List Page Learn About Content Graphic

Red Wine

Learn about red wine — the range of styles, how it’s made and more ...

undefined, null

What are the types and styles of red wine?

There are hundreds of types of red wine varieties in commercial use, from light and finessed to bold and structured, however, only about 35 varieties contribute to the majority of red wine production. The most grown grape varieties are:

How is red wine made?

To make red wine, the pressed grape juice is left in contact with its skins—a process called maceration—to draw out color, tannins and phenols (compounds responsible for the complex aromas and flavors in wine). With fermentation complete, the wine is aged in tank or barrel. Short aging results in a fresh, fruity red. To allow time for flavors to integrate, more complex wines need to age longer, often in oak barrels, which may impart notes of toast, vanilla or coconut.

What gives red wine its color?

Grape juice is almost colorless. Color comes from maceration, when the juice is left in contact with grape skins. Longer macerations result in deeper red tones, but grape variety hues vary. For example, wines made from Nebbiolo are pale garnet, Merlot is bright ruby and Syrah opaque purple.

How do you serve red wine?

Temperature is key. Aim for 55° F to 60° F for lighter reds and 60° F to 65° F for fuller ones. A wine served too cold will be muted. Serve it warm and it will taste too alcoholic. If you have a wine fridge or cellar, you’re set. If not, place the bottle in your refrigerator for 20-30 minutes prior to serving. Next, some reds benefit from a few minutes or more of aeration in a decanter. This exposes the wine to oxygen, which helps release the compounds responsible for aroma and taste. As for drinking red wines, the best glasses have a stem and a bowl large enough to allow proper swirling to allow release of aromas. Fill your glass no more than halfway.

How long does red wine last?

Opened and re-corked, a bottle will stay fresh in your fridge for one to two days, a bit longer for more tannic reds. (We have ideas for what to do with leftover red wine if you don’t get back to it quickly). Unopened, red wines stay good for one year to several decades. Optimal storage means bottles lay on their sides in a moderately humid environment at 57° F, but assessing how long to age a bottle is complicated. Seek a wine professional for advice if you are unsure.

Pairing red wine with food

These guidelines will help you make the most of red wine pairing options.

  • If a sauce is involved, focus more on that than the protein. For example, considering Coq Au Vin, play off the pancetta, mushrooms and wine with an earthy Pinot Noir.
  • Match intensity levels, i.e. a bold red with a bold dish, lighter with lighter. Spice-rubbed lamb kabobs go perfectly with a bold Syrah from Columbia Valley, Washington.
  • A highly tannic red pairs well with fatty foods. Dolcetto is amazing with a cheese and charcuterie plate.
  • High acid foods call for high acid wines. Ever wonder Barbera and Sangiovese are so ubiquitous in Italy? As high acid wines, both are perfect matches to anything involving tomato sauce.
  • Beware of dry red with dessert! Your wine should be sweeter than the treat. Try Tawny Port with dark chocolate for a match made in heaven.

While every U.S. state produces wine, the most famous and popular regions remain those on the west coast:

  • Napa Valley. First commercial winery 1861. Cabernet.
  • Sonoma County. Since mid-1800’s. Pinot Noir, Zinfandel and Cabernet.
  • Paso Robles. 1880’s. Cabernet, Zinfandel and Rhone varieties.
  • Santa Rita Hills. 1971. Pinot Noir.
  • Willamette Valley, Oregon. 1965. Pinot Noir.
  • Columbia Valley, Washington (and part of northern Oregon). 1860’s. Merlot, Syrah and Cabernet.

Worldwide, wine destinations abound, with the most venerated in Europe. The last four are popular New World regions.

  • Bordeaux, France. As early as 60 BC. Based on Merlot and Cabernet.
  • Burgundy, France. From 2nd century AD. Pinot Noir.
  • Tuscany, Italy. From 8th century BC. Based on Sangiovese, plus “Super Tuscans” made with other reds.
  • Rioja, Spain. From 11th century BC. Based on Tempranillo.
  • Stellenbosch, South Africa. 1680’s. Cabernet, Merlot, Shiraz, Pinotage.
  • Mendoza, Argentina. Late 1800’s. Malbec and others.
  • Colchagua Valley, Chile. 1870’s. Cabernet, Merlot and Carmenere.
  • Barossa Valley, Australia. 1842. Shiraz and others.

Sweet red wine

Whether light and effervescent (e.g., Lambrusco and Brachetto d’Acqui) or bold and fortified (Port and Bual Madeira), sweet red wines can be terrific on their own or with a range of desserts.

Dry red wine

A dry red occurs when fermentation continues until most or all grape sugars have been converted to alcohol. Most common red wines on the shelf – Cabernet, Merlot, Syrah, etc.—are dry wines.

Smoothest red wine

Red wines are perceived as smooth when their tannins are either naturally low, have been carefully managed by the winemaker or have partially fallen out of suspension due to aging. Red varieties with lower tannins include Pinot Noir, Grenache, Gamay, Barbera and Corvina.

Filter by
1,152 Items
1,152 Items
Gift Type
Occasion
Variety
Rating & Price
Rating All
Price All
Standard (750ml)
1,152 Items
  • Chateau Haut Gaudin Bordeaux Superieur 2018  Front Label
    Chateau Haut Gaudin Bordeaux Superieur 2018
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Bordeaux, France
    • JS90
    4.3 32 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $14.99
    Try the
    40
    14 99
    Save $25.01 (63%)
  • Chateau Haut Peyruguet  2018  Front Label
    Chateau Haut Peyruguet 2018
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Bordeaux, France
    • JS91
    4.1 58 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $14.99
    Try the
    35
    14 99
    Save $20.01 (57%)
  • Chateau Haut-Colombier  2018  Front Label
    Chateau Haut-Colombier 2018
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Bordeaux, France
    • JS91
    • WE91
    4.2 83 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $19.99
    Try the
    40
    19 99
    Save $20.01 (50%)
  • Chateau Bellevue Peycharneau Bordeaux Superieur 2018  Front Label
    Chateau Bellevue Peycharneau Bordeaux Superieur 2018
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Bordeaux, France
    • WE90
    • JS90
    4.3 81 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $19.99
    Try the
    40
    19 99
    Save $20.01 (50%)
  • Chateau La Perriere Lussac St.-Emilion 2018  Front Label
    Chateau La Perriere Lussac St.-Emilion 2018
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Bordeaux, France
    • WE92
    • JS90
    4.5 20 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $24.99
    Try the
    45
    24 99
    Save $20.01 (44%)
  • Steele Cabernet Franc 2018  Front Label
    Steele Cabernet Franc 2018
    Cabernet Franc from Lake County, North Coast, California
      3.9 5 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $21.99
      Try the
      38
      21 99
      Save $16.01 (42%)
    • Wente Riva Ranch Pinot Noir 2018  Front Label
      Wente Riva Ranch Pinot Noir 2018
      Pinot Noir from Arroyo Seco, Monterey, Central Coast, California
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $20.99
        Try the
        35
        20 99
        Save $14.01 (40%)
      • Chateau German  2018  Front Label
        Chateau German 2018
        Bordeaux Red Blends from Cotes de Castillon, Bordeaux, France
        • JS90
        3.7 99 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $14.99
        Try the
        25
        14 99
        Save $10.01 (40%)
      • Chateau Hyot  2018  Front Label
        Chateau Hyot 2018
        Bordeaux Red Blends from Cotes de Castillon, Bordeaux, France
        • JS92
        • WE90
        3.7 129 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $14.99
        Try the
        25
        14 99
        Save $10.01 (40%)
      • Shannon Ridge Buck Shack Bourbon Barrel Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 Front Label
        Shannon Ridge Buck Shack Bourbon Barrel Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
        Cabernet Sauvignon from Lake County, North Coast, California
          4.0 354 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $21.99
          Try the
          35
          21 99
          Save $13.01 (37%)
        • Mer Soleil Reserve Pinot Noir 2018  Front Label
          Mer Soleil Reserve Pinot Noir 2018
          Pinot Noir from Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey, Central Coast, California
          • WW90
          3.6 17 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $29.99
          Try the
          45
          29 99
          Save $15.01 (33%)
        • Parducci True Grit Reserve Red Blend 2018  Front Label
          Parducci True Grit Reserve Red Blend 2018
          Other Red Blends from Mendocino, California
          • WE93
          3.8 5 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $19.99
          Try the
          30
          19 99
          Save $10.01 (33%)
        • Pali Wine Co Huntington Pinot Noir 2018  Front Label
          Pali Wine Co Huntington Pinot Noir 2018
          Pinot Noir from Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
          • WE93
          3.7 18 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $18.99
          Try the
          28
          18 99
          Save $9.01 (32%)
        • Shannon Ridge Buck Shack Red 2018  Front Label
          Shannon Ridge Buck Shack Red 2018
          Bordeaux Red Blends from Lake County, North Coast, California
            4.0 82 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $23.99
            Try the
            35
            23 99
            Save $11.01 (31%)
          • J. Bookwalter Protagonist 2018  Front Label
            J. Bookwalter Protagonist 2018
            Cabernet Sauvignon from Columbia Valley, Washington
            • JD94
            • WE92
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $44.99
            Try the
            65
            44 99
            Save $20.01 (31%)
          • The Prisoner Wine Company Cuttings 2018  Front Label
            The Prisoner Wine Company Cuttings 2018
            Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
            • WS92
            4.5 66 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $37.99
            Try the
            55
            37 99
            Save $17.01 (31%)
          • Lancaster Estate Winemaker's Cuvee 2018  Front Label
            Lancaster Estate Winemaker's Cuvee 2018
            Bordeaux Red Blends from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
            • RP93
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $69.99
            Try the
            100
            69 99
            Save $30.01 (30%)
          • Knotty Vines Pinot Noir 2018  Front Label
            Knotty Vines Pinot Noir 2018
            Pinot Noir from California
            • TP90
            3.4 36 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $13.99
            Try the
            20
            13 99
            Save $6.01 (30%)
          • Starmont Cabernet Sauvignon 2018  Front Label
            Starmont Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
            Cabernet Sauvignon from North Coast, California
            • JS91
            • WW90
            4.0 14 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $23.99
            Try the
            34
            23 99
            Save $10.01 (29%)
          • Bouchard Pere & Fils Chambolle-Musigny 2018  Front Label
            Bouchard Pere & Fils Chambolle-Musigny 2018
            Pinot Noir from Chambolle-Musigny, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
            • WS93
            • WW90
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $71.99
            Try the
            100
            71 99
            Save $28.01 (28%)
          • Parducci Small Lot Petite Sirah 2018  Front Label
            Parducci Small Lot Petite Sirah 2018
            Petite Sirah from Mendocino, California
            • TP90
            3.8 114 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $12.99
            Try the
            18
            12 99
            Save $5.01 (28%)
          • Parducci Small Lot Cabernet Sauvignon 2018  Front Label
            Parducci Small Lot Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
            Cabernet Sauvignon from Mendocino, California
              3.9 24 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $12.99
              Try the
              18
              12 99
              Save $5.01 (28%)
            • Trentadue La Storia Merlot 2018  Front Label
              Trentadue La Storia Merlot 2018
              Merlot from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
                4.1 8 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $24.99
                Try the
                34
                24 99
                Save $9.01 (27%)
              • Trentadue La Storia Zinfandel 2018  Front Label
                Trentadue La Storia Zinfandel 2018
                Zinfandel from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
                • WW90
                4.1 60 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $24.99
                Try the 2019 Vintage 23 99
                34
                24 99
                Save $9.01 (27%)
              • J. Lohr Tower Road Petite Sirah 2018  Front Label
                J. Lohr Tower Road Petite Sirah 2018
                Petite Sirah from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
                • W&S91
                0.0 0 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $25.99
                Try the
                35
                25 99
                Save $9.01 (26%)
              Sorry, we couldn't find any matches.

              Internet Explorer is no longer supported.
              Please use a different browser like Edge, Chrome or Firefox to enjoy all that Wine.com has to offer.

              It's easy to make the switch.
              Enjoy better browsing and increased security.

              Yes, Update Now

              Search for ""

              Processing Your Order...