Bill wanted to make a wine simply to drink and enjoy.
Named "Clarissa" his wife Dawn's middle name, this Bordeaux blend is wonderful alone or will enhance the flavors in a wide variety of different foods.
Clarissa was designed by Bill to complement medium-soft foods that include some of the mid-strength spices like cloves, garlic, anchovy, onion, mustard, etc.
If you are taking a red wine to dinner and you don't yet know what dishes you might order then Clarissa is a perfect wine to take.
The average food spectrum runs from bland (grilled chicken breast) to spicy (habanero) but the most commonly enjoyed dishes are right in the center of that spectrum, neither bland nor spicy but with some spices that give the dish a zing, lifting it out of bland but not too spicy to upset your tummy.
There is a middle ground with foods too soft for Cabernet Sauvignon and too complex or robust for Merlot. For example that grilled chicken breast might just get an uplift prepared as Chicken Chasseur or Chicken Marbella and Clarissa Vin Rouge would pair perfectly with either.
Foods like Spaghetti alla puttanesca with a soft texture, soft, complex flavors and a medium spice level or roast chicken with hard texture, soft, flavor and a low spice level are too hearty or complex for Merlot yet too soft for Cabernet. These foods need a medium weight yet complex wine so we created Clarissa Vin Rouge.
Clarissa ~ Dawn's middle name,. Originally from a 1748 novel "History of a young Lady" and was chosen for our Vin Rouge to honor Dawn.
Vin Rouge ~ [fr/ red wine] A French term meaning "red wine".
Why "Vin Rouge" ~ Not wanting to use the term Meritage we wanted to call this Bordeaux blend "Claret" a term used for many centuries by British wine enthusiasts to describe their long-standing love affair with the wines of Bordeaux .
Claret has occasionally been used to to reference red wines made elsewhere with a classic Bordeaux blend of grape varieties, like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. We applied to call Clarissa a "Claret" for our first vintage however an agreement between the US and EU prevented US wineries from using several names, including Champagne and Claret.
Our application was rejected and it was suggested that we use the term "Red Wine". We asked if we might use the term "Red Wine" in French and were approved. Hence "Clarissa Vin Rouge".