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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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  • Rodney Strong Alexander Valley Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2016  Front Label
    Rodney Strong Alexander Valley Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • D95
    • W&S90
    • WW90
    4.1 68 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $21.99
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  • Mazzei Chianti Classico Riserva Ser Lapo 2016  Front Label
    Mazzei Chianti Classico Riserva Ser Lapo 2016
    Sangiovese from Chianti Classico, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
    • D97
    • JS95
    • WS94
    • RP92
    • W&S91
    4.0 998 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $31.99
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    37
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  • Castellani Chianti Classico Riserva 2016  Front Label
    Castellani Chianti Classico Riserva 2016
    Sangiovese from Chianti Classico, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
    • JS93
    4.5 16 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $15.99
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    20
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  • Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon 2016  Front Label
    Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • WW93
    • WE92
    4.4 76 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $69.99
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    69 99
    69 99
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  • Chateau de Ribebon Bordeaux Superieur 2016  Front Label
    Chateau de Ribebon Bordeaux Superieur 2016
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Bordeaux, France
    • JS91
    3.8 278 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $14.99
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    25
    14 99
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  • Jamieson Ranch Vineyards Double Lariat Cabernet Sauvignon 2016  Front Label
    Jamieson Ranch Vineyards Double Lariat Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • D92
    • WW91
    • JS90
    4.1 173 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $34.99
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    55
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  • Freemark Abbey Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2016  Front Label
    Freemark Abbey Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • WE94
    • JS93
    • RP92
    • WW92
    • JD90
    4.2 275 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $49.99
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    60
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  • Ceretto Barbaresco 2016  Front Label
    Ceretto Barbaresco 2016
    Nebbiolo from Barbaresco, Piedmont, Italy
    • WS94
    • JS93
    • RP92
    4.5 7 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $49.99
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    90
    49 99
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  • Hall Coeur Cabernet Sauvignon 2016  Front Label
    Hall Coeur Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
    Cabernet Sauvignon from St. Helena, Napa Valley, California
    • WE94
    • WW93
    4.3 60 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $64.99
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    70
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  • Benton Lane Pinot Noir 2016  Front Label
    Benton Lane Pinot Noir 2016
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
      4.2 72 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $22.99
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      30
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    • Sur de los Andes Malbec Reserva 2016  Front Label
      Sur de los Andes Malbec Reserva 2016
      Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina
      • JS91
      4.0 46 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $13.99
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      25
      13 99
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    • Chateau Lestage  2016  Front Label
      Chateau Lestage 2016
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Listrac, Bordeaux, France
      • JS92
      • WE92
      3.7 191 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $22.99
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    • CVNE Vina Real Crianza 2016 Front Label
      CVNE Vina Real Crianza 2016
      Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
      • WS91
      • RP91
      3.8 712 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $14.99
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      17
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    • Chateau Terrasson Cuvee Prevenche 2016  Front Label
      Chateau Terrasson Cuvee Prevenche 2016
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Cotes de Castillon, Bordeaux, France
      • WE92
      3.6 92 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $17.99
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    • Antinori Badia a Passignano Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2016  Front Label
      Antinori Badia a Passignano Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2016
      Sangiovese from Chianti Classico, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
      • JS96
      • D95
      • WS94
      • RP94
      • W&S94
      • WE91
      4.3 58 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $56.99
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    • Robert Mondavi To Kalon Vineyard Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2016  Front Label
      Robert Mondavi To Kalon Vineyard Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
      • TP99
      • RP96
      • JS96
      • JD96
      • WS93
      • WE91
      4.3 80 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $139.99
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    • Avignonesi Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2016  Front Label
      Avignonesi Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2016
      Sangiovese from Montepulciano, Tuscany, Italy
      • JS93
      • WE93
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $24.99
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    • Double Canyon Horse Heaven Hills Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 Front Label
      Double Canyon Horse Heaven Hills Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Horse Heaven Hills, Columbia Valley, Washington
      • TP93
      • D92
      • W&S92
      • JS91
      4.0 981 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $19.99
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    • Allegrini Palazzo della Torre 2016  Front Label
      Allegrini Palazzo della Torre 2016
      Other Red Blends from Veneto, Italy
      • JS92
      • WS90
      • WE90
      4.1 553 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $18.99
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      18 99
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    • Catena Alta Malbec 2016  Front Label
      Catena Alta Malbec 2016
      Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina
      • RP94
      • WW93
      • JS92
      • JD92
      4.2 125 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $49.99
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      60
      49 99
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    • Castellani Sangiovese 2016  Front Label
      Castellani Sangiovese 2016
      Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy
      • JS94
      • WW92
      4.0 501 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $14.99
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      14 99
      14 99
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    • Blackbird Vineyards Arise Napa Valley Proprietary Red 2016  Front Label
      Blackbird Vineyards Arise Napa Valley Proprietary Red 2016
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
      • RP92
      • WW92
      • WS90
      4.1 48 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $43.99
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      58
      43 99
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    • Zenato Valpolicella Superiore Ripassa 2016  Front Label
      Zenato Valpolicella Superiore Ripassa 2016
      Other Red Blends from Valpolicella, Veneto, Italy
      • JS94
      4.4 57 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $24.99
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      24 99
      24 99
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    • Ridge Monte Bello 2016  Front Label
      Ridge Monte Bello 2016
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Santa Cruz Mountains, California
      • JD97
      • RP96
      • WS96
      • W&S96
      • JS95
      • D94
      4.6 5 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $229.99
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      229 99
      229 99
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    • La Jota Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2016  Front Label
      La Jota Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, California
      • RP97
      • WE97
      • JD96
      • JS95
      • WS94
      4.6 24 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $159.99
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      159 99
      159 99
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