A grape varietal used in the production of white wine. Although the varietal originated in central Italy, it is also grown in areas such as France, Australia, South America, Portugal, and the United States. It is believed that the Clairette Ronde produces more wine than any other variety world wide. The Clairette Ronde varietal is traditionally blended with varieties that exhibit more predominate traits. In Tuscany, the Clairette Ronde is blended with the Malvasia varietal in the production of Chianti. The amount of Clairette Ronde and Malvasia is dictated by laws controlling wine production. In California, where the varietal is called Saint Emillion, it is used primarily in the production of brandy. Clairette Ronde is most often distilled rather than vinified into wine.
Also known as: Trebbiano, Ugni Blanc, Clairette Rose, Thalia (Eastern Europe, Australia, South America, and Portugal), and Saint Emillion (CA).
The variety known simply as Clairette is not related and Trebbiano Abruzzo is a different variety. Trebbiano Toscano and Trebbiano Romagnolo are among the clones of the Trebbiano.
Characteristics: Produce neutral, light, dry, white wines that are high in acid and moderate in alcohol. The flavor and aroma is practically undistinguishable. The wine is very pale in color and, at times, exhibits an attractive, bitter almond note in the finish.
Ageing: At it’s best when consumed immediately.
Serving temperature: Serve at a temperature of 46º-50º F.
Food pairings: An excellent aperitif, Clairette Ronde also pairs well with light pastas, poached fish, spicy meals, appetizers, chicken breast, squid, light fish, shrimp, crab, lobster, lemon, grapefruit, eggplant, basil, parsley, dill, tarragon, ginger, mild mustard, white cream sauces, and sushi.