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A Wine For St. Patricks Day

March 17, 2017

Celtic Cross

Almost 100 years before Thomas Jefferson found his way to Bordeaux a group of Irish fled there. Known as the Wild Geese these Irish immigrants took to the task of winemaking, selling and exporting wine, and soon enough established themselves as elite 1st Cru Chateau owners.

In his official capacity as the U.S. ambassador to France, and after his arrival in Bordeaux, Thomas Jefferson’s first bit of order was to report back to President, George Washington, and advise him about his wine cellar. He noted the leading producers in the region as “Gernon, Barton, Johnston, Foster, Skinner, Copinger and McCarthy”.

Today, there are 14 chateaux, 10 streets, one wine commune and public monument in Bordeaux with Irish names. So, to make the best of your St. Patricks Day drink wine from Bordeaux!  More specifically, Claret.  There is evidence that the Irish were drinking French wine well before the Flight of the Wild Geese in 1691. Most notably Claret.

Since the 17th century and possibly earlier the French wine estates made a wine from newer growth vineyards and vines not used for their grand vin wines.  A second label wine, if you will, that appeared to be the “drink now” wine of the time.  The same winemaking talent made the wine but it was generally lighter and paler in color than the grand vin wines of Bordeaux these wines were the color of ‘clairet’.   The British named the wine Claret and it is now known around the world as Claret.  Claret is a style of Bordeaux red wine, not a region, not a grape but a style.

A NW favorite and local Claret wine maker sent an email earlier this week, Matthews Winery, inspiring this St. Patricks day recommendation . At Matthews Winery, Claret is a big deal and they have made a Claret every year since 2002. Check out their blog post about their newly released 2014 Claret Here

Wine Recommendation: 2014 Matthews Winery, Claret


Matthews 2013 Claret, was placed #27 on Wine Spectator’s 2016 Top 100 Wine List

Matthews Cellar

If you happen to be in Woodinville stop by Matthews Winery at 16116 140TH PL NE just off of HWY 202.  They are Bordeux inspired and perfect for this St. Patricks day and the weekend.

One Comment leave one →
  1. March 17, 2017 7:26 pm

    Wow this is such interesting information! I promised my husband we would have some Harp with dinner tonight, but I am not sure I can swing for all the carbs after a work party yesterday! A Claret sounds much nicer 🙂

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