List Page Learn About Content Graphic

Red Wine

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

undefined, null

What are the types and styles of red wine?

There are hundreds of types of red wine varieties in commercial use, from light and finessed to bold and structured, however, only about 35 varieties contribute to the majority of red wine production. The most grown grape varieties are:

How is red wine made?

To make red wine, the pressed grape juice is left in contact with its skins—a process called maceration—to draw out color, tannins and phenols (compounds responsible for the complex aromas and flavors in wine). With fermentation complete, the wine is aged in tank or barrel. Short aging results in a fresh, fruity red. To allow time for flavors to integrate, more complex wines need to age longer, often in oak barrels, which may impart notes of toast, vanilla or coconut.

What gives red wine its color?

Grape juice is almost colorless. Color comes from maceration, when the juice is left in contact with grape skins. Longer macerations result in deeper red tones, but grape variety hues vary. For example, wines made from Nebbiolo are pale garnet, Merlot is bright ruby and Syrah opaque purple.

How do you serve red wine?

Temperature is key. Aim for 55° F to 60° F for lighter reds and 60° F to 65° F for fuller ones. A wine served too cold will be muted. Serve it warm and it will taste too alcoholic. If you have a wine fridge or cellar, you’re set. If not, place the bottle in your refrigerator for 20-30 minutes prior to serving. Next, some reds benefit from a few minutes or more of aeration in a decanter. This exposes the wine to oxygen, which helps release the compounds responsible for aroma and taste. As for drinking red wines, the best glasses have a stem and a bowl large enough to allow proper swirling to allow release of aromas. Fill your glass no more than halfway.

How long does red wine last?

Opened and re-corked, a bottle will stay fresh in your fridge for one to two days, a bit longer for more tannic reds. (We have ideas for what to do with leftover red wine if you don’t get back to it quickly). Unopened, red wines stay good for one year to several decades. Optimal storage means bottles lay on their sides in a moderately humid environment at 57° F, but assessing how long to age a bottle is complicated. Seek a wine professional for advice if you are unsure.

Pairing red wine with food

These guidelines will help you make the most of red wine pairing options.

  • If a sauce is involved, focus more on that than the protein. For example, considering Coq Au Vin, play off the pancetta, mushrooms and wine with an earthy Pinot Noir.
  • Match intensity levels, i.e. a bold red with a bold dish, lighter with lighter. Spice-rubbed lamb kabobs go perfectly with a bold Syrah from Columbia Valley, Washington.
  • A highly tannic red pairs well with fatty foods. Dolcetto is amazing with a cheese and charcuterie plate.
  • High acid foods call for high acid wines. Ever wonder Barbera and Sangiovese are so ubiquitous in Italy? As high acid wines, both are perfect matches to anything involving tomato sauce.
  • Beware of dry red with dessert! Your wine should be sweeter than the treat. Try Tawny Port with dark chocolate for a match made in heaven.

While every U.S. state produces wine, the most famous and popular regions remain those on the west coast:

  • Napa Valley. First commercial winery 1861. Cabernet.
  • Sonoma County. Since mid-1800’s. Pinot Noir, Zinfandel and Cabernet.
  • Paso Robles. 1880’s. Cabernet, Zinfandel and Rhone varieties.
  • Santa Rita Hills. 1971. Pinot Noir.
  • Willamette Valley, Oregon. 1965. Pinot Noir.
  • Columbia Valley, Washington (and part of northern Oregon). 1860’s. Merlot, Syrah and Cabernet.

Worldwide, wine destinations abound, with the most venerated in Europe. The last four are popular New World regions.

  • Bordeaux, France. As early as 60 BC. Based on Merlot and Cabernet.
  • Burgundy, France. From 2nd century AD. Pinot Noir.
  • Tuscany, Italy. From 8th century BC. Based on Sangiovese, plus “Super Tuscans” made with other reds.
  • Rioja, Spain. From 11th century BC. Based on Tempranillo.
  • Stellenbosch, South Africa. 1680’s. Cabernet, Merlot, Shiraz, Pinotage.
  • Mendoza, Argentina. Late 1800’s. Malbec and others.
  • Colchagua Valley, Chile. 1870’s. Cabernet, Merlot and Carmenere.
  • Barossa Valley, Australia. 1842. Shiraz and others.

Sweet red wine

Whether light and effervescent (e.g., Lambrusco and Brachetto d’Acqui) or bold and fortified (Port and Bual Madeira), sweet red wines can be terrific on their own or with a range of desserts.

Dry red wine

A dry red occurs when fermentation continues until most or all grape sugars have been converted to alcohol. Most common red wines on the shelf – Cabernet, Merlot, Syrah, etc.—are dry wines.

Smoothest red wine

Red wines are perceived as smooth when their tannins are either naturally low, have been carefully managed by the winemaker or have partially fallen out of suspension due to aging. Red varieties with lower tannins include Pinot Noir, Grenache, Gamay, Barbera and Corvina.

Filter by
4,037 Items
4,037 Items
Gift Type
Occasion
Variety
Rating & Price
Rating All
Price All
4,037 Items
  • Goldschmidt Vineyard Alexander Valley Chelsea Merlot 2019  Front Label
    Goldschmidt Vineyard Alexander Valley Chelsea Merlot 2019
    Merlot from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • JS92
    4.6 22 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $21.99
    Try the
    21 99
    21 99
    Save $0.00 (0%)
  • Baron Philippe de Rothschild Escudo Rojo Syrah Reserva 2019  Front Label
    Baron Philippe de Rothschild Escudo Rojo Syrah Reserva 2019
    Syrah/Shiraz from Maipo Valley, Chile
    • JS94
    • WW92
    4.0 154 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $19.99
    Try the
    19 99
    19 99
    Save $0.00 (0%)
  • Dutton-Goldfield Dutton Ranch Pinot Noir 2018  Front Label
    Dutton-Goldfield Dutton Ranch Pinot Noir 2018
    Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • WE94
    4.6 53 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $42.99
    Try the
    45
    42 99
    Save $2.01 (4%)
  • Cellier des Dauphins Les Dauphins Cuvee Speciale Cotes du Rhone 2019  Front Label
    Cellier des Dauphins Les Dauphins Cuvee Speciale Cotes du Rhone 2019
    Rhone Red Blends from Cotes du Rhone, Rhone, France
    • WW90
    4.3 62 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $12.99
    Try the
    12 99
    12 99
    Save $0.00 (0%)
  • Hacienda Lopez de Haro Crianza 2017  Front Label
    Hacienda Lopez de Haro Crianza 2017
    Other Red Blends from Rioja, Spain
    • WE90
    4.1 78 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $12.99
    Try the
    12 99
    12 99
    Save $0.00 (0%)
  • Baron Philippe de Rothschild Escudo Rojo Carmenere Reserva 2019  Front Label
    Baron Philippe de Rothschild Escudo Rojo Carmenere Reserva 2019
    Carmenere from Colchagua Valley, Rapel Valley, Chile
    • JS93
    • WW92
    4.2 100 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $18.99
    Try the
    18 99
    18 99
    Save $0.00 (0%)
  • Sur de los Andes Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2019  Front Label
    Sur de los Andes Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2019
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Mendoza, Argentina
    • JS90
    5.0 11 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $14.99
    Try the
    14 99
    14 99
    Save $0.00 (0%)
  • Baron Philippe de Rothschild Escudo Rojo Origine 2018  Front Label
    Baron Philippe de Rothschild Escudo Rojo Origine 2018
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Maipo Valley, Chile
    • JS94
    • V92
    • D92
    • WW92
    4.1 101 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $36.99
    Try the
    36 99
    36 99
    Save $0.00 (0%)
  • Domaine de la Beche Morgon Vieilles Vignes 2019  Front Label
    Domaine de la Beche Morgon Vieilles Vignes 2019
    Gamay from Beaujolais, Burgundy, France
    • D95
    • V90
    4.1 23 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $19.99
    Try the
    19 99
    19 99
    Save $0.00 (0%)
  • Alvaro Palacios Camins del Priorat 2020  Front Label
    Alvaro Palacios Camins del Priorat 2020
    Other Red Blends from Priorat, Spain
    • JS93
    • RP92
    4.1 24 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $29.99
    Try the
    29 99
    29 99
    Save $0.00 (0%)
  • Tenuta di Arceno Chianti Classico Riserva 2017  Front Label
    Tenuta di Arceno Chianti Classico Riserva 2017
    Sangiovese from Chianti Classico, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
    • JS93
    • RP92
    4.4 9 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $33.99
    Try the
    33 99
    33 99
    Save $0.00 (0%)
  • My Favorite Neighbor Harvey and Harriet Red Blend 2019  Front Label
    My Favorite Neighbor Harvey and Harriet Red Blend 2019
    Other Red Blends from Central Coast, California
    • JD94
    • WW91
    4.2 20 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $39.99
    Try the
    39 99
    39 99
    Save $0.00 (0%)
  • El Enemigo  Gran Enemigo Gualtallary Single Vineyard 2016  Front Label
    El Enemigo Gran Enemigo Gualtallary Single Vineyard 2016
    Cabernet Franc from Mendoza, Argentina
    • RP99
    • JS96
    • D93
    4.3 9 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $119.99
    Try the
    119 99
    119 99
    Save $0.00 (0%)
  • Ancient Peaks Paso Robles Oyster Ridge Red 2017  Front Label
    Ancient Peaks Paso Robles Oyster Ridge Red 2017
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Santa Margarita Ranch, Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
    • TP94
    • WE93
    • WW91
    4.4 15 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $59.99
    Try the
    59 99
    59 99
    Save $0.00 (0%)
  • Ancient Peaks Paso Robles Renegade 2018  Front Label
    Ancient Peaks Paso Robles Renegade 2018
    Other Red Blends from Santa Margarita Ranch, Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
    • WE91
    • WW90
    4.0 13 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $21.99
    Try the
    26
    21 99
    Save $4.01 (15%)
  • O'Shaughnessy Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2018  Front Label
    O'Shaughnessy Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • WE97
    • JS93
    • V93
    • D92
    4.0 5 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $89.99
    Try the
    89 99
    89 99
    Save $0.00 (0%)
  • Maison Brotte Chateauneuf-du-Pape Domaine Barville 2018  Front Label
    Maison Brotte Chateauneuf-du-Pape Domaine Barville 2018
    Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
    • WE93
    • JS91
    4.9 22 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $39.99
    Try the
    39 99
    39 99
    Save $0.00 (0%)
  • Vaglio Aggie Malbec 2019  Front Label
    Vaglio Aggie Malbec 2019
    Malbec from Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina
    • JS94
    • TA93
    • V90
    3.9 36 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $22.99
    Try the
    22 99
    22 99
    Save $0.00 (0%)
  • Crocus L'Atelier Malbec de Cahors 2018  Front Label
    Crocus L'Atelier Malbec de Cahors 2018
    Malbec from Cahors, Southwest, France
    • JS90
    4.2 13 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $23.99
    Try the
    23 99
    23 99
    Save $0.00 (0%)
  • Lieu Dit Cabernet Franc 2020  Front Label
    Lieu Dit Cabernet Franc 2020
    Cabernet Franc from Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
    • V94
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $34.99
    Try the
    34 99
    34 99
    Save $0.00 (0%)
  • Copain Tous Ensemble Pinot Noir 2017  Front Label
    Copain Tous Ensemble Pinot Noir 2017
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • WE91
    • WS90
    4.2 28 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $29.99
    Try the
    29 99
    29 99
    Save $0.00 (0%)
  • Marchigue Mapa Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2020  Front Label
    Marchigue Mapa Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2020
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Colchagua Valley, Rapel Valley, Chile
      4.6 19 Ratings
      Regular price
      Currently Unavailable $14.99
      Try the
      14 99
      14 99
      Save $0.00 (0%)
    • Il Palagio Sister Moon 2016  Front Label
      Il Palagio Sister Moon 2016
      Tuscan Blends from Tuscany, Italy
      • JS94
      4.4 40 Ratings
      Regular price
      Currently Unavailable $54.99
      Try the
      54 99
      54 99
      Save $0.00 (0%)
    • Terre del Barolo Barolo 2017  Front Label
      Terre del Barolo Barolo 2017
      Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
        4.7 23 Ratings
        Regular price
        Currently Unavailable $31.99
        Try the
        31 99
        31 99
        Save $0.00 (0%)
      • Kings of Prohibition Red Blend  Front Label
        Kings of Prohibition Red Blend
        Other Red Blends from South East Australia, Australia
          4.6 13 Ratings
          Regular price
          Currently Unavailable $13.99
          Try the
          13 99
          13 99
          Save $0.00 (0%)
        Sorry, we couldn't find any matches.

        Internet Explorer is no longer supported.
        Please use a different browser like Edge, Chrome or Firefox to enjoy all that Wine.com has to offer.

        It's easy to make the switch.
        Enjoy better browsing and increased security.

        Yes, Update Now

        Search for ""

        Processing Your Order...