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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 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1990 Front Bottle Shot
    Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1990
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • RP91
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    Currently Unavailable $112.97
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    112 97
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  • Dominus Estate 1990 Front Label
    Dominus Estate 1990
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Yountville, Napa Valley, California
    • RP95
    • WS91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $209.97
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    209 97
    209 97
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  • Chateau Lynch-Bages  1990 Front Label
    Chateau Lynch-Bages 1990
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
    • RP99
    • WS94
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $349.97
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    349 97
    349 97
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  • Pahlmeyer Caldwell Vineyard Napa Valley 1990 Front Label
    Pahlmeyer Caldwell Vineyard Napa Valley 1990
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
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      Currently Unavailable $102.97
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      102 97
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    • Silver Oak Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1990 Front Label
      Silver Oak Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1990
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
      • RP93
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      Currently Unavailable $139.97
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      139 97
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    • Chateau Leoville Poyferre  1990 Front Label
      Chateau Leoville Poyferre 1990
      Bordeaux Red Blends from St-Julien, Bordeaux, France
      • RP97
      • WS92
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $299.00
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      299
      299
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    • Chateau Haut-Brion  1990 Front Label
      Chateau Haut-Brion 1990
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
      • RP98
      • WS94
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      Currently Unavailable $989.97
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      989 97
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    • Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon 1990 Front Label
      Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon 1990
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
      • RP95
      • WS90
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      Currently Unavailable $149.99
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      149 99
      149 99
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    • Opus One  1990  Front Label
      Opus One 1990
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
      • WS96
      • RP90
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $359.97
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      359 97
      359 97
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    • Chateau Mouton Rothschild  1990 Front Label
      Chateau Mouton Rothschild 1990
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
      • JS90
      • RP90
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      Currently Unavailable $579.97
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      579 97
      579 97
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    • Joseph Phelps Backus Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 1990 Front Label
      Joseph Phelps Backus Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 1990
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
      • RP92
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      Currently Unavailable $179.99
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      179 99
      179 99
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    • Robert Ampeau Volnay Santenots 1990 Front Label
      Robert Ampeau Volnay Santenots 1990
      Pinot Noir from Volnay, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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        Currently Unavailable $115.00
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        115
        115
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      • Sterling Diamond Mountain Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon 1990 Front Label
        Sterling Diamond Mountain Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon 1990
        Cabernet Sauvignon from Diamond Mountain District, Napa Valley, California
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          Currently Unavailable $54.99
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          54 99
          54 99
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        • Mount Veeder Winery Reserve Red 1990 Front Label
          Mount Veeder Winery Reserve Red 1990
          Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
          • WS92
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          Currently Unavailable $79.97
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          79 97
          79 97
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        • Silverado Merlot 1990 Front Label
          Silverado Merlot 1990
          Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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            Currently Unavailable $39.99
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            39 99
            39 99
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          • Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 1990 Front Label
            Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 1990
            Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
            • WS91
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            Currently Unavailable $139.97
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            139 97
            139 97
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          • Chateau Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 1990 Front Label
            Chateau Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 1990
            Cabernet Sauvignon from Calistoga, Napa Valley, California
            • RP94
            • WS94
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            Currently Unavailable $199.97
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            199 97
            199 97
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          • Chateau Latour 1990
            Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
            • WS100
            • RP95
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            Currently Unavailable $540.99
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            540 99
            540 99
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          • La Jota Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 1990 Front Label
            La Jota Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 1990
            Cabernet Sauvignon from Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, California
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              Currently Unavailable $79.99
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              79 99
              79 99
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            • Chateau Latour  1990 Front Label
              Chateau Latour 1990
              Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
              • WS100
              • RP95
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              Currently Unavailable $918.97
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              918 97
              918 97
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            • Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou  1990 Front Label
              Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou 1990
              Bordeaux Red Blends from St-Julien, Bordeaux, France
                0.0 0 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $150.00
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                150
                150
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              • Heitz Cellar Bella Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon 1990 Front Bottle Shot
                Heitz Cellar Bella Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon 1990
                Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
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                  Currently Unavailable $99.99
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                • Louis Martini Vineyard Selection Cabernet Sauvignon Monte Rosso Vineyard 1990 Front Label
                  Louis Martini Vineyard Selection Cabernet Sauvignon Monte Rosso Vineyard 1990
                  Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
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                    Currently Unavailable $49.99
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                  • Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1990 Front Label
                    Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1990
                    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
                    • WS90
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                    Currently Unavailable $99.99
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                    99 99
                    99 99
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                  • Prieure-Roch Clos de Vougeot 1990 Front Label
                    Prieure-Roch Clos de Vougeot 1990
                    Pinot Noir from Vougeot, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
                      0.0 0 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $99.99
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                      99 99
                      99 99
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