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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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41 Items
  • Diamond Creek Red Rock Terrace Cabernet Sauvignon 1981
    Cabernet Sauvignon from California
    • WS88
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $180.00
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    200
    180
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  • Chateau Beychevelle  1981 Front Label
    Chateau Beychevelle 1981
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St-Julien, Bordeaux, France
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $99.99
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      99 99
      99 99
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    • Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe Chateauneuf-du-Pape 1981 Front Label
      Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe Chateauneuf-du-Pape 1981
      Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
      • RP92
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $139.99
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      139 99
      139 99
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    • Chateau Latour  1981 Front Label
      Chateau Latour 1981
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $499.00
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        499
        499
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      • Chateau Haut-Brion 1981
        Bordeaux Red Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
        • WS87
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $100.99
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        100 99
        100 99
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      • Bodegas Valdemar Conde de Valdemar Gran Reserva 1981
        Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $26.99
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          26 99
          26 99
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        • Clos Du Val Cabernet Sauvignon 1981
          Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
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            Currently Unavailable $14.99
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            14 99
            14 99
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          • Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon 1981
            Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
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              Currently Unavailable $79.97
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              79 97
              79 97
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            • Chateau Gruaud Larose 1981
              Bordeaux Red Blends from St-Julien, Bordeaux, France
                0.0 0 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $94.99
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                94 99
                94 99
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              • Inglenook Rubicon 1981
                Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
                  0.0 0 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $95.99
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                  95 99
                  95 99
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                • Opus One (no capsule) 1981 Front Label
                  Opus One (no capsule) 1981
                  Bordeaux Red Blends from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
                    0.0 0 Ratings
                    Currently Unavailable $369.97
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                    369 97
                    369 97
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                  • Chateau Petrus 1981
                    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pomerol, Bordeaux, France
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                      Currently Unavailable $620.99
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                      620 99
                      620 99
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                    • Diamond Creek Gravelly Meadow Cabernet Sauvignon 1981 Front Label
                      Diamond Creek Gravelly Meadow Cabernet Sauvignon 1981
                      Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
                        0.0 0 Ratings
                        Currently Unavailable $101.49
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                        101 49
                        101 49
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                      • Chateau Mouton Rothschild  1981 Front Label
                        Chateau Mouton Rothschild 1981
                        Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
                        • WS91
                        0.0 0 Ratings
                        Currently Unavailable $230.99
                        Try the 2015 Vintage 629 97
                        230 99
                        230 99
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                      • Chateau Lafite Rothschild 1981
                        Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
                        • RP91
                        0.0 0 Ratings
                        Currently Unavailable $343.99
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                        343 99
                        343 99
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                      • Diamond Creek Three Vineyard Blend Cabernet Sauvignon 1981
                        Cabernet Sauvignon from California
                          0.0 0 Ratings
                          Currently Unavailable $202.99
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                          202 99
                          202 99
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                        • Chateau Petrus (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1981
                          Bordeaux Red Blends from Pomerol, Bordeaux, France
                            0.0 0 Ratings
                            Currently Unavailable $893.99
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                            893 99
                            893 99
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                          • Silver Oak Napa Valley Bonny's Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1981 Front Label
                            Silver Oak Napa Valley Bonny's Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1981
                            Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
                              0.0 0 Ratings
                              Currently Unavailable $147.97
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                              147 97
                              147 97
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                            • Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1981 Front Label
                              Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1981
                              Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
                              • WS92
                              0.0 0 Ratings
                              Currently Unavailable $127.97
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                              127 97
                              127 97
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                            • R. Lopez de Heredia Rioja Vina Tondonia Gran Reserva 1981 Front Label
                              R. Lopez de Heredia Rioja Vina Tondonia Gran Reserva 1981
                              Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
                              • RP95
                              0.0 0 Ratings
                              Currently Unavailable $239.00
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                              239
                              239
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                            • Silver Oak Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5 Liter Magnum - signs of seepage) 1981 Front Label
                              Silver Oak Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5 Liter Magnum - signs of seepage) 1981
                              Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
                                0.0 0 Ratings
                                Currently Unavailable $280.97
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                                280 97
                                280 97
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                              • Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5 Liter Magnum - signs of past seepage) 1981 Front Label
                                Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5 Liter Magnum - signs of past seepage) 1981
                                Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
                                • WS92
                                0.0 0 Ratings
                                Currently Unavailable $280.97
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                                280 97
                                280 97
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                              • Chateau Lafite Rothschild (1.5 Liter Magnum) OWC 1981 Front Label
                                Chateau Lafite Rothschild (1.5 Liter Magnum) OWC 1981
                                Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
                                • RP91
                                0.0 0 Ratings
                                Currently Unavailable $1,500.00
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                                1,500
                                1,500
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                              • Opus One  1981 Front Label
                                Opus One 1981
                                Bordeaux Red Blends from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
                                  0.0 0 Ratings
                                  Currently Unavailable $299.00
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                                  299
                                  299
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                                • Clos Fourtet  1981 Front Label
                                  Clos Fourtet 1981
                                  Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
                                    0.0 0 Ratings
                                    Currently Unavailable $249.00
                                    Try the 2016 Vintage 139 99
                                    249
                                    249
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