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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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  • Inglenook Rubicon 1979
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
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      Currently Unavailable $109.49
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      109 49
      109 49
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    • Gaja Barbaresco 1979 Front Label
      Gaja Barbaresco 1979
      Nebbiolo from Barbaresco, Piedmont, Italy
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        Currently Unavailable $499.97
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        499 97
        499 97
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      • Beaulieu Vineyard Georges de Latour Private Reserve 1979
        Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
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          Currently Unavailable $139.97
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          139 97
          139 97
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        • Gaja Sori Tildin 1979 Front Label
          Gaja Sori Tildin 1979
          Nebbiolo from Piedmont, Italy
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $349.00
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            349
            349
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          • Chateau Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 1979 Front Label
            Chateau Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 1979
            Cabernet Sauvignon from Calistoga, Napa Valley, California
            • WS90
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $219.97
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            219 97
            219 97
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          • Louis Martini Monte Rosso Cabernet Sauvignon 1979 Front Label
            Louis Martini Monte Rosso Cabernet Sauvignon 1979
            Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
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              Currently Unavailable $46.99
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              46 99
              46 99
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            • Chateau Margaux  1979 Front Label
              Chateau Margaux 1979
              Bordeaux Red Blends from Margaux, Bordeaux, France
              • RP93
              • WS91
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $379.00
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              379
              379
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            • Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5 Liter Magnun - signs of seepage) 1979 Front Label
              Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5 Liter Magnun - signs of seepage) 1979
              Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
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                Currently Unavailable $433.97
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                433 97
                433 97
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              • Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1979 Front Label
                Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1979
                Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
                  0.0 0 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $204.97
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                  204 97
                  204 97
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                • Silver Oak Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1979 Front Label
                  Silver Oak Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1979
                  Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
                    0.0 0 Ratings
                    Currently Unavailable $127.97
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                    127 97
                    127 97
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                  • Chateau Lafite Rothschild (1.5 Liter Magnum) OWC 1979 Front Label
                    Chateau Lafite Rothschild (1.5 Liter Magnum) OWC 1979
                    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
                    • WS92
                    0.0 0 Ratings
                    Currently Unavailable $1,500.00
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                    1,500
                    1,500
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                  • Chateau Lafite Rothschild  1979 Front Label
                    Chateau Lafite Rothschild 1979
                    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
                    • WS92
                    0.0 0 Ratings
                    Currently Unavailable $529.00
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                    529
                    529
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                  • Robert Mondavi Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1979 Front Label
                    Robert Mondavi Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1979
                    Cabernet Sauvignon from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
                    • WS90
                    0.0 0 Ratings
                    Currently Unavailable $329.00
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                    329
                    329
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                  • Chateau Mouton Rothschild  1979 Front Label
                    Chateau Mouton Rothschild 1979
                    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
                      0.0 0 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $259.00
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                      259
                      259
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                    • Chateau Haut-Brion  1979 Front Label
                      Chateau Haut-Brion 1979
                      Bordeaux Red Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
                      • RP93
                      0.0 0 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $389.00
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                      389
                      389
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                    • Opus One (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1979 Front Label
                      Opus One (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1979
                      Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
                      • D93
                      • WS91
                      0.0 0 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $1,999.97
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                      1,999 97
                      1,999 97
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                    • Silver Oak Napa Valley Bonny's Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 1979 Front Label
                      Silver Oak Napa Valley Bonny's Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 1979
                      Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
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                        Currently Unavailable $149.00
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                        149
                        149
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                      • Mayacamas Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1979 Front Label
                        Mayacamas Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1979
                        Cabernet Sauvignon from California
                        • WS91
                        0.0 0 Ratings
                        Currently Unavailable $729.97
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                        729 97
                        729 97
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                      • Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande (bin soiled label) 1979 Front Label
                        Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande (bin soiled label) 1979
                        Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
                        • WS93
                        • RP90
                        0.0 0 Ratings
                        Currently Unavailable $209.00
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                        209
                        209
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                      • Opus One  1979 Front Label
                        Opus One 1979
                        Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
                        • D93
                        • WS91
                        0.0 0 Ratings
                        Currently Unavailable $259.00
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                        259
                        259
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                      • Beaulieu Vineyard Georges de Latour Private Reserve (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1979 Front Label
                        Beaulieu Vineyard Georges de Latour Private Reserve (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1979
                        Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
                        • RP90
                        0.0 0 Ratings
                        Currently Unavailable $194.99
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                        194 99
                        194 99
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                      • Robert Mondavi Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5L signs of seepage) 1979 Front Bottle Shot
                        Robert Mondavi Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5L signs of seepage) 1979
                        Cabernet Sauvignon from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
                        • WS90
                        0.0 0 Ratings
                        Currently Unavailable $299.00
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                        299
                        299
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                      • Prunotto Cannubi Barolo 1979 Front Label
                        Prunotto Cannubi Barolo 1979
                        Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
                          0.0 0 Ratings
                          Currently Unavailable $169.99
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                          169 99
                          169 99
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                        • Robert Mondavi Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (3 Liter - signs of seepage) 1979 Front Bottle Shot
                          Robert Mondavi Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (3 Liter - signs of seepage) 1979
                          Cabernet Sauvignon from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
                          • WS90
                          0.0 0 Ratings
                          Currently Unavailable $499.99
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                          499 99
                          499 99
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                        • Spring Mountain Vineyard Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1979
                          Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
                            0.0 0 Ratings
                            Currently Unavailable $79.99
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                            92 99
                            79 99
                            Save $13.00 (14%)
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