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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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  • Gaja Sori Tildin 1979 Front Label
    Gaja Sori Tildin 1979
    Nebbiolo from Piedmont, Italy
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      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
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      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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      • 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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        • Silver Oak Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1979 Front Label
          Silver Oak Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1979
          Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
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            Currently Unavailable $127.97
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            127 97
            127 97
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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
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                Currently Unavailable $204.97
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                204 97
                204 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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              • 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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                • 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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                • 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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                  • 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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                  • 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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                  • Chateau Mouton Rothschild  1979 Front Label
                    Chateau Mouton Rothschild 1979
                    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
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                      Currently Unavailable $259.00
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                      259
                      259
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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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                    • 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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                    • 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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                    • Chateau Cheval Blanc  1979 Front Label
                      Chateau Cheval Blanc 1979
                      Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
                      • WS88
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                      Currently Unavailable $168.99
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                      201 99
                      168 99
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                    • Prunotto Cannubi Barolo 1979 Front Label
                      Prunotto Cannubi Barolo 1979
                      Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
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                        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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                      • 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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                      • 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
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