Fanta Chateau Grokiff (Elderflower and Citrus)

I can justify many purchases, but rarely does soda make that list, the reason being that while I can’t suffer through low-calorie desserts, meat, or Wasa crackers, diet soda is actually something I enjoy. Yes, I’m one of those jerks, the kind who will tell you without prompting that they’re happier to have aspartame shakes or aspartame flippers in forty years than diabetes. I’ve even held off on trying all the Japanese Pepsi flavors I love so dearly. But now the cap is on the other bottle. Fanta France has me entranced and in love with its strange, French flavors. It has wooed me, wined and dined me, given me Fanta clap, and I still want more.
Although I’m sure this is a decade-long bottled (zing!) expression of the jaw-dropping terror and arousal I felt as an eleven-year old sitting in the dark of my local movie theatre at a showing of Girl Next Door (sorry, Mom, I never did see Ella Enchanted that night) watching the Fanta girls whiz by on jet-skis singing their trademarked theme song, I’ve always had more of an affinity for Fanta than I have for any of the other tinted, fruit-touched sodas on the market. And now that Fanta has incorporated one of my other favorite past-times into their soda, wine and pretension, I am now irresistibly compelled to buy it and nothing else. Your marketing dollars at work, people!
I cannot convey to you how amazing this is without buying each of you a ticket to France, taking you to my Monoprix on the Metro, and buying you a bottle to take home in addition to the special extra baggage cost imposed by Every Airline Ever, Incorporated. But I’m not Oprah, (ed. note: BlogHer, am I Oprah? Can we look into that?) so all I can give you are photos and a whimsical sip-by-sip essay because screw you, Robert Parker Jr. This is delicious. Fanta has managed to not only make an adorable soda label design, but the drink inside is the best non-artisanal elderflower drink I’ve ever had, somehow ranking above IKEA’s Swedish craftsmanship.
The elderflower is the most present flavor, with citrus notes to boost its tartness after each sip. It has the price of a store-brand beverage and the quality of one with cursive writing and a man burning $500 bills embossed on the label. It’s definitely sweet, with a thick, sugar-heavy texture, but matches that with plenty of effervescence and a good tang to offset the sugar, like more complex, herbaceous lemonade. I really enjoy it, despite my moral objections to sugary water. And the label. That label will literally be taped to my wall after I have finished the soda. Chateau Grokiff, from the coveted 2010 vintage, is officially my new 100-pointer under 99 cent recommendation, a phenomenon that certainly doesn’t exist in the wine world. I almost hate it for not going all the way and incorporating a cork, glass bottle, and actual alcohol. But their chateau is a drawing of an inflatable castle. I believe we’re done here.

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