brad and Debbie

  2. Nick says:

    Continue to love your blog and reviews.

    Jim’s pretty cool to comment and not take offense.

    Have a good evening!


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  4. Michelle says:

    Totally agree with reviews. This wine was a total disappointment.

  5. Michelle says:

    Totally agree with reviews. This wine was a total disappointment. Even though it only cost $2.99, it wasn’t worth it. On top of that the clerk sang its praises and promised I would be back for more. NEVER AGAIN.

  6. Michelle B. says:

    Totally agree with reviews. This wine was a joke. Even though it only cost $2.99, it wasn’t worth it. On top of that the clerk sang its praises and promised I would be back for more. NEVER AGAIN. There was no burst of flavors, my mouth was NOT happy.

    • BraDebbie says:

      Wow Michell B.! Where on earth did you find it for 2.99? We haven’t had a chance to try it as a mixer yet, but will post again when we do. Sorry you had the same experience we did. Thanks for the comments! 😉

  7. Beth Thompson says:

    OK…I like Charonge. To me, it is fun to drink, and at 13% ALC. by volume, it is on the dry side. While I am not a wine expert or a connoisseur, I do like to have an interesting, easy bottle of wine on hand for the evenings when I just want a glass of wine that doesn’t pressure me–I don’t have to worry about it being expensive, aggressive, or edgy. On top of it, the bottle’s colors brighten a typically gray and frigid Michigan mid-winter day, which is part of the reason I purchased it. Overall, I say “Rock On, Charonge,” and know that there are people out there that support you!

    • Anita Gipperich says:

      Agree with Beth! Tried this a few years back (on sale), I love orange with anything. Love it!!!! Now I can’t find it anywhere. I like the dry but sweet of it, try it with a chocolate orange (terry’s), awesome!

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