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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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  • Chateau Sabliere Beausejour  2016  Front Label
    Chateau Sabliere Beausejour 2016
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Cotes de Castillon, Bordeaux, France
    • WE91
    3.6 11 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $14.99
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  • Chateau Pitray  2016  Front Label
    Chateau Pitray 2016
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Cotes de Castillon, Bordeaux, France
    • JS92
    • WE91
    • RP90
    3.8 38 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $19.99
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    40
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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
    3.9 354 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $13.99
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  • Adriano Marco e Vittorio Basarin Barbaresco 2017  Front Label
    Adriano Marco e Vittorio Basarin Barbaresco 2017
    Nebbiolo from Barbaresco, Piedmont, Italy
    • WE93
    4.3 36 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $29.99
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  • Vigilance Cabernet Sauvignon 2017  Front Label
    Vigilance Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Red Hills, Lake County, North Coast, California
      3.9 333 Ratings
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    • Frescobaldi Nipozzano Vecchie Viti Chianti Rufina Riserva 2014  Front Label
      Frescobaldi Nipozzano Vecchie Viti Chianti Rufina Riserva 2014
      Sangiovese from Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
      • JS91
      • WE91
      • WS90
      3.8 94 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $19.99
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      35
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    • Ziobaffa Organic Toscana 2015  Front Label
      Ziobaffa Organic Toscana 2015
      Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy
      • JS90
      4.1 110 Ratings
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    • Chateau German  2018  Front Label
      Chateau German 2018
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Cotes de Castillon, Bordeaux, France
      • JS91
      3.9 33 Ratings
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    • Chateau de Ribebon Bordeaux Superieur 2016  Front Label
      Chateau de Ribebon Bordeaux Superieur 2016
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Bordeaux, France
      • JS91
      3.8 156 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $14.99
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      14 99
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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
      4.2 31 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $124.99
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    • Jamieson Ranch Vineyards Double Lariat Cabernet Sauvignon 2016  Front Label
      Jamieson Ranch Vineyards Double Lariat Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
      • D92
      • WW91
      • JS90
      4.1 75 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $34.99
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    • Schug Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2018  Front Label
      Schug Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2018
      Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
      • TP91
      • D91
      • JS90
      • WW90
      3.8 541 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $19.99
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    • Chateau Feytit-Clinet  2016 Front Label
      Chateau Feytit-Clinet 2016
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Pomerol, Bordeaux, France
      • JD98
      • JS95
      • RP95
      • WE93
      • D92
      4.5 7 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $99.99
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    • Unico Zelo Cherry Fields Dolcetto 2017  Front Label
      Unico Zelo Cherry Fields Dolcetto 2017
      Dolcetto from Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
      • RP90
      3.5 14 Ratings
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    • Parducci True Grit Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2017  Front Label
      Parducci True Grit Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Mendocino, California
      • WW90
      3.8 77 Ratings
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    • Parducci True Grit Reserve Petite Sirah 2018  Front Label
      Parducci True Grit Reserve Petite Sirah 2018
      Petite Sirah from Mendocino, California
      • WE94
      4.1 15 Ratings
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    • Marques de Caceres Rioja Crianza 2016  Front Label
      Marques de Caceres Rioja Crianza 2016
      Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
      • JS91
      • TA90
      • WE90
      3.9 276 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $12.99
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      19
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    • Cosentino The Dark 2016 Front Label
      Cosentino The Dark 2016
      Other Red Blends from Lodi, California
        2.6 8 Ratings
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      • Alamos Malbec 2019  Front Label
        Alamos Malbec 2019
        Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina
          4.1 109 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $8.99
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        • Martin Ray Synthesis Cabernet Sauvignon 2018  Front Label
          Martin Ray Synthesis Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
          Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
          • JS93
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $34.99
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        • Era Costana Reserva 2014  Front Label
          Era Costana Reserva 2014
          Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
          • JS90
          4.2 13 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $13.99
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          20
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        • Domaine de Chevalier  2016 Front Label
          Domaine de Chevalier 2016
          Bordeaux Red Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
          • JS97
          • JD97
          • WS96
          • WE96
          • D96
          • RP94
          • CG92
          4.1 11 Ratings
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          158
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        • Borgo Scopeto Chianti Classico 2017  Front Label
          Borgo Scopeto Chianti Classico 2017
          Sangiovese from Chianti Classico, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
          • JS92
          3.9 467 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $14.99
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          21
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        • AERENA by Blackbird Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 Front Label
          AERENA by Blackbird Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
          Cabernet Sauvignon from Red Hills, Lake County, North Coast, California
          • WW91
          3.9 83 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $16.99
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          24
          16 99
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        • Paul Dolan Vineyards Organically Grown Zinfandel 2019  Front Label
          Paul Dolan Vineyards Organically Grown Zinfandel 2019
          Zinfandel from Mendocino, California
          • WW89
          4.0 6 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $17.99
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          25
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