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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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  • Silver Oak Napa Valley Bonny's Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (corroded capsule) 1985  Front Label
    Silver Oak Napa Valley Bonny's Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (corroded capsule) 1985
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
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    • Beaulieu Vineyard Georges de Latour Private Reserve 1985  Front Label
      Beaulieu Vineyard Georges de Latour Private Reserve 1985
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
      • RP90
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      Currently Unavailable $109.97
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    • Chateau Margaux  1985 Front Label
      Chateau Margaux 1985
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Margaux, Bordeaux, France
      • RP95
      • WS93
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      Currently Unavailable $699.97
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    • Chateau Latour  1985 Front Label
      Chateau Latour 1985
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
      • WS93
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      Currently Unavailable $459.97
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    • Diamond Creek Volcanic Hill Cabernet Sauvignon 1985  Front Label
      Diamond Creek Volcanic Hill Cabernet Sauvignon 1985
      Cabernet Sauvignon from California
      • WS90
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $199.97
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    • Caymus Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon (signed) 1985  Front Label
      Caymus Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon (signed) 1985
      Cabernet Sauvignon from California
      • RP95
      • WS90
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $279.97
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    • Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1985 Front Label
      Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1985
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
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        Currently Unavailable $139.00
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      • Chateau Cos d'Estournel  1985 Front Bottle Shot
        Chateau Cos d'Estournel 1985
        Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Estephe, Bordeaux, France
        • RP93
        • WS93
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        Currently Unavailable $189.99
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      • Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande (bin soiled label) 1985  Front Label
        Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande (bin soiled label) 1985
        Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
        • WS96
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $369.97
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      • Chateau Mouton Rothschild  1985 Front Label
        Chateau Mouton Rothschild 1985
        Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
        • RP90
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $599.97
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        599 97
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      • Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape 1985 Front Label
        Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape 1985
        Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
        • RP91
        • WS91
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $169.99
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        169 99
        169 99
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      • Marchesi di Gresy Barbaresco Martinenga 1985 Front Label
        Marchesi di Gresy Barbaresco Martinenga 1985
        Nebbiolo from Barbaresco, Piedmont, Italy
        • WS90
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $114.97
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        114 97
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      • Diamond Creek Red Rock Terrace Cabernet Sauvignon 1985 Front Label
        Diamond Creek Red Rock Terrace Cabernet Sauvignon 1985
        Cabernet Sauvignon from Diamond Mountain District, Napa Valley, California
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          Currently Unavailable $125.00
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          125
          125
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        • Gaja Barbaresco Sori San Lorenzo 1985 Front Label
          Gaja Barbaresco Sori San Lorenzo 1985
          Nebbiolo from Barbaresco, Piedmont, Italy
          • WS96
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $549.00
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          549
          549
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        • Bodegas Montecillo Gran Reserva Seleccion Especial 1985  Front Label
          Bodegas Montecillo Gran Reserva Seleccion Especial 1985
          Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $29.99
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          • Opus One 6-Pack Wood Case (OWC) 1985 Front Label
            Opus One 6-Pack Wood Case (OWC) 1985
            Bordeaux Red Blends from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
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              Currently Unavailable $1,799.00
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              1,799
              1,799
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            • Lisini Brunello di Montalcino 1985 Front Label
              Lisini Brunello di Montalcino 1985
              Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
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                Currently Unavailable $99.97
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              • Gaja Barbaresco 1985 Front Label
                Gaja Barbaresco 1985
                Nebbiolo from Barbaresco, Piedmont, Italy
                • WS95
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                Currently Unavailable $329.99
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              • Chateau La Gaffeliere 1985
                Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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                  Currently Unavailable $40.99
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                  40 99
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                • Poggio Salvi Brunello di Montalcino 1985 Front Label
                  Poggio Salvi Brunello di Montalcino 1985
                  Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
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                    Currently Unavailable $57.99
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                  • Kenwood Artist Series Cabernet Sauvignon 1985 Front Label
                    Kenwood Artist Series Cabernet Sauvignon 1985
                    Cabernet Sauvignon from Sonoma County, California
                    • WS91
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                    Currently Unavailable $49.99
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                  • Bruno Giacosa Barolo Villero di Castiglione Falletto 1985 Front Label
                    Bruno Giacosa Barolo Villero di Castiglione Falletto 1985
                    Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
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                      Currently Unavailable $479.97
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                    • Chateau Lascombes 1985
                      Bordeaux Red Blends from Margaux, Bordeaux, France
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                        Currently Unavailable $99.97
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                      • Caves Sao Joao Frei Joao Tinto 1985 Front Label
                        Caves Sao Joao Frei Joao Tinto 1985
                        Other Red Wine from Portugal
                          4.6 7 Ratings
                          Currently Unavailable $44.99
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                          44 99
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                        • Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (3 Liter Bottle) 1985
                          Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
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                            Currently Unavailable $559.97
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