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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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  • Beaulieu Vineyard Georges de Latour Private Reserve 1984  Front Label
    Beaulieu Vineyard Georges de Latour Private Reserve 1984
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
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    • Heitz Cellar Martha's Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 1984 Front Label
      Heitz Cellar Martha's Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 1984
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
      • RP92
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    • Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1984 Front Label
      Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1984
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
      • WS90
      • RP90
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    • Chateau Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 1984 Front Bottle Shot
      Chateau Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 1984
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Calistoga, Napa Valley, California
      • RP92
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      Currently Unavailable $129.99
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    • Beringer Chabot Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 1984 Front Label
      Beringer Chabot Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 1984
      Cabernet Sauvignon from St. Helena, Napa Valley, California
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        Currently Unavailable $79.99
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      • Diamond Creek Red Rock Terrace Cabernet Sauvignon 1984
        Cabernet Sauvignon from California
        • WS92
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        Currently Unavailable $157.99
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        175 49
        157 99
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      • Diamond Creek Gravelly Meadow Cabernet Sauvignon 1984 Front Label
        Diamond Creek Gravelly Meadow Cabernet Sauvignon 1984
        Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
        • RP92
        • WS90
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        Currently Unavailable $116.99
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        129 99
        116 99
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      • Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1984 Front Label
        Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1984
        Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
        • RP91
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        Currently Unavailable $127.97
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        127 97
        127 97
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      • Opus One 6-Pack Wood Case (OWC) 1984 Front Label
        Opus One 6-Pack Wood Case (OWC) 1984
        Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
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          Currently Unavailable $1,799.00
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        • Kenwood Artist Series Cabernet Sauvignon 1984 Front Label
          Kenwood Artist Series Cabernet Sauvignon 1984
          Cabernet Sauvignon from Sonoma County, California
          • WS93
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          Currently Unavailable $49.99
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          49 99
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        • Caymus Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1984 Front Label
          Caymus Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1984
          Cabernet Sauvignon from California
          • WS98
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          Currently Unavailable $613.99
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          681 99
          613 99
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        • Opus One (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1984
          Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
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            Currently Unavailable $405.99
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            405 99
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          • Chateau Lafite Rothschild 1984
            Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
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              Currently Unavailable $123.99
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            • Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 1984 Front Label
              Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 1984
              Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
              • RP90
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              Currently Unavailable $129.00
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              129
              129
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            • Beaulieu Vineyard Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon 1984 Front Label
              Beaulieu Vineyard Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon 1984
              Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
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              • Dominus Estate 1984 Front Label
                Dominus Estate 1984
                Bordeaux Red Blends from Yountville, Napa Valley, California
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                  Currently Unavailable $149.00
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                • Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (3 Liter Bottle) 1984 Front Label
                  Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (3 Liter Bottle) 1984
                  Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
                  • RP91
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                  Currently Unavailable $629.00
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                  629
                  629
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                • Chateau Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5L Magnum) 1984 Front Label
                  Chateau Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5L Magnum) 1984
                  Cabernet Sauvignon from Calistoga, Napa Valley, California
                  • RP92
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                  Currently Unavailable $279.00
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                  279
                  279
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                • Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage 1984  Front Label
                  Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage 1984
                  Syrah/Shiraz from Hermitage, Rhone, France
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                    499 97
                    499 97
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                  • Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia 1984  Front Label
                    Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia 1984
                    Bordeaux Red Blends from Tuscany, Italy
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                      Currently Unavailable $599.97
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                      599 97
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                    • Silver Oak Napa Valley Bonny's Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 1984 Front Label
                      Silver Oak Napa Valley Bonny's Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 1984
                      Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
                      • RP90
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                      Currently Unavailable $147.97
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                    • Diamond Creek Lake Cabernet Sauvignon 1984
                      Cabernet Sauvignon from California
                      • WS94
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                      500 99
                      450 99
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                    • Seppeltsfield Para Vintage Port 1984 Front Label
                      Seppeltsfield Para Vintage Port 1984
                      Rhone Red Blends from Barossa Valley, Barossa, South Australia, Australia
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                        Currently Unavailable $6,155.99
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                        6,155 99
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                      • Dunn Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1984  Front Label
                        Dunn Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1984
                        Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
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                          135 99
                          135 99
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                        • Borgogno Barolo 1984  Front Label
                          Borgogno Barolo 1984
                          Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
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                            Currently Unavailable $81.99
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                            81 99
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