Weekly wine defined: Claret

Mary writes:

Claret: This is a British term sometimes used to describe a red wine from Bordeaux. Back in the dark ages, when Eleanor of Aquitaine brought some French vineyards to England as part of her dowry, Bordeaux was made in a much lighter style. It was almost rose like. And thus, a “vin claret” or clear wine.

Today, the Bordeaux region is the largest wine growing area in France. Bordeaux chateaux produce more than 8,500 great red wines from a blend of any one of these grapes, Cabernet, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petite Verdot. With maceration, extended fermentation, barrel fermentation and aging, the wines are far from “claret’ but the name has hung around longer than the wine it used to describe.