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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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  • Dominus Estate 1988 Front Label
    Dominus Estate 1988
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Yountville, Napa Valley, California
    • RP91
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    Currently Unavailable $199.97
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  • Chateau Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 1988 Front Label
    Chateau Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 1988
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Calistoga, Napa Valley, California
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      Currently Unavailable $139.99
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      139 99
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    • Opus One  1988 Front Label
      Opus One 1988
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
      • RP91
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      Currently Unavailable $389.97
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      389 97
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    • Caymus Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon (stained label) 1988 Front Label
      Caymus Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon (stained label) 1988
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
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        Currently Unavailable $179.99
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        179 99
        179 99
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      • Dunn Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 1988 Front Label
        Dunn Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 1988
        Cabernet Sauvignon from Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, California
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          Currently Unavailable $149.97
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          149 97
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        • Chateau Mouton Rothschild (top shoulder) 1988 Front Label
          Chateau Mouton Rothschild (top shoulder) 1988
          Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
          • JS93
          • WS92
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          Currently Unavailable $579.97
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          579 97
          579 97
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        • Pahlmeyer Caldwell Vineyard Napa Valley 1988 Front Label
          Pahlmeyer Caldwell Vineyard Napa Valley 1988
          Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
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            Currently Unavailable $74.99
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            74 99
            74 99
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          • Chateau Lagrange  1988 Front Label
            Chateau Lagrange 1988
            Bordeaux Red Blends from St-Julien, Bordeaux, France
            • WS91
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            Currently Unavailable $85.00
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            85
            85
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          • Beaulieu Vineyard Georges de Latour Private Reserve 1988
            Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
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              Currently Unavailable $149.97
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              149 97
              149 97
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            • Simi Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1988 Front Label
              Simi Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1988
              Cabernet Sauvignon from Sonoma County, California
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                Currently Unavailable $129.97
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                129 97
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              • Domaine Tempier La Tourtine Bandol Rouge (1.5L Magnum) 1988 Front Label
                Domaine Tempier La Tourtine Bandol Rouge (1.5L Magnum) 1988
                Mourvedre from Provence, South of France, France
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                  Currently Unavailable $145.00
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                  145
                  145
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                • Chateau Margaux  1988 Front Label
                  Chateau Margaux 1988
                  Bordeaux Red Blends from Margaux, Bordeaux, France
                  • WS95
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                  Currently Unavailable $510.97
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                  510 97
                  510 97
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                • Mayacamas Cabernet Sauvignon 1988 Front Label
                  Mayacamas Cabernet Sauvignon 1988
                  Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
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                    Currently Unavailable $229.99
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                    229 99
                    229 99
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                  • Chateau Latour  1988 Front Label
                    Chateau Latour 1988
                    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
                    • WS96
                    • RP91
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                    Currently Unavailable $612.97
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                    612 97
                    612 97
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                  • Silver Oak Napa Valley Bonny's Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 1988 Front Label
                    Silver Oak Napa Valley Bonny's Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 1988
                    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
                    • RP90
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                    Currently Unavailable $127.97
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                    127 97
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                  • Rombauer Le Meilleur de Chai Red (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1988 Front Label
                    Rombauer Le Meilleur de Chai Red (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1988
                    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
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                      Currently Unavailable $179.97
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                      179 97
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                    • Rombauer Le Meilleur de Chai Red (3 Liter) 1988 Front Label
                      Rombauer Le Meilleur de Chai Red (3 Liter) 1988
                      Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
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                        Currently Unavailable $349.97
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                        349 97
                        349 97
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                      • Cardinale Cabernet Sauvignon 1988
                        Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
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                          Currently Unavailable $149.97
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                          149 97
                          149 97
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                        • Silver Oak Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1988 Front Label
                          Silver Oak Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1988
                          Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
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                            Currently Unavailable $127.97
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                            127 97
                            127 97
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                          • Robert Mondavi Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 1988
                            Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
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                              Currently Unavailable $119.97
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                            • Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (torn labels) 1988 Front Label
                              Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (torn labels) 1988
                              Cabernet Sauvignon from Sonoma County, California
                              • WS91
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                              Currently Unavailable $129.97
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                              129 97
                              129 97
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                            • Opus One 6-Pack Wood Case (OWC) 1988 Front Label
                              Opus One 6-Pack Wood Case (OWC) 1988
                              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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                              • Gundlach Bundschu Vintage Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 1988
                                Cabernet Sauvignon from Sonoma County, California
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                                  Currently Unavailable $29.97
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                                  29 97
                                  29 97
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                                • Sean Thackrey Taurus Mourvedre 1988 Front Label
                                  Sean Thackrey Taurus Mourvedre 1988
                                  Other Red Blends from Central Coast, California
                                  • RP90
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                                  Currently Unavailable $99.99
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                                  99 99
                                  99 99
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                                • Lungarotti Rubesco Riserva 1988 Front Label
                                  Lungarotti Rubesco Riserva Vigna Monticchio 1988
                                  Other Red Blends from Italy
                                    0.0 0 Ratings
                                    Currently Unavailable $32.99
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                                    37 99
                                    32 99
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