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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
    4.5 105 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $89.99
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  • Ulysses Cabernet Sauvignon 2016  Front Label
    Ulysses Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • JS99
    • V98
    • RP95
    • WS94
    • JD93
    • WE93
    4.2 53 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $159.99
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    219
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  • Continuum  2017  Front Label
    Continuum 2017
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
    • JS98
    • RP97
    4.4 8 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $259.99
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  • Joseph Phelps Insignia 2016  Front Label
    Joseph Phelps Insignia 2016
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
    • RP99
    • WW99
    • JS98
    • WE98
    • JD97
    • CG96
    • WS95
    • D95
    4.7 123 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $249.99
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    300
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  • Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2016  Front Label
    Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • WW93
    • D91
    4.5 242 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $84.99
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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
    4.1 158 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $25.99
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    34
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  • Col d'Orcia Brunello di Montalcino 2015  Front Label
    Col d'Orcia Brunello di Montalcino 2015
    Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
    • WS94
    • JS94
    • RP93
    • WW93
    • D92
    • WE90
    4.4 8 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $44.99
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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
    4.3 227 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $69.99
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  • Caymus Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2016  Front Label
    Caymus Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2016
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • WW95
    4.9 13 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $399.99
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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
    4.6 32 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $99.99
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    110
    99 99
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  • Meiomi Pinot Noir  Front Label
    Meiomi Pinot Noir
    Pinot Noir from California
      4.2 53 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $21.99
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    • Tenuta di Nozzole Chianti Classico Riserva 2017  Front Label
      Tenuta di Nozzole Chianti Classico Riserva 2017
      Sangiovese from Chianti Classico, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
      • JS95
      • RP91
      4.0 324 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $22.99
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      22 99
      22 99
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    • Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Artemis Cabernet Sauvignon 2018  Front Label
      Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Artemis Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
      • WW92
      • JD90
      4.4 101 Ratings
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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
      • V93
      • WW92
      • WS91
      4.4 211 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $39.99
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    • Silver Oak Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2016  Front Label
      Silver Oak Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
      • WW94
      4.6 43 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $129.99
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      129 99
      129 99
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    • Altesino Brunello di Montalcino 2016  Front Label
      Altesino Brunello di Montalcino 2016
      Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
      • RP95
      • JS95
      • JD95
      • WS95
      • D95
      • WE92
      3.7 5 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $54.99
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      54 99
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    • Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon 2016  Front Label
      Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
      • WW93
      • WE92
      4.5 99 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $69.99
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    • DAOU Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2019  Front Label
      DAOU Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2019
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
      • RP92
      4.1 61 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $23.99
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    • Castellani Sangiovese 2016  Front Label
      Castellani Sangiovese 2016
      Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy
      • JS94
      • WW92
      4.0 654 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $12.99
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    • Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2019  Front Label
      Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2019
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
      • WW93
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $179.99
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      179 99
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    • The Prisoner Wine Company The Prisoner 2019  Front Label
      The Prisoner Wine Company The Prisoner 2019
      Other Red Blends from California
      • WW93
      4.6 215 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $49.99
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    • Joseph Phelps Cabernet Sauvignon 2018  Front Label
      Joseph Phelps Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
      • JS96
      • V93
      • WS93
      • WW92
      • JD92
      • RP92
      • CG90
      4.4 43 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $79.99
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      79 99
      79 99
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    • Conundrum Red Blend 2018  Front Label
      Conundrum Red Blend 2018
      Other Red Blends from California
      • WW90
      4.2 531 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $22.99
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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
      4.2 74 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $43.99
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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 1120 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $31.99
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      37
      31 99
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