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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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  • Heitz Cellar Martha's Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 1978 Front Label
    Heitz Cellar Martha's Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 1978
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
    • WS91
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    Currently Unavailable $499.97
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  • Veedercrest Steltzner Cabernet Sauvignon 1978
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
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      Currently Unavailable $39.97
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    • Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 1978 Front Label
      Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 1978
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
      • WS92
      • RP90
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      Currently Unavailable $149.97
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      149 97
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    • Beaulieu Vineyard Georges de Latour Private Reserve 1978 Front Label
      Beaulieu Vineyard Georges de Latour Private Reserve 1978
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
      • RP90
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      Currently Unavailable $169.97
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      169 97
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    • Heitz Cellar Bella Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1978
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
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        Currently Unavailable $209.97
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        209 97
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      • Chateau Lafite Rothschild (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1978 Front Label
        Chateau Lafite Rothschild (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1978
        Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
        • WS94
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        Currently Unavailable $1,500.00
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        1,500
        1,500
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      • Chateau Ste. Michelle Cold Creek Vineyard Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 1978
        Cabernet Sauvignon from Columbia Valley, Washington
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          Currently Unavailable $33.97
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          33 97
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        • Inglenook Rubicon 1978
          Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
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            Currently Unavailable $119.99
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            129 99
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          • Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon (high shoulder fill) 1978
            Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
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              Currently Unavailable $129.97
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              129 97
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            • Chateau Langoa Barton 1978
              Bordeaux Red Blends from St-Julien, Bordeaux, France
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                Currently Unavailable $76.99
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                76 99
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              • Charles Krug Claret (signs of past seepage) 1978 Front Label
                Charles Krug Claret (signs of past seepage) 1978
                Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
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                  Currently Unavailable $159.97
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                  159 97
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                • Robert Mondavi Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1978  Front Label
                  Robert Mondavi Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1978
                  Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
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                    179 97
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                  • Chateau Haut-Brion 1978
                    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
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                      Currently Unavailable $264.99
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                      264 99
                      264 99
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                    • Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou  1978 Front Label
                      Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou 1978
                      Bordeaux Red Blends from St-Julien, Bordeaux, France
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                        Currently Unavailable $135.99
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                        135 99
                        135 99
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                      • Chateau La Lagune Haut Medoc 1978
                        Bordeaux Red Blends from Medoc, Bordeaux, France
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                          Currently Unavailable $95.99
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                          95 99
                          95 99
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                        • Les Forts de Latour 1978
                          Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
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                            Currently Unavailable $138.99
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                            138 99
                            138 99
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                          • Heitz Cellar Bella Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon 1978 Front Label
                            Heitz Cellar Bella Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon 1978
                            Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
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                              Currently Unavailable $159.00
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                              159
                              159
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                            • Guigal Cote Rotie La Mouline 1978
                              Syrah/Shiraz from Cote Rotie, Rhone, France
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                                3,999 97
                                3,999 97
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                              • Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1978 Front Label
                                Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1978
                                Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
                                • WS92
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                                Currently Unavailable $199.00
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                                199
                                199
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                              • R. Lopez de Heredia Rioja Vina Tondonia Gran Reserva 1978 Front Label
                                R. Lopez de Heredia Rioja Vina Tondonia Gran Reserva 1978
                                Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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                                  Currently Unavailable $359.99
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                                  359 99
                                  359 99
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                                • Beaulieu Vineyard Napa Cabernet Sauvignon 1978 Front Bottle Shot
                                  Beaulieu Vineyard Napa Cabernet Sauvignon 1978
                                  Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
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                                    Currently Unavailable $99.00
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                                    99
                                    99
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                                  • Chateau Mont Redon Chateauneuf-du-Pape 1978 Front Label
                                    Chateau Mont Redon Chateauneuf-du-Pape 1978
                                    Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
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                                      Currently Unavailable $165.00
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                                      165
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                                    • Villadoria Barolo Riserva Speciale 1978 Front Label
                                      Villadoria Barolo Riserva Speciale 1978
                                      Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
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                                        Currently Unavailable $69.99
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                                        69 99
                                        69 99
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                                      • Contratto Barolo Riserva del Centenario 1978 Front Label
                                        Contratto Barolo Riserva del Centenario 1978
                                        Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
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                                          Currently Unavailable $149.99
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                                          149 99
                                          149 99
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                                        • Remoissenet Pommard-Epenots 1er Cru 1978
                                          Pinot Noir from Pommard, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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                                            Currently Unavailable $99.99
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                                            99 99
                                            99 99
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