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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 2019  Front Label
    Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2019
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • WW93
    • WS92
    4.6 161 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $89.99
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  • Silver Oak Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2016  Front Label
    Silver Oak Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • WW94
    4.6 51 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $129.99
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  • Continuum  2018  Front Label
    Continuum 2018
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
    • RP100
    • WW100
    • JS100
    4.3 7 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $259.99
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  • Lemelson Thea's Select Pinot Noir 2017  Front Label
    Lemelson Thea's Select Pinot Noir 2017
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • JS93
    • WS92
    4.1 210 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $25.99
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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
    • D91
    4.4 265 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $84.99
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  • Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Artemis Cabernet Sauvignon 2018  Front Label
    Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Artemis Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • JS93
    • WW92
    • JD90
    4.3 124 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $69.99
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    75
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  • Chateau de Panigon  2016  Front Bottle Shot
    Chateau de Panigon 2016
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Medoc, Bordeaux, France
    • D95
    • WE90
    4.1 120 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $19.99
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  • Castelli Martinozzi Brunello di Montalcino 2016  Front Label
    Castelli Martinozzi Brunello di Montalcino 2016
    Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
    • JS95
    • WE93
    4.2 6 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $39.99
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  • Decoy California Cabernet Sauvignon 2019  Front Label
    Decoy California Cabernet Sauvignon 2019
    Cabernet Sauvignon from California
    • WW89
    4.4 7 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $19.99
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  • Chateau Mouton Rothschild (Futures Pre-Sale) 2019  Front Label
    Chateau Mouton Rothschild (Futures Pre-Sale) 2019
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
    • JS100
    • RP100
    • JD99
    • WE99
    • D98
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $649.97
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  • Chateau Lafite Rothschild (Futures Pre-Sale) 2020  Front Label
    Chateau Lafite Rothschild (Futures Pre-Sale) 2020
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
    • JS100
    • JD99
    • WE99
    • RP98
    • V98
    • D97
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $699.97
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  • The Prisoner Wine Company The Prisoner 2019  Front Label
    The Prisoner Wine Company The Prisoner 2019
    Other Red Blends from California
    • WW93
    4.6 249 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $49.99
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  • Col d'Orcia Brunello di Montalcino 2015  Front Label
    Col d'Orcia Brunello di Montalcino 2015
    Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
    • WS94
    • JS94
    • RP93
    • WW93
    • D92
    • WE90
    4.2 23 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $44.99
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  • Chateau Laroque (Futures Pre-Sale) 2020  Front Label
    Chateau Laroque (Futures Pre-Sale) 2020
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
    • JD97
    • RP96
    • JS95
    • V95
    • D92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $31.97
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    31 97
    31 97
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  • Meiomi Pinot Noir  Front Label
    Meiomi Pinot Noir
    Pinot Noir from California
      4.2 90 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $21.99
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    • Gaja Barbaresco 2017  Front Label
      Gaja Barbaresco 2017
      Nebbiolo from Barbaresco, Piedmont, Italy
      • JS97
      • WE95
      • RP95
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $289.00
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    • DAOU Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2019  Front Label
      DAOU Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2019
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
      • RP92
      4.2 98 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $23.99
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    • Chateau Cos d'Estournel (Futures Pre-Sale) 2019  Front Label
      Chateau Cos d'Estournel (Futures Pre-Sale) 2019
      Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Estephe, Bordeaux, France
      • JS99
      • RP99
      • JD99
      • D98
      • WE98
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $159.97
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      159 97
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    • Turnbull Cabernet Sauvignon 2018  Front Label
      Turnbull Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
      • WE95
      • JD93
      • WS92
      • D92
      • JS92
      • RP91
      • WW91
      4.2 86 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $44.99
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    • Joseph Phelps Insignia 2016  Front Label
      Joseph Phelps Insignia 2016
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
      • RP99
      • WW99
      • JS98
      • WE98
      • JD97
      • CG96
      • WS95
      • D95
      4.7 124 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $249.99
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      300
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    • Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon 2016  Front Label
      Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
      • WW93
      • WE92
      4.5 103 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $69.99
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      69 99
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    • Oberon Cabernet Sauvignon 2018  Front Label
      Oberon Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
      • WE90
      4.1 553 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $21.99
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      25
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    • Far Niente Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2018  Front Label
      Far Niente Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
      • WE95
      • JD95
      • WW94
      • RP94
      4.6 35 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $119.99
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      150
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    • Castellani Sangiovese 2016  Front Label
      Castellani Sangiovese 2016
      Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy
      • JS94
      • WW92
      4.0 705 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $14.99
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      14 99
      14 99
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    • Chappellet Mountain Cuvee Proprietor's Blend 2018  Front Label
      Chappellet Mountain Cuvee Proprietor's Blend 2018
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
      • WW92
      • WE90
      4.1 226 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $31.99
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      36
      31 99
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