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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
    4.6 850 Ratings
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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
    4.7 94 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $169.99
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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
    • D93
    • WE92
    4.5 414 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $69.99
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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
    • JD90
    4.1 738 Ratings
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  • Quintessa  2016  Front Label
    Quintessa 2016
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Rutherford, Napa Valley, California
    • JS98
    • RP97
    • JD96
    • D95
    • WS93
    • WW93
    4.7 69 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $199.99
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  • Shafer Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon 2015  Front Label
    Shafer Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Stags Leap District, Napa Valley, California
    • RP98
    • JD98
    • TP97
    • WE96
    • WS95
    4.8 20 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $299.99
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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
    4.4 80 Ratings
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  • Antica Cabernet Sauvignon (Mountain Select) 2016  Front Label
    Antica Cabernet Sauvignon (Mountain Select) 2016
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Atlas Peak, Napa Valley, California
    • JS95
    • WE94
    • W&S92
    4.2 94 Ratings
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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
    4.5 43 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $69.99
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  • Shafer Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon 2016  Front Label
    Shafer Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Stags Leap District, Napa Valley, California
    • RP100
    • JD100
    • V100
    • JS98
    • WS95
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $319.99
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  • Bodegas Muga Reserva 2016  Front Label
    Bodegas Muga Reserva 2016
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • JS95
    • TA94
    • RP93
    • WW92
    • JD92
    4.2 272 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $27.99
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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
    4.0 618 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $29.99
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  • Argiano Brunello di Montalcino 2015  Front Label
    Argiano Brunello di Montalcino 2015
    Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
    • D97
    • JS95
    • RP95
    • WS93
    • WE92
    4.3 149 Ratings
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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
    4.0 379 Ratings
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  • Chateau Lafleur  2011  Front Label
    Chateau Lafleur 2011
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pomerol, Bordeaux, France
    • JS97
    • RP94
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $499.98
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  • Opus One  2017  Front Label
    Opus One 2017
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
    • D96
    • JS95
    • RP95
    • WS93
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $364.99
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  • Joel Gott Blend No. 815 Cabernet Sauvignon 2017  Front Label
    Joel Gott Blend No. 815 Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
    Cabernet Sauvignon from California
    • TP92
    • D91
    4.0 1003 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $17.99
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  • Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia 2017  Front Label
    Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia 2017
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Bolgheri, Tuscany, Italy
    • WE97
    • D97
    • JS96
    • WS95
    • RP94
    4.8 69 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $229.99
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  • Decoy California Cabernet Sauvignon 2018  Front Label
    Decoy California Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
    Cabernet Sauvignon from California
      4.1 125 Ratings
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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
      4.6 119 Ratings
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    • Sur de los Andes Malbec Reserva 2014 Front Label
      Sur de los Andes Malbec Reserva 2014
      Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina
      • WE91
      3.9 353 Ratings
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    • Hall Ellie's Cabernet Sauvignon 2016  Front Label
      Hall Ellie's Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
      • V94
      • WW94
      • RP93
      3.7 5 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $74.99
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    • Hall Eighteen Seventy-Three Cabernet Sauvignon 2016  Front Label
      Hall Eighteen Seventy-Three Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
      • WW94
      • RP93
      • WE92
      0.0 0 Ratings
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    • Josh Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon 2018  Front Label
      Josh Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
      Cabernet Sauvignon from California
        4.2 307 Ratings
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      • The Prisoner Wine Company The Prisoner 2019  Front Label
        The Prisoner Wine Company The Prisoner 2019
        Other Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
        • WW93
        4.6 17 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $54.99
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