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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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  • 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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  • Dominus Estate (bin soiled label) 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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  • 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
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    Currently Unavailable $299.97
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    299 97
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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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    • 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
        0.0 0 Ratings
        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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            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
              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
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              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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              • Chateau Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 1987 Front Label
                Chateau Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 1987
                Cabernet Sauvignon from Calistoga, Napa Valley, California
                • RP98
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                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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                Currently Unavailable $219.97
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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 L'Evangile 1987
                    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pomerol, Bordeaux, France
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                      Currently Unavailable $44.99
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                      44 99
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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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                      • 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 La Mission Haut-Brion 1987
                          Bordeaux Red Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
                            0.0 0 Ratings
                            Currently Unavailable $55.99
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                            55 99
                            55 99
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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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