claret, now synonymous with fine red Bordeaux, derives from the Latin word for “clear” and “pale-colored.”
claret for boys, port for men, and brandy for heroes, according to Dr. Johnson, and Hitch went for the heroic.
Mrs. Buller cooked a braised saddle of veal and delicious it was too served with a rich gravy flavored with claret.
mid-15c., "light-colored wine," from Old French (vin) claret "clear (wine), light-colored red wine" (also "sweetened wine," a sense in English from late 14c.), from Latin clarus "clear" (see clear (adj.)). Narrowed English meaning "red wine of Bordeaux" (excluding burgundy) first attested 1700. Used in pugilistic slang for "blood" from c.1600.
[1604+ Prizefight; fr the red color of claret wine]