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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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  • Bodegas Muga Reserva 2015 Front Label
    Bodegas Muga Reserva 2015
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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    El Enemigo Cabernet Franc 2015
    Cabernet Franc from Mendoza, Argentina
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    CVNE Imperial Reserva Rioja 2015
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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  • Primus Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 Front Label
    Primus Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Maipo Valley, Chile
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  • Los Vascos Le Dix 2015  Front Label
    Los Vascos Le Dix 2015
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Colchagua Valley, Rapel Valley, Chile
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  • Primus The Blend 2015 Front Label
    Primus The Blend 2015
    Other Red Blends from Colchagua Valley, Rapel Valley, Chile
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  • Tokara Director's Reserve Red 2015 Front Label
    Tokara Director's Reserve Red 2015
    Bordeaux Red Blends from South Africa
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    Bordeaux Red Blends from Mendoza, Argentina
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    Telmo Rodriguez Bodegas Lanzaga La Estrada 2015
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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  • Hacienda Araucano Clos de Lolol Red 2015  Front Label
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    Other Red Blends from Chile
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  • Achaval-Ferrer Finca Altamira Malbec 2015  Front Label
    Achaval-Ferrer Finca Altamira Malbec 2015
    Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina
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  • Orben Rioja 2015  Front Label
    Orben Rioja 2015
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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  • Cuvelier Los Andes Grand Vin 2015  Front Label
    Cuvelier Los Andes Grand Vin 2015
    Malbec from Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina
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  • Cheval des Andes  2015 Front Label
    Cheval des Andes 2015
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Mendoza, Argentina
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    Cono Sur 20 Barrels Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
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    Catena Zapata Nicolas 2015
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Mendoza, Argentina
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  • Vina Cobos Bramare Marchiori Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2015  Front Label
    Vina Cobos Bramare Marchiori Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Mendoza, Argentina
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  • Zuccardi Finca Piedra Infinita Altamira 2015  Front Label
    Zuccardi Finca Piedra Infinita Altamira 2015
    Malbec from Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina
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    Bodegas Muga Torre Muga 2015
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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