April 11, 2024 by
Maytte Rivera

Claret is a term used mainly in England to refer to the red wines of the Bordeaux region of France. The English’s love affair with these wines began around 1151 when Henry II married Eleanor of Aquitaine, acquiring this vast area of France, Bordeaux included, and starting a long and prosperous commercial relationship between the two. By the 14th century, merchants were shipping about 110 million bottles of “claret” each year.  England lost the kingdom of Aquitaine when the Hundred Year War ended in 1453, but their taste for Bordeaux wines had already been established and continues to this day. 

During these medieval times, the word claret referred to the lightly colored, easy drinking red wines produced in the area. Today, it can be used to describe heavier styles of Bordeaux red wines, like Chateau Teyssier “La Reserve Claret” from St. Emilion.  Wineries around the world have adopted the term for their labels using a blend of the classic grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec.  Grab a bottle of Francis Coppola Claret or Ramey Claret from California to experience modern versions of this classic style.

Author: Maytte Rivera

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