My California Claret Wine Blend

You can’t imagine how excited I am to announce that you can now drink the wine I’ve been perfecting for over 25 years.

There are two to choose from.

This one is my California Claret.

Now you may know that the term “Claret” is actually a British term for red Bordeaux wine. It comes from the French word “clairet”, now an uncommon dark rosé wine, exported from Bordeaux until the 18th century.

But my California Claret is made from a blend of different grapes sent to me from California, pressed and fermented with love, and bottled right here in New Jersey. It’s part of my new White Caps Brand wine line, which I’m launching right now. Whitecaps are those little waves with a foamy crest that you see when out on the ocean.


The Grapes

So let’s start with the grapes.

California grapes have been around for two centuries, but the grape varieties date back as far as 6000 B.C.E.

A former trapper from Kentucky, William Wolfskill, planted the state’s first table grape vineyard in the Mexican colonial pueblo now known as Los Angeles.

During the 2016 season (which my wine is made from), California had its third largest crop ever. The grapes were super fresh when I pressed them.


I use a grape blend which includes 30% Merlot, 25% Cabernet, 30% Malbec and 10% Zinfandel grapes.

The Pressing

Have you seen the scene in A Walk in the Clouds where the whole family does some mighty grape stomping? It looked something like this:

Well, that’s not exactly how I do it, but I have done that funny dance in my time!

I actually use a destemmer and press like this to extract the juice I need:

The skins go into the wine to start off the fermentation process.

The Fermentation

Next I ferment the grape juice so it becomes wine. I add yeast, and punch down the “cap”, or top part of the wine several times per day to keep the skins in contact with the juice.

Aging and Bottling the Wine

I then age the wine in barrels for several months. I bottle it with love just for you!




Making wine is such an exciting and fulfilling process. Italians have been making wine on grand scales since before the 2nd century BC, and it was introduced to the Italian region by the Greeks centuries before.

That’s a log history.

And after the news that smelling lots of wine makes your brain Alzheimer’s disease resistant, that a glass of wine of red wine is equivalent to an hour at the gym and the pope saying, “Wine is necessary for the banquet and joy of the celebration,” don’t you think it’s time to indulge in a little wine yourself?


How to Enjoy The Wine

There are lots of ways to enjoy wine. Recently, some new wine recipes have become extremely popular.

Here’s a wine gummy bears recipe, and a red wine hot cocoa recipe for you to enjoy, and mix it up a bit!

You could also pair my California Claret with a southwest skillet steak with vandalia onion, a filet with blue cheese porcini sauce, clams and/or mussels or marinara over linguini pasta.





Images courtesy of Wikimedia and Tobias Toft on Flickr.

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