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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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  • Opus One  1988 Front Label
    Opus One 1988
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
    • RP91
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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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    • 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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      199 97
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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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    • 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
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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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        • 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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          • 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 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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              • 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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              • 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
                  179 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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                  127 97
                  127 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, France
                    0.0 0 Ratings
                    Currently Unavailable $145.00
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                    145
                    145
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                  • Chateau Petrus  1988 Front Label
                    Chateau Petrus 1988
                    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pomerol, Bordeaux, France
                    • WS95
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                    Currently Unavailable $1,152.99
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                    1,152 99
                    1,152 99
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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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                    • 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
                        149 97
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                      • Robert Mondavi Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 1988
                        Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
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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
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                          • Joseph Drouhin Beaune Champimonts 1988
                            Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
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                              Currently Unavailable $18.49
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                              18 49
                              18 49
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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
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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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                                • Lungarotti San Giorgio (Cabernet Sauvignon/Sangiovese) 1988
                                  Other Red Blends from Italy
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                                    40 99
                                    40 99
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                                  • Lungarotti Rubesco Riserva 1988 Front Label
                                    Lungarotti Rubesco Riserva Vigna Monticchio 1988
                                    Other Red Blends from Italy
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                                      Currently Unavailable $32.99
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                                      37 99
                                      32 99
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                                    • Sean Thackrey Taurus Mourvedre 1988 Front Label
                                      Sean Thackrey Taurus Mourvedre 1988
                                      Other Red Blends from Central Coast, California
                                      • RP90
                                      0.0 0 Ratings
                                      Currently Unavailable $99.99
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                                      99 99
                                      99 99
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