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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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  • Luigi Bosca Malbec 2017 Front Label
    Luigi Bosca Malbec 2017
    Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina
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  • Kanonkop Pinotage 2017 Front Label
    Kanonkop Pinotage 2017
    Pinotage from Stellenbosch, South Africa
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    • D90
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  • Chateau Pavie (Futures Pre-Sale) 2017 Front Label
    Chateau Pavie (Futures Pre-Sale) 2017
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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  • Montes Alpha Series Syrah 2017 Front Label
    Montes Alpha Series Syrah 2017
    Syrah/Shiraz from Colchagua Valley, Rapel Valley, Chile
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    • V91
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  • Susana Balbo Signature Malbec 2017 Front Label
    Susana Balbo Signature Malbec 2017
    Malbec from Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina
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    • RP92
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  • La Posta Pizzella Family Vineyard Malbec 2017 Front Label
    La Posta Pizzella Family Vineyard Malbec 2017
    Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina
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    • RP90
    • TA90
    4.0 95 Ratings
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  • Zuccardi Q Malbec 2017 Front Label
    Zuccardi Q Malbec 2017
    Malbec from Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina
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    4.1 29 Ratings
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  • Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte (Futures Pre-Sale) 2017 Front Label
    Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte (Futures Pre-Sale) 2017
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
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  • Chateau Canon La Gaffeliere (Futures Pre-Sale) 2017 Front Label
    Chateau Canon La Gaffeliere (Futures Pre-Sale) 2017
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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    • D92
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  • Chateau Margaux (Futures Pre-Sale) 2017 Front Label
    Chateau Margaux (Futures Pre-Sale) 2017
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Margaux, Bordeaux, France
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  • Chateau Haut-Brion (Futures Pre-Sale) 2017 Front Label
    Chateau Haut-Brion (Futures Pre-Sale) 2017
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
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    • JD93
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  • Chateau Gloria (Futures Pre-Sale) 2017 Front Label
    Chateau Gloria (Futures Pre-Sale) 2017
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St-Julien, Bordeaux, France
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  • Chateau Cos d'Estournel (Futures Pre-Sale) 2017 Front Label
    Chateau Cos d'Estournel (Futures Pre-Sale) 2017
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Estephe, Bordeaux, France
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  • Chateau Les Carmes Haut Brion (Futures Pre-Sale) 2017 Front Label
    Chateau Les Carmes Haut Brion (Futures Pre-Sale) 2017
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
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  • Sena  2017  Front Label
    Sena 2017
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Aconcagua Valley, Chile
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    • V94
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  • Chateau Saint-Pierre (Futures Pre-Sale) 2017 Front Label
    Chateau Saint-Pierre (Futures Pre-Sale) 2017
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St-Julien, Bordeaux, France
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  • Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou Croix de Beaucaillou (Futures Pre-Sale) 2017 Front Label
    Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou Croix de Beaucaillou (Futures Pre-Sale) 2017
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St-Julien, Bordeaux, France
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  • Chateau Montrose (Futures Pre-Sale) 2017 Front Label
    Chateau Montrose (Futures Pre-Sale) 2017
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Estephe, Bordeaux, France
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  • Chateau Prieure-Lichine (Futures Pre-Sale) 2017 Front Label
    Chateau Prieure-Lichine (Futures Pre-Sale) 2017
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Margaux, Bordeaux, France
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  • Chateau Mouton Rothschild (Futures Pre-Sale) 2017 Front Label
    Chateau Mouton Rothschild (Futures Pre-Sale) 2017
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
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  • Chateau Pape Clement (Futures Pre-Sale) 2017 Front Label
    Chateau Pape Clement (Futures Pre-Sale) 2017
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
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  • Chateau Pontet-Canet (Futures Pre-Sale) 2017 Front Label
    Chateau Pontet-Canet (Futures Pre-Sale) 2017
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
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  • Chateau Canon (Futures Pre-Sale) 2017  Front Label
    Chateau Canon (Futures Pre-Sale) 2017
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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  • Chateau Leoville Las Cases (Futures Pre-Sale) 2017 Front Label
    Chateau Leoville Las Cases (Futures Pre-Sale) 2017
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St-Julien, Bordeaux, France
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  • Chateau Giscours (Futures Pre-Sale) 2017 Front Label
    Chateau Giscours (Futures Pre-Sale) 2017
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Margaux, Bordeaux, France
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    • RP90
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