Clarissa Vin Rouge

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".



Boeuf Bourguignon

Boeuf Bourguignon

One of Julia Child’s signature dishes a traditional French stew prepared with beef braised in red wine.

Braised Pork Shank

Braised Pork Shank

This is a delicious pork recipe with sensational flavors that make the most aromatic gravy. Pork shanks, which come from the shoulder or front leg of the pig, can be difficult to find but are worth the search.

Braised Short Ribs with Fennel, Parmesan & Thyme Polenta

Braised Short Ribs with Fennel, Parmesan & Thyme Polenta

This recipe makes delicious short ribs with carrots and onion served over polenta flavoured with fresh thyme. Since short ribs will reduce with fat the dish can be cooked and placed in the fridge overnight. The next day skim off the fat, reheat and enjoy with Amour Merlot or Clarissa Vin Rouge.

Cheese, Sausage and Tomato Panini

Cheese, Sausage and Tomato Panini

Panini is an Italian dish of cooked foods like meat and cheese in between two slices of toasted bread loaves or rolls. Typically made with the ciabata or the rosetta varieties of breads, Panini are then toasted in a Panini Press or a fry pan. This version uses Point Reyes Toma Cheese, Aidell’s Organic Garlic and Basil Sausage and Tomato.

Chicken Chasseur

Chicken Chasseur

This earthy dish calls on the rustic charms of southwestern France. A French classic that never seems to go out of style, the name, literally "hunter's chicken," harks back to a time when game birds and mushrooms from the woods were a natural autumn combination.

Chicken Marbella

Chicken Marbella

Chicken Marbella is marinated in oil, vinegar, capers, olives, prunes and herbs then baked for almost one hour. - Yum!   

Garam Masala Crusted Rack Of Lamb

Garam Masala Crusted Rack Of Lamb

Take a trip to the subcontinent without leaving home with this delicious lamb dish that'll leave you begging for more. You may feel sheepish about a lamb dish especially one inspired from another land thousands of miles away but bite and you'll never go back.

Indian Layered Dip with Lamb & Hummus

Indian Layered Dip with Lamb & Hummus

Layered dips are always popular offerings at any party. They're easy to assemble, and usually are among the first to disappear. You simply take a serving dish, layer the ingredients, and either chill or bake them.

Lamb Meatball Snacks

Lamb Meatball Snacks

These lamb meatballs are a great alternative to regular beef meatballs. Serve at cocktail parties as they will always be a hit or just make up a batch to eat while watching the game. This recipe is a quick and easy to make and keeping them small stops any "game" flavor some people might find in other lamb dishes.

Leek and Onion Quiche

Leek and Onion Quiche

Easy and delicious as well as healthy, this simple quiche is a versatile dish that can be served as breakfast, lunch or dinner. Everyone who tried it loved it and it is such a versatile recipe you could add almost any kind of additional fillings such as bacon or mushrooms.

Osso Bucco

Osso Bucco

Osso Buco is a Milanese specialty of cross-cut veal shanks braised with vegetables, wine and broth. This tomato-based version may be served with polenta or mashed potatoes.

Penne Puttanesca

Penne Puttanesca

Penne is the perfect pasta for this sauce. The small tubes capture pungent, flavorful bits of olives, capers and anchovies, while the tender pieces of tomato cling to the ribbed exteriors.

Pork Cutlet with Fresh Herb Gremolata

Pork Cutlet with Fresh Herb Gremolata

Gremolata or gremolada is a chopped herb condiment classically made of lemon zest, garlic and parsley. In this recipe Chef Tommy has used a fabulous Australian Native BBQ Spice Mix to complement the traditional Milanese blend. The result is outstanding.   

Red Pesto Chicken

Red Pesto Chicken

Red Pesto simply adds sun-dried tomatoes to the traditional green pesto recipe for a little warmer taste and appearance.

Reuben Sandwich with Homemade Sauerkraut

Reuben Sandwich with Homemade Sauerkraut

A great Reuben sandwich has a balance of corned beef (or pastrami) a bit of cheese, fresh sauerkraut and dressing. You can serve a Reuben cold, but we love it broiled and served hot so that the cheese is melted and the dressing oozes out as you take a bite. Wash it down with our Clarissa Vin Rouge for a perfect sandwich.

Roast Turkey, Shallots & Thyme

Roast Turkey, Shallots & Thyme

Simple, perfect roast turkey just like Grandmother used to make. Seasoned and basted, the flavors of the turkey really stand out. Stuff with your favorite dressing. If you're diligent about basting this bird near the end of roasting, you'll end up with moist, golden results.

Side - Oven Roasted Asparagus & Almonds

Side - Oven Roasted Asparagus & Almonds

A totally different way to cook asparagus. Use the fat spears, not the skinny ones, for roasting. This is a quick and easy recipe for beautifully roasted, tender asparagus.

Herbes de Humboldt

Herbes de Humboldt

Herbs de Humboldt is made using a hand-blended mix of Herbs de Provence that is applied to the exterior of the fresh goat cheese. The earthy taste is balanced simply, yet perfectly.