Learn about red wine — the range of styles, how it’s made and more ...
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.
- Red Wine4958
- Bordeaux Red Blends913
- Cabernet Sauvignon873
- Pinot Noir851
- Other Red Blends484
- Rhône Blends209
- Tuscan Blends56
- Cabernet Franc31
- Petite Sirah28
- Nero d'Avola17
- Other Red Wine15
- Petit Verdot5
- Nerello Mascalese4
- Touriga Nacional2
Chateau Jalousie Beaulieu Bordeaux Superieur 2016Bordeaux Red Blends from Bordeaux, France
Sur de los Andes Malbec Cabernet Sauvignon Premium Blend 2014Bordeaux Red Blends from Mendoza, Argentina
Hidalgo Tradicion H Gran Reserva 2012Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
Sur de los Andes Malbec Reserva 2014Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina
Hyland Estates Estate Old Vine Pinot Noir 2018Pinot Noir from McMinnville, Willamette Valley, Oregon
Bruno Giacosa Barbera d'Alba 2017Barbera from Alba, Piedmont, Italy
Vigilance Cabernet Sauvignon 2017Cabernet Sauvignon from Red Hills, Lake County, North Coast, California
Inglenook Cabernet Sauvignon 2015Cabernet Sauvignon from Rutherford, Napa Valley, California
Ceretto Monsordo Rosso 2016Other Red Blends from Piedmont, Italy
High Valley Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2017Cabernet Sauvignon from High Valley, Lake County, North Coast, California
Head High Sonoma County Pinot Noir 2018Pinot Noir from Sonoma County, California
Shannon Ridge Buck Shack Red 2018Bordeaux Red Blends from Lake County, North Coast, California
Head High Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2015Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
Cuerno Ribera del Duero 2014Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
Meadowcroft Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2016Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
Vinos de Arganza Flavium Seleccion Mencia 2013Mencia from Bierzo, Spain
Scott Family Estate Arroyo Seco Pinot Noir 2017Pinot Noir from Arroyo Seco, Monterey, Central Coast, California
Ziobaffa Organic Toscana 2015Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy
Chateau de Ribebon Bordeaux Superieur 2016Bordeaux Red Blends from Bordeaux, France
Vigilance Cimarron 2017Other Red Blends from Lake County, North Coast, California
Chateau Charmail 2016Bordeaux Red Blends from Haut Medoc, Bordeaux, France
Shannon Ridge High Elevation Cabernet Sauvignon 2018Cabernet Sauvignon from Lake County, North Coast, California
Shannon Ridge High Elevation Petite Sirah 2018Petite Sirah from Lake County, North Coast, California
Clos du Bois California Cabernet Sauvignon 2017Cabernet Sauvignon from California
Predator Cabernet Sauvignon 2017Cabernet Sauvignon from Lodi, California