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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) 1987  Front Bottle Shot
    Silver Oak Napa Valley Bonny's Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (corroded capsule) 1987
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
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      Currently Unavailable $199.97
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    • Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 1987 Front Label
      Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 1987
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
      • RP93
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      Currently Unavailable $139.97
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      139 97
      139 97
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    • Dominus Estate 1987 Front Label
      Dominus Estate (bin soiled label) 1987
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Yountville, Napa Valley, California
      • RP96
      • WS92
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      Currently Unavailable $219.97
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      219 97
      219 97
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    • Chateau Mouton Rothschild  1987 Front Label
      Chateau Mouton Rothschild 1987
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
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        Currently Unavailable $629.97
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        629 97
        629 97
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      • Robert Mondavi Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 1987 Front Label
        Robert Mondavi Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 1987
        Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
        • RP97
        • WS93
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        Currently Unavailable $149.97
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        149 97
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      • Silver Oak Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1987 Front Label
        Silver Oak Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1987
        Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
        • RP90
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $299.97
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        299 97
        299 97
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      • Opus One (signs of past seepage) 1987  Front Label
        Opus One (signs of past seepage) 1987
        Bordeaux Red Blends from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
        • WS96
        • RP93
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $289.97
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        289 97
        289 97
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      • Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1987 Front Label
        Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1987
        Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
        • WS93
        • RP90
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $119.97
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        119 97
        119 97
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      • Chateau Lafite Rothschild  1987 Front Label
        Chateau Lafite Rothschild 1987
        Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
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          Currently Unavailable $510.97
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          510 97
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        • Dunn Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1987 Front Label
          Dunn Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1987
          Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
          • WS93
          • RP91
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          Currently Unavailable $109.00
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          109
          109
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        • Kenwood Artist Series Cabernet Sauvignon (torn foil capsule) 1987
          Cabernet Sauvignon from Sonoma County, California
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            Currently Unavailable $49.97
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          • Raymond Reserve Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 1987 Front Label
            Raymond Reserve Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 1987
            Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
            • WS90
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            Currently Unavailable $49.99
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            49 99
            49 99
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          • Sterling Napa Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1987
            Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
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              Currently Unavailable $109.97
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            • William Hill Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 1987 Front Label
              William Hill Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 1987
              Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
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                Currently Unavailable $58.99
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                58 99
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              • Beaulieu Vineyard Georges de Latour Private Reserve 1987  Front Bottle Shot
                Beaulieu Vineyard Georges de Latour Private Reserve 1987
                Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
                • RP92
                • WS91
                0.0 0 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $119.97
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                119 97
                119 97
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              • Sterling Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 1987 Front Bottle Shot
                Sterling Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 1987
                Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
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                  Currently Unavailable $99.97
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                • Chateau Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 1987 Front Label
                  Chateau Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 1987
                  Cabernet Sauvignon from Calistoga, Napa Valley, California
                  • RP98
                  0.0 0 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $239.00
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                  239
                  239
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                • Caymus Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 1987  Front Label
                  Caymus Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 1987
                  Cabernet Sauvignon from California
                  • WS98
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                  219 97
                  219 97
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                • Mayacamas Cabernet Sauvignon 1987 Front Label
                  Mayacamas Cabernet Sauvignon 1987
                  Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
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                    Currently Unavailable $159.99
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                    159 99
                    159 99
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                  • Pahlmeyer Caldwell Vineyard Napa Valley 1987
                    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
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                      Currently Unavailable $89.97
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                    • Chateau Certan de May 1987
                      Bordeaux Red Blends from Pomerol, Bordeaux, France
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                        Currently Unavailable $37.99
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                        37 99
                        37 99
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                      • Chateau L'Evangile 1987
                        Bordeaux Red Blends from Pomerol, Bordeaux, France
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                          Currently Unavailable $44.99
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                          44 99
                          44 99
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                        • Dunn Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 1987 Front Label
                          Dunn Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 1987
                          Cabernet Sauvignon from Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, California
                          • WS97
                          • RP94
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                          Currently Unavailable $150.00
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                          150
                          150
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                        • Lungarotti San Giorgio (Cabernet Sauvignon/Sangiovese) 1987
                          Other Red Blends from Italy
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                            Currently Unavailable $40.49
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                            40 49
                            40 49
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                          • Chateau St. Jean Reserve Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1987
                            Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
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                              Currently Unavailable $54.97
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                              54 97
                              54 97
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