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Red Wine

Learn about red wine — the range of styles, how it’s made and more ...

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What are the types and styles of red wine?

Ranging in style from light and full of finesse to bold and structured, red wine is produced in almost every wine region of the world. Though there are about 35 varieties that contribute to the majority of red wine production, countless native varieties are important not only to local culture, but to the diversity of globally traded wine. Warmer, sunnier climates produce robust and concentrated wines while cooler regions, where long, even grape ripening and thus natural acidities create some of the world’s most elegant red wines.

How is red wine made?

To make red wine, the pressed grape juice is left in contact with its skins—a process called maceration—in order to draw out color, tannins and phenols (compounds responsible for the complex aromas and flavors in wine). Occurring before, during or after fermentation, whereby yeasts turn grape sugar into alcohol, longer macerations in general produce bolder red wines (with a point of diminishing returns). Red wines benefit from a resting period of a few months to a few years in wooden barrels (or other containers) before release to the market.

What gives red wine its color?

Red grape skins give color to the finished wine through the maceration process. In general, shorter time on skins results in lighter red tones; longer time gives deeper red tones. On top of that, each grape type has a unique hue. For example Nebbiolo is typically pale garnet, Merlot is often bright ruby and Syrah can be opaque purple.

How do you serve red wine?

The idea that red wine should be served at room temperature came about in ancient France when the indoor temperatures were likely to be about 60F. Chambre, for “room” in French, described a wine that had been brought to this “room temperature” from the cellar. Today if you don’t have the luxury of keeping your red wine in a proper cellar or wine refrigerator, a trick of the trade is to put the bottle you plan to serve in the refrigerator for 30 to 40 minutes to cool it down to about 55F to 60F for lighter bodied wines and to 60F to 65F for fuller bodied wines. As for drinking red wines, the best red wine glasses have a stem and a bowl large enough to allow swirling without spilling. Aromatic reds fare best in glasses with a wider bowl to allow full release of the bouquet.

How long does red wine last?

Opened, a bottle of red wine will stay fresh in a cool, dark environment for one to two days, maybe longer. Unopened, red wines stay good for one year to several decades. Assessing how long to hold on to a bottle is a complicated science. If you are planning to strategically store red wine, seek the advice of a wine professional.

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  • Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2019  Front Label
    Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2019
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • WW93
    4.8 26 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $89.99
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  • Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (1 Liter Bottle) 2019  Front Label
    Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (1 Liter Bottle) 2019
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • WW93
    4.8 10 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $99.99
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    110
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  • DAOU Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2018  Front Label
    DAOU Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
    • RP92
    • JD90
    4.1 1123 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $25.99
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  • Rodney Strong Alexander Valley Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2016  Front Label
    Rodney Strong Alexander Valley Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • D95
    • W&S90
    • WW90
    4.1 88 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $21.99
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    28
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  • Decoy California Cabernet Sauvignon 2018  Front Label
    Decoy California Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
    Cabernet Sauvignon from California
    • WW90
    4.1 402 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $21.99
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  • Petra Zingari Toscana 2017  Front Label
    Petra Zingari Toscana 2017
    Tuscan Blends from Tuscany, Italy
    • WS93
    • JS93
    3.9 1197 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $15.99
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    15 99
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  • Lemelson Thea's Select Pinot Noir 2017  Front Label
    Lemelson Thea's Select Pinot Noir 2017
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • JS93
    • WS92
    4.2 66 Ratings
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  • Heitz Cellar Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2015  Front Label
    Heitz Cellar Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • WE95
    • D94
    4.0 132 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $59.99
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  • Duckhorn Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2017  Front Label
    Duckhorn Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • W&S94
    • WW92
    • WS90
    • WE90
    4.3 173 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $69.99
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  • Mazzei Chianti Classico Riserva Ser Lapo 2016  Front Label
    Mazzei Chianti Classico Riserva Ser Lapo 2016
    Sangiovese from Chianti Classico, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
    • D97
    • JS95
    • WS94
    • RP92
    • W&S91
    4.0 1027 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $31.99
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  • Substance Cabernet Sauvignon 2018  Front Label
    Substance Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Columbia Valley, Washington
    • JS93
    • JD91
    • D90
    • RP89
    3.8 1195 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $14.99
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  • Far Niente Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2018  Front Label
    Far Niente Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • WE95
    • JD95
    • WW94
    • RP94
    4.5 23 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $119.99
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  • Turnbull Cabernet Sauvignon 2018  Front Label
    Turnbull Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • JD93
    • WS92
    • D92
    • JS92
    • RP91
    • WW91
    4.3 55 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $43.99
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  • Caparzo Brunello di Montalcino 2015  Front Label
    Caparzo Brunello di Montalcino 2015
    Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
    • JS95
    • RP93
    • WS93
    • WE92
    4.1 254 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $39.99
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  • La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza Reserva 2012 Front Label
    La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza Reserva 2012
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • JS95
    • RP94
    • D94
    • WW92
    4.4 164 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $39.99
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    39 99
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  • Castellani Chianti Classico Riserva 2016  Front Label
    Castellani Chianti Classico Riserva 2016
    Sangiovese from Chianti Classico, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
    • JS93
    4.3 27 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $15.99
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  • Bella Union by Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon 2017  Front Label
    Bella Union by Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • WE95
    • WW92
    4.3 209 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $64.99
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  • Conundrum Red Blend 2018  Front Label
    Conundrum Red Blend 2018
    Other Red Blends from California
    • WW90
    4.2 454 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $22.99
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  • Oberon Cabernet Sauvignon 2018  Front Label
    Oberon Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
      4.1 448 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $21.99
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    • Ridge Lytton Springs 2018  Front Label
      Ridge Lytton Springs 2018
      Other Red Blends from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
      • V96
      • WW96
      • RP96
      • WE94
      • JD92
      4.2 32 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $46.99
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    • Ceretto Barbaresco 2016  Front Label
      Ceretto Barbaresco 2016
      Nebbiolo from Barbaresco, Piedmont, Italy
      • WS94
      • JS93
      • RP92
      4.6 8 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $49.99
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    • Cellier des Dauphins Reserve Cotes du Rhone 2018  Front Label
      Cellier des Dauphins Reserve Cotes du Rhone 2018
      Rhone Red Blends from Cotes du Rhone, Rhone, France
      • D97
      4.0 592 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $13.99
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      13 99
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    • Chateau de Ribebon Bordeaux Superieur 2016  Front Label
      Chateau de Ribebon Bordeaux Superieur 2016
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Bordeaux, France
      • JS91
      3.8 287 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $14.99
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    • Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon 2018  Front Label
      Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Maipo Valley, Chile
      • JS100
      5.0 5 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $109.99
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    • Stags' Leap Winery Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2017  Front Label
      Stags' Leap Winery Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
      • JS93
      • WE92
      • W&S90
      4.5 74 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $61.99
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      61 99
      61 99
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