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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 2018  Front Label
    Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • WW90
    4.6 562 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $79.99
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    79 99
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  • Continuum  2017  Front Label
    Continuum 2017
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
    • JS98
    • RP97
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $259.99
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    275
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  • Caymus Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2016  Front Label
    Caymus Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • WW95
    4.8 34 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $169.99
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    180
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  • Meiomi Pinot Noir 2018  Front Label
    Meiomi Pinot Noir 2018
    Pinot Noir from California
      4.2 696 Ratings
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    • Quintessa  2016  Front Label
      Quintessa 2016
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Rutherford, Napa Valley, California
      • JS98
      • RP97
      • JD96
      • WS93
      • WW93
      4.7 47 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $174.99
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      190
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    • Les Dauphins Cellier des Dauphins Reserve Cotes du Rhone 2018  Front Label
      Les Dauphins Cellier des Dauphins Reserve Cotes du Rhone 2018
      Rhone Red Blends from Cotes du Rhone, Rhone, France
      • D97
      3.9 101 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $13.99
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      13 99
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    • Hidalgo Tradicion H Gran Reserva 2012  Front Label
      Hidalgo Tradicion H Gran Reserva 2012
      Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
      • WE93
      3.9 94 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $19.99
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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
      • V91
      • JD90
      4.1 492 Ratings
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    • Rodney Strong Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2015  Front Label
      Rodney Strong Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Sonoma County, California
      • D97
      • WW93
      • WE90
      4.2 80 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $39.99
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    • Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia 2017  Front Label
      Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia 2017
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Bolgheri, Tuscany, Italy
      • WE97
      • V96
      • JS96
      • RP94
      5.0 38 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $219.99
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    • Silver Oak Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2015  Front Label
      Silver Oak Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
      • WW94
      • WS93
      4.6 69 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $129.99
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      129 99
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    • Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Artemis Cabernet Sauvignon 2017  Front Label
      Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Artemis Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
      • WW94
      • WE92
      4.5 266 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $69.99
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    • Tenuta di Nozzole Chianti Classico Riserva 2016  Front Label
      Tenuta di Nozzole Chianti Classico Riserva 2016
      Sangiovese from Chianti Classico, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
      • JS94
      • RP92
      • WS92
      4.1 808 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $22.99
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      24
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    • The Prisoner Wine Company The Prisoner 2018 Front Label
      The Prisoner Wine Company The Prisoner 2018
      Other Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
      • WW92
      4.6 545 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $49.99
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    • Lemelson Thea's Select Pinot Noir 2016  Front Label
      Lemelson Thea's Select Pinot Noir 2016
      Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
      • JS93
      • WS91
      4.2 126 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $31.99
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      34
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    • Chateau Jalousie Beaulieu Bordeaux Superieur 2016  Front Label
      Chateau Jalousie Beaulieu Bordeaux Superieur 2016
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Bordeaux, France
      • WE91
      3.8 195 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $12.99
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      35
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    • Conundrum Red Blend 2018  Front Label
      Conundrum Red Blend 2018
      Other Red Blends from California
      • WW90
      4.2 68 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $22.99
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      25
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    • Justin Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 Front Label
      Justin Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
        4.4 375 Ratings
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      • Quilt Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 Front Label
        Quilt Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
        Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
        • WS92
        4.4 164 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $52.99
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        59
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      • Duckhorn Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2017  Front Label
        Duckhorn Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
        Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
        • WW92
        4.8 18 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $69.99
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      • Chateau Pontet-Canet  2010 Front Label
        Chateau Pontet-Canet 2010
        Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
        • JS100
        • RP100
        • WE98
        • JD98
        • WS97
        4.5 45 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $289.99
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      • Inglenook Cabernet Sauvignon 2015  Front Label
        Inglenook Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
        Cabernet Sauvignon from Rutherford, Napa Valley, California
        • V95
        • WE95
        • JS94
        • D92
        • RP92
        4.1 16 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $74.99
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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
        4.7 41 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $249.99
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        300
        249 99
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      • Hall Ellie's Cabernet Sauvignon 2015  Front Label
        Hall Ellie's Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
        Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
        • JD95
        • RP94
        • WW94
        • WE94
        4.3 64 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $74.99
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        80
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      • Sur de los Andes Malbec Cabernet Sauvignon Premium Blend 2014  Front Label
        Sur de los Andes Malbec Cabernet Sauvignon Premium Blend 2014
        Bordeaux Red Blends from Mendoza, Argentina
        • WE92
        3.8 457 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $14.99
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        32
        14 99
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