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
739 Items
739 Items
Gift Type
Occasion
Variety
Rating & Price
Rating All
Price All
Standard (750ml)
739 Items
  • Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2019  Front Label
    Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2019
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • WW93
    • WS92
    4.5 279 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $89.99
    Try the
    89 99
    89 99
    Save $0.00 (0%)
  • Decoy California Cabernet Sauvignon 2019  Front Label
    Decoy California Cabernet Sauvignon 2019
    Cabernet Sauvignon from California
    • WW89
    4.1 66 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $21.99
    Try the
    25
    21 99
    Save $3.01 (12%)
  • DAOU Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2019  Front Label
    DAOU Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2019
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
    • RP92
    4.1 184 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $23.99
    Try the
    30
    23 99
    Save $6.01 (20%)
  • Substance Cabernet Sauvignon 2019  Front Label
    Substance Cabernet Sauvignon 2019
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Columbia Valley, Washington
    • JD92
    • JS92
    3.8 46 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $14.99
    Try the
    17
    14 99
    Save $2.01 (12%)
  • Belle Glos Las Alturas Vineyard Pinot Noir 2019  Front Label
    Belle Glos Las Alturas Vineyard Pinot Noir 2019
    Pinot Noir from Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey, Central Coast, California
    • WE96
    • WW91
    4.0 19 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $49.99
    Try the
    55
    49 99
    Save $5.01 (9%)
  • The Prisoner Wine Company The Prisoner 2019  Front Label
    The Prisoner Wine Company The Prisoner 2019
    Other Red Blends from California
    • WW93
    4.6 310 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $49.99
    Try the
    55
    49 99
    Save $5.01 (9%)
  • Joseph Drouhin Beaune Clos des Mouches Premier Cru Rouge 2019  Front Label
    Joseph Drouhin Beaune Clos des Mouches Premier Cru Rouge 2019
    Pinot Noir from Beaune, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • JS95
    • RP94
    • BH93
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $134.99
    Try the
    134 99
    134 99
    Save $0.00 (0%)
  • Belle Glos Clark and Telephone Vineyard Pinot Noir 2019  Front Label
    Belle Glos Clark and Telephone Vineyard Pinot Noir 2019
    Pinot Noir from Santa Maria Valley, Central Coast, California
    • WW92
    4.1 45 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $49.99
    Try the
    55
    49 99
    Save $5.01 (9%)
  • Alamos Malbec 2019  Front Label
    Alamos Malbec 2019
    Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina
    • JS91
    3.9 362 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $12.99
    Try the
    12 99
    12 99
    Save $0.00 (0%)
  • Conundrum Red Blend 2019  Front Label
    Conundrum Red Blend 2019
    Other Red Blends from California
      4.1 85 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $22.99
      Try the
      25
      22 99
      Save $2.01 (8%)
    • Silk and Spice Red Blend 2019  Front Label
      Silk and Spice Red Blend 2019
      Other Red Blends from Portugal
      • WE91
      4.2 134 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $13.99
      Try the
      13 99
      13 99
      Save $0.00 (0%)
    • Schug Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2019  Front Label
      Schug Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2019
      Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
      • TP92
      • WW91
      • JS91
      3.8 242 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $19.99
      Try the
      30
      19 99
      Save $10.01 (33%)
    • Josh Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon 2019  Front Label
      Josh Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon 2019
      Cabernet Sauvignon from California
        4.1 39 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $16.99
        Try the
        16 99
        16 99
        Save $0.00 (0%)
      • Baron Philippe de Rothschild Escudo Rojo Syrah Reserva 2019  Front Label
        Baron Philippe de Rothschild Escudo Rojo Syrah Reserva 2019
        Syrah/Shiraz from Maipo Valley, Chile
        • JS94
        • WW92
        4.1 73 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $17.99
        Try the
        17 99
        17 99
        Save $0.00 (0%)
      • Chateau Lafite Rothschild (Futures Pre-Sale) 2019  Front Label
        Chateau Lafite Rothschild (Futures Pre-Sale) 2019
        Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
        • JS100
        • JD100
        • RP99
        • D98
        5.0 11 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $699.97
        Try the
        699 97
        699 97
        Save $0.00 (0%)
      • Hahn SLH Pinot Noir 2019  Front Label
        Hahn SLH Pinot Noir 2019
        Pinot Noir from Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey, Central Coast, California
          3.7 10 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $23.99
          Try the
          30
          23 99
          Save $6.01 (20%)
        • Apothic Red Blend 2019  Front Label
          Apothic Red Blend 2019
          Other Red Blends from California
            4.2 96 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $12.99
            Try the
            12 99
            12 99
            Save $0.00 (0%)
          • Mollydooker Blue Eyed Boy Shiraz 2019  Front Label
            Mollydooker Blue Eyed Boy Shiraz 2019
            Syrah/Shiraz from McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
            • WS94
            • RP92
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $58.99
            Try the
            58 99
            58 99
            Save $0.00 (0%)
          • Tenuta Guado al Tasso Il Bruciato 2019  Front Label
            Tenuta Guado al Tasso Il Bruciato 2019
            Bordeaux Red Blends from Bolgheri, Tuscany, Italy
            • RP92
            4.0 12 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $31.99
            Try the
            31 99
            31 99
            Save $0.00 (0%)
          • Parducci Small Lot Pinot Noir 2019  Front Label
            Parducci Small Lot Pinot Noir 2019
            Pinot Noir from California
            • WW90
            • TP90
            3.9 115 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $12.99
            Try the
            18
            12 99
            Save $5.01 (28%)
          • Chateau Bourdieu No.1 2019  Front Label
            Chateau Bourdieu No.1 2019
            Bordeaux Red Blends from Bordeaux, France
            • D95
            4.0 278 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $16.99
            Try the
            16 99
            16 99
            Save $0.00 (0%)
          • Cakebread Two Creeks Vineyards Pinot Noir 2019  Front Label
            Cakebread Two Creeks Vineyards Pinot Noir 2019
            Pinot Noir from Anderson Valley, Mendocino, California
              3.9 5 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $55.99
              Try the
              55 99
              55 99
              Save $0.00 (0%)
            • Kosta Browne Russian River Pinot Noir 2019  Front Label
              Kosta Browne Russian River Pinot Noir 2019
              Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
              • JD94
              • WW92
              • WS92
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $109.99
              Try the
              115
              109 99
              Save $5.01 (4%)
            • Elk Cove Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2019  Front Label
              Elk Cove Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2019
              Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
              • JS91
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $31.99
              Try the
              31 99
              31 99
              Save $0.00 (0%)
            • Cellier des Dauphins Reserve Cotes du Rhone 2019  Front Label
              Cellier des Dauphins Reserve Cotes du Rhone 2019
              Rhone Red Blends from Cotes du Rhone, Rhone, France
                4.7 14 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $13.99
                Try the
                13 99
                13 99
                Save $0.00 (0%)
              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...