Bordeaux wine.

Claret (play /ˈklærɨt/ klarr-ət, not /klæˈreɪ/ kla-ray) is a name primarily used in British English for red wine from the Bordeaux region of France.


Claret derives from the French clairet,[1] a now uncommon dark rosé and the most common wine exported from Bordeaux until the 18th century. It is a protected name within the European Union, describing a red Bordeaux wine, accepted after the British wine trade demonstrated over 300 years' usage of the term.[1]

Claret is occasionally used in the United States as a semi-generic label for red wine in the style of the Bordeaux, ideally of varietals authentic to the region. The French themselves do not use the term, except for export purposes.

The colour "claret" resembles the red hue of Bordeaux wine. It has become a slang term for blood, as in "tapping the claret" meaning giving someone a bloody nose.[2]


The standard style of Bordeaux wine has not always been deep red. It used to be closer to a rosé, hence the French clairet, meaning pale. The Plantagenet kingdom, covering England and much of France from 1152 to 1453, encouraged wine trade between the regions.[citation needed] This trade relationship was encouraged by both of the kings following the marriage of Henry Plantagenet and Eleanor of Aquitaine in 1152.[citation needed] As the taste for clairet developed in England, the word was adopted and gradually anglicised to "claret".

In the Late Middle Ages, a claret meant a spiced wine-based drink produced by pouring heated wine, usually a red, over a bag containing a mix of spices.[citation needed] It was similar, and often identical, to hypocras.[citation needed] Spices that were specific to medieval clarets include anise, caraway, cardamom, cinnamon and fennel.[citation needed] The term now more frequently applies to unspiced red Bordeaux wine.

The meaning of "claret" has changed over time to refer to a dry, dark red Bordeaux.[1] It has remained a term associated with the English upper class, and consequently appears on bottles of generic red Bordeaux in an effort to raise its status in the market.[3]

In November 2011, the president of the Union des Maisons de Negoce de Bordeaux, announced an intention to use the term Claret de Bordeaux for wines that are ‘light and fruity, easy to drink, in the same style as the original claret when it was prized by the English in former centuries’.[4]


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Claret — bezeichnet die anglisierte Bezeichnung für Wein aus der Region Bordeaux, siehe Clairet den Kanton Claret im französischen Département Hérault die Gemeinde Claret (Alpes de Haute Provence) im französischen Département Alpes de Haute Provence die… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Claret — puede referirse a Claret, comuna francesa situada en Alpes de Alta Provenza. Claret, comuna francesa situada en Hérault. Lluís Claret, violoncelista andorrano. Antonio María Claret, religioso español, fundador de los Misioneros Claretianos …   Wikipedia Español

  • Claret — Clar et (kl[a^]r [e^]t), n. [OE. claret, clare, clarry, OF. claret, clar[ e], fr. cler, F. clair, clear, fr. L. clarus clear. See {Clear}.] The name first given in England to the red wines of M[ e]doc, in France, and afterwards extended to all… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • claret — claret. Ген Drosophila melanogaster, мутации в котором приводят к резкому нарушению процессов расхождения дочерних хромосом в анафазе; считается, что продукт гена claret является одной из субъединиц кинезина <kinesin>, играющего одну из… …   Молекулярная биология и генетика. Толковый словарь.

  • claret — ● claret nom masculin (anglais claret, de l ancien français vin claret, vin clairet) Nom donné par les Anglais au bordeaux rouge …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • claret — [klar′it] n. [ME < OFr (vin) claret, clear (wine); dim. of cler,CLEAR] 1. a dry red wine, esp. red Bordeaux 2. purplish red: also claret red adj. purplish red …   English World dictionary

  • claret — mid 15c., light colored wine, from O.Fr. (vin) claret clear (wine), light colored red wine (also sweetened wine, a sense in English from late 14c.), from L. clarus clear (see CLEAR (Cf. clear)). Narrowed meaning red wine of Bordeaux first… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Claret — Claret, 1) durch Aufguß von Gewürzen bereiteter u. mit Zucker versüßter Wein; 2) so v. w. Clairet …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Claret — (spr. klärret), in England künstlicher Würzwein, jetzt roter Bordeauxwein …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Claret — (spr. klärrĕt), in England jeder Bordeauxwein …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Claret — (Kläret), bei den Engländern Name des rothen Bordeaux, dann aller franz. Weine mit Ausnahme des Champagners und Burgunders …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon