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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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  • Clarendon Hills Astralis Syrah 2011  Front Label
    Clarendon Hills Astralis Syrah 2011
    Syrah/Shiraz from McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
    • RP96
    3.7 8 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $129.99
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  • Yalumba Patchwork Shiraz 2014 Front Label
    Yalumba Patchwork Shiraz 2014
    Syrah/Shiraz from Barossa, South Australia, Australia
    • JS92
    • WW91
    3.8 139 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $16.99
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    20
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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
    4.4 77 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $89.99
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  • Antinori Tignanello 2016  Front Label
    Antinori Tignanello 2016
    Tuscan Blends from Tuscany, Italy
    • V98
    • RP97
    • WS97
    • JS97
    • W&S96
    4.6 99 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $134.99
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  • Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino 2015  Front Label
    Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino 2015
    Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
    • RP97
    • JS96
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $84.99
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  • Roserock by Drouhin Oregon Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir 2016  Front Label
    Roserock by Drouhin Oregon Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir 2016
    Pinot Noir from Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • JS94
    • WS93
    • RP93
    • WE92
    4.1 27 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $35.99
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    35 99
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  • Meiomi Pinot Noir 2017 Front Label
    Meiomi Pinot Noir 2017
    Pinot Noir from California
    • TP92
    4.1 592 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $19.99
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    25
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  • Fattoria La Lecciaia Brunello di Montalcino 2013  Front Label
    La Lecciaia Brunello di Montalcino 2013
    Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
    • JS95
    • V93
    4.2 10 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $39.99
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  • Williams Selyem Westside Road Neighbors Pinot Noir 2017 Front Label
    Williams Selyem Westside Road Neighbors Pinot Noir 2017
    Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • WE97
    • WW95
    • JD95
    • RP93
    • CG91
    4.8 7 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $199.99
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  • Chateau Lafite Rothschild (6-Pack OWC Futures Pre-Sale) 2018  Front Label
    Chateau Lafite Rothschild (6-Pack OWC Futures Pre-Sale) 2018
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
    • RP100
    • JS100
    • D100
    • WE98
    • JD98
    0.0 0 Ratings
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  • Duckhorn Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 Front Label
    Duckhorn Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • W&S93
    • WW92
    • JS92
    • WS91
    4.3 111 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $69.99
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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
    4.6 7 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $124.99
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    124 99
    124 99
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  • Silverado Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 Front Label
    Silverado Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • D94
    • TP94
    • JS93
    4.3 27 Ratings
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  • Quintessa  2016  Front Label
    Quintessa 2016
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Rutherford, Napa Valley, California
    • JS98
    • RP97
    • JD96
    • WS93
    • WW93
    4.8 21 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $179.99
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  • G.D. Vajra Barolo Albe 2015  Front Label
    G.D. Vajra Barolo Albe 2015
    Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
    • WS93
    • RP93
    • WE92
    • W&S92
    4.6 10 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $38.99
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    38 99
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  • Hall Coeur Cabernet Sauvignon 2015  Front Label
    Hall Coeur Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
    Cabernet Sauvignon from St. Helena, Napa Valley, California
    • WW98
    • WS94
    • WE91
    4.1 17 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $64.99
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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
    4.5 61 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $69.99
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  • Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2017  Front Label
    Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2017
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • WW92
    4.9 18 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $189.99
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    189 99
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  • Chateau Mouton Rothschild  2016 Front Label
    Chateau Mouton Rothschild 2016
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
    • JS100
    • V100
    • RP100
    • JD100
    • D99
    • WE98
    • WS98
    4.5 28 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $729.99
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  • Hall Eighteen Seventy-Three Cabernet Sauvignon 2015  Front Label
    Hall Eighteen Seventy-Three Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • WW97
    • WS93
    • WE90
    4.4 17 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $74.99
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  • Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco 2016 Front Label
    Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco 2016
    Nebbiolo from Barbaresco, Piedmont, Italy
    • RP95
    • WE95
    • W&S95
    • V94
    • WS93
    4.1 29 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $43.99
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    43 99
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  • Hall Kathryn Hall Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 Front Label
    Hall Kathryn Hall Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • JD97
    • RP95
    • WS93
    4.8 30 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $159.99
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    175
    159 99
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  • Chateau Lafite Rothschild  2016 Front Label
    Chateau Lafite Rothschild 2016
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
    • JS100
    • D100
    • JD100
    • WE99
    • RP99
    • WS98
    4.5 33 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $899.99
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    899 99
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  • Flowers Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2017 Front Label
    Flowers Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2017
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • JS94
    • WS92
    • RP90
    4.5 43 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $54.99
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    54 99
    54 99
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  • Kosta Browne Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir 2017 Front Label
    Kosta Browne Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir 2017
    Pinot Noir from Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
    • RP95
    • JD93
    • WS90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $119.99
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    119 99
    119 99
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