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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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  • Ceretto Barolo 2015  Front Label
    Ceretto Barolo 2015
    Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
    • RP94
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    • WS92
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  • Alvarez de Toledo Mencia Roble 2015  Front Label
    Alvarez de Toledo Mencia Roble 2015
    Mencia from Bierzo, Spain
    • WE90
    3.9 233 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $9.99
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  • Tenuta di Arceno Valadorna 2015  Front Label
    Tenuta di Arceno Valadorna 2015
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Tuscany, Italy
    • RP95
    • WS93
    • JS92
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  • Ceretto Brunate Barolo 2015  Front Label
    Ceretto Brunate Barolo 2015
    Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
    • RP96
    • JS96
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    • D91
    4.7 15 Ratings
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  • Antinori Pian delle Vigne Brunello di Montalcino 2015  Front Label
    Antinori Pian delle Vigne Brunello di Montalcino 2015
    Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
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    • V94
    • RP91
    • WS91
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  • Poggio San Polo Brunello di Montalcino 2015  Front Label
    Poggio San Polo Brunello di Montalcino 2015
    Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
    • JS95
    • RP93
    • WS92
    4.4 8 Ratings
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  • Martin Cendoya Rioja Reserva 2015  Front Label
    Martin Cendoya Rioja Reserva 2015
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • WE92
    4.5 27 Ratings
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  • Hindsight Wines Calistoga Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2015  Front Label
    Hindsight Wines Calistoga Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Calistoga, Napa Valley, California
    • WW92
    4.8 10 Ratings
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  • Tenuta di Arceno Arcanum 2015  Front Label
    Tenuta di Arceno Arcanum 2015
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Tuscany, Italy
    • RP97
    • WS93
    • JS93
    3.8 10 Ratings
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  • Ceretto Prapo Barolo 2015  Front Label
    Ceretto Prapo Barolo 2015
    Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
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    • WE93
    • WS93
    5.0 14 Ratings
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  • Piancornello Brunello di Montalcino 2015  Front Label
    Piancornello Brunello di Montalcino 2015
    Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
    • JS95
    • RP95
    • V93
    4.1 98 Ratings
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  • Arnaldo Rivera Barolo Undicicomuni 2015  Front Label
    Arnaldo Rivera Barolo Undicicomuni 2015
    Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
    • WS92
    • JS92
    4.5 26 Ratings
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  • Bodegas Muriel Crianza 2015 Front Label
    Bodegas Muriel Crianza 2015
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
      3.9 9 Ratings
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    • Meeker Four Kings 2015  Front Label
      Meeker Four Kings 2015
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
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      • Yalumba The Signature Cabernet/Shiraz 2015  Front Label
        Yalumba The Signature Cabernet/Shiraz 2015
        Other Red Blends from Barossa Valley, Barossa, South Australia, Australia
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        • D94
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        • WW92
        • W&S92
        3.9 18 Ratings
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      • Bodegas Ramirez de la Piscina Crianza 2015 Front Label
        Bodegas Ramirez de la Piscina Crianza 2015
        Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
        • JS90
        3.8 10 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $13.99
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      • Braida Ai Suma Barbera d'Asti 2015  Front Label
        Braida Ai Suma Barbera d'Asti 2015
        Barbera from Asti, Piedmont, Italy
        • WS92
        • JS92
        0.0 0 Ratings
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      • Poggio Antico Brunello di Montalcino 2015  Front Label
        Poggio Antico Brunello di Montalcino 2015
        Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
        • JS97
        • RP95
        • WS94
        • WE92
        4.6 68 Ratings
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      • La Poderina Brunello di Montalcino 2015  Front Label
        La Poderina Brunello di Montalcino 2015
        Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
        • JS94
        • RP94
        • V92
        0.0 0 Ratings
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      • Pecchenino Bussia Barolo 2015  Front Label
        Pecchenino Bussia Barolo 2015
        Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
        • RP93
        • JS93
        • WS93
        • V93
        4.5 18 Ratings
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      • Seven Falls Wahluke Slope Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 Front Label
        Seven Falls Wahluke Slope Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
        Cabernet Sauvignon from Columbia Valley, Washington
        • RP89
        • WS89
        4.2 59 Ratings
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      • Casa Emma Chianti Classico 2015 Front Label
        Casa Emma Chianti Classico 2015
        Sangiovese from Chianti Classico, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
        • JS91
        • WS91
        4.8 5 Ratings
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      • Clos Apalta  2015  Front Label
        Clos Apalta 2015
        Bordeaux Red Blends from Colchagua Valley, Rapel Valley, Chile
        • JS100
        • RP95
        • D95
        • WS95
        • WE92
        4.5 25 Ratings
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      • Zenato Merlot Corvina Cormi 2015  Front Label
        Zenato Merlot Corvina Cormi 2015
        Other Red Blends from Veneto, Italy
        • WS90
        3.8 8 Ratings
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      • Flowers Camp Meeting Ridge Pinot Noir 2015  Front Label
        Flowers Camp Meeting Ridge Pinot Noir 2015
        Pinot Noir from Sonoma County, California
        • W&S94
        • RP93
        4.6 6 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $88.99
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