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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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  • R. Lopez de Heredia Vina Bosconia Gran Reserva 1991  Front Label
    R. Lopez de Heredia Vina Bosconia Gran Reserva 1991
    Other Red Blends from Rioja, Spain
    • RP96
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    Currently Unavailable $199.97
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  • Chateau St. Jean Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 1991  Front Label
    Chateau St. Jean Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 1991
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Sonoma County, California
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      Currently Unavailable $89.97
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      89 97
      89 97
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    • Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 1991 Front Label
      Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 1991
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
      • RP96
      • WS94
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      Currently Unavailable $145.00
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      145
      145
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    • Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1991 Front Label
      Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1991
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Sonoma County, California
      • RP92
      • WS91
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $139.97
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      185
      139 97
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    • Opus One  1991 Front Label
      Opus One 1991
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
      • RP92
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $419.97
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      419 97
      419 97
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    • Dominus Estate 1991 Front Bottle Shot
      Dominus Estate 1991
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Yountville, Napa Valley, California
      • RP98
      • WS93
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      Currently Unavailable $389.97
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      389 97
      389 97
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    • Silver Oak Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1991 Front Label
      Silver Oak Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1991
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
      • RP95
      • WS90
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      Currently Unavailable $149.97
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      149 97
      149 97
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    • Groth Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 1991  Front Label
      Groth Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 1991
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
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        229 97
        229 97
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      • Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon 1991 Front Label
        Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon 1991
        Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
        • RP96
        • WS93
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        Currently Unavailable $178.97
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        178 97
        178 97
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      • Chateau Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon (scuffed labels) 1991  Front Label
        Chateau Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon (scuffed labels) 1991
        Cabernet Sauvignon from Calistoga, Napa Valley, California
        • RP95
        • WS91
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        Currently Unavailable $159.97
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        159 97
        159 97
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      • Harlan Estate 1991 Front Bottle Shot
        Harlan Estate 1991
        Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
        • RP98
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        Currently Unavailable $999.97
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        999 97
        999 97
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      • Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Cask 23 Cabernet Sauvignon 1991 Front Label
        Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Cask 23 Cabernet Sauvignon 1991
        Cabernet Sauvignon from California
        • RP96
        • WS92
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        Currently Unavailable $199.97
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        199 97
        199 97
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      • Heitz Cellar Martha's Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 1991  Front Label
        Heitz Cellar Martha's Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 1991
        Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
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          Currently Unavailable $199.97
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          199 97
          199 97
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        • Caymus Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 1991 Front Label
          Caymus Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 1991
          Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
          • WS94
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          Currently Unavailable $259.97
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          259 97
          259 97
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        • Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1991 Front Label
          Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1991
          Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
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            Currently Unavailable $102.97
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            102 97
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          • Grgich Hills Estate Cabernet Sauvignon (half-bottle) 1991
            Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
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              Currently Unavailable $41.49
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              41 49
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            • Dunn Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 1991 Front Label
              Dunn Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 1991
              Cabernet Sauvignon from Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, California
              • RP93
              • WS91
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              Currently Unavailable $139.99
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              139 99
              139 99
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            • Dalla Valle Cabernet Sauvignon 1991 Front Label
              Dalla Valle Cabernet Sauvignon 1991
              Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
              • RP94
              • WS90
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              Currently Unavailable $159.00
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              159
              159
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            • Silver Oak Napa Valley Bonny's Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 1991 Front Label
              Silver Oak Napa Valley Bonny's Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 1991
              Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
              • WS93
              • RP90
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              Currently Unavailable $147.97
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              147 97
              147 97
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            • Silver Oak Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1991 Front Label
              Silver Oak Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1991
              Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
              • RP95
              • WS90
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              Currently Unavailable $255.97
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              255 97
              255 97
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            • Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1991 Front Label
              Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1991
              Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
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                Currently Unavailable $109.99
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                109 99
                109 99
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              • Araujo Eisele Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 1991 Front Label
                Araujo Eisele Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 1991
                Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
                • RP95
                • WS95
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                Currently Unavailable $239.00
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                239
                239
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              • Chateau Latour  1991 Front Label
                Chateau Latour 1991
                Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
                • WS91
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                Currently Unavailable $449.97
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                449 97
                449 97
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              • Joseph Phelps Eisele Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 1991 Front Label
                Joseph Phelps Eisele Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 1991
                Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
                • RP92
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                Currently Unavailable $189.99
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                189 99
                189 99
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              • Chateau St. Jean Reserve Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon (6 Liter Bottle) 1991 Front Label
                Chateau St. Jean Reserve Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon (6 Liter Bottle) 1991
                Cabernet Sauvignon from Sonoma County, California
                • WS95
                • RP90
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                Currently Unavailable $499.97
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                499 97
                499 97
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