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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 Lafite Rothschild  2003 Front Label
    Chateau Lafite Rothschild 2003
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
    • RP100
    • JS98
    • WE97
    • WS96
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $1,199.97
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    1,199 97
    1,199 97
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  • Opus One  2003 Front Label
    Opus One 2003
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
    • RP94
    4.8 5 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $399.97
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    399 97
    399 97
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  • Dugat-Py Mazis Chambertin 2003 Front Label
    Dugat-Py Mazis Chambertin 2003
    Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • RP96
    • BH95
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    624 97
    624 97
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  • Nickel & Nickel Stelling Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2003 Front Label
    Nickel & Nickel Stelling Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2003
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • RP92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $119.97
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    119 97
    119 97
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  • Torbreck Descendant Shiraz 2003  Front Label
    Torbreck Descendant Shiraz 2003
    Syrah/Shiraz from Barossa Valley, Barossa, South Australia, Australia
    • RP96
    • WS94
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $87.97
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    87 97
    87 97
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  • Araujo Altagracia 2003 Front Label
    Araujo Altagracia 2003
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $129.97
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      129 97
      129 97
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    • Hestan Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2003 Front Label
      Hestan Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2003
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
      • RP93
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $85.97
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      85 97
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    • Torbreck The Factor Shiraz 2003  Front Label
      Torbreck The Factor Shiraz 2003
      Syrah/Shiraz from Barossa Valley, Barossa, South Australia, Australia
      • RP96
      • WS94
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $97.97
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      97 97
      97 97
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    • Galardi Roccamonfina Terra di Lavoro 2003 Front Label
      Galardi Roccamonfina Terra di Lavoro 2003
      Other Red Blends from Campania, Italy
      • RP94
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $97.97
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      97 97
      97 97
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    • Rusden Black Guts 2003  Front Label
      Rusden Black Guts 2003
      Syrah/Shiraz from Barossa Valley, Barossa, South Australia, Australia
      • RP96
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $87.97
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      87 97
      87 97
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    • Twomey Cellars by Silver Oak Merlot 2003  Front Label
      Twomey Cellars by Silver Oak Merlot 2003
      Merlot from Napa Valley, California
        4.0 5 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $49.97
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        49 97
        49 97
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      • Wild Horse Pinot Noir 2003 Front Label
        Wild Horse Pinot Noir 2003
        Pinot Noir from Central Coast, California
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $26.99
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          27 99
          26 99
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        • Jewel Cabernet Sauvignon 2003 Front Label
          Jewel Cabernet Sauvignon 2003
          Cabernet Sauvignon from California
            0.0 0 Ratings
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            14 99
            8
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          • Jim Barry The Cover Drive Cabernet Sauvignon 2003 Front Label
            Jim Barry The Cover Drive Cabernet Sauvignon 2003
            Cabernet Sauvignon from Coonawarra, South Australia, Australia
            • RP90
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $19.99
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          • Byron Nielson Vineyard Pinot Noir 2003 Front Label
            Byron Nielson Vineyard Pinot Noir 2003
            Pinot Noir from Santa Maria Valley, Central Coast, California
            • WS88
            0.0 0 Ratings
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            40
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          • Cougar Crest Estate Syrah 2003 Front Label
            Cougar Crest Estate Syrah 2003
            Syrah/Shiraz from Washington
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              7 99
              7 99
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            • Mas de Boislauzon Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee du Quet (Torn Label) 2003 Front Label
              Mas de Boislauzon Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee du Quet (Torn Label) 2003
              Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
              • RP96
              • WS92
              0.0 0 Ratings
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              7 99
              7 99
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            • Martin Ray Diamond Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2003 Front Label
              Martin Ray Diamond Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2003
              Cabernet Sauvignon from California
              • W&S90
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $39.99
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              64 99
              39 99
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            • Palliser Estate Pinot Noir 2003 Front Label
              Palliser Estate Pinot Noir 2003
              Pinot Noir from New Zealand
                0.0 0 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $19.99
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                25
                19 99
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              • Duboeuf Cote de Brouilly Premier Prix 2003 Front Label
                Duboeuf Cote de Brouilly Premier Prix 2003
                Gamay from Beaujolais, Burgundy, France
                • RP90
                0.0 0 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $13.99
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                13 99
                13 99
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              • Argentiera Bolgheri Superiore 2003 Front Label
                Argentiera Bolgheri Superiore 2003
                Bordeaux Red Blends from Tuscany, Italy
                • WS92
                0.0 0 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $49.99
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                80
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              • Manzanita Canyon Cabernet Sauvignon Personalized Label 2003
                Cabernet Sauvignon from California
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                  14 99
                  14 99
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                • Ey Vigne Lavail Cotes du Roussillon Villages 2003 Front Label
                  Ey Vigne Lavail Cotes du Roussillon Villages 2003
                  Rhone Red Blends from Languedoc-Roussillon, France
                    4.1 7 Ratings
                    Currently Unavailable $16.99
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                    16 99
                    16 99
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                  • Leaping Horse Shiraz 2003 Front Label
                    Leaping Horse Shiraz 2003
                    Syrah/Shiraz from California
                      0.0 0 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $9.99
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                      9 99
                      9 99
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                    • Yangarra Estate Old Vine Grenache 2003 Front Label
                      Yangarra Estate Old Vine Grenache 2003
                      Grenache from McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
                      • WS91
                      • WE91
                      0.0 0 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $14.99
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                      25
                      14 99
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