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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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  • Penfolds Grange 1996 Front Label
    Penfolds Grange 1996
    Syrah/Shiraz from South Australia, Australia
    • WS97
    • W&S97
    • WE96
    • RP92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $419.00
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  • Chateau Angelus  1996 Front Label
    Chateau Angelus 1996
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
    • RP91
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    Currently Unavailable $379.97
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    379 97
    379 97
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  • Chateau Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 1996  Front Label
    Chateau Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 1996
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • RP93
    • WS92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $119.97
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    119 97
    119 97
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  • Fontanabianca Barbaresco 1996  Front Label
    Fontanabianca Barbaresco 1996
    Nebbiolo from Barbaresco, Piedmont, Italy
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    • Oakford Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 1996
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
      • WS92
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $99.99
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      109 99
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    • Caves Sao Joao Poco do Lobo Tinto 1996  Front Label
      Caves Sao Joao Poco do Lobo Tinto 1996
      Other Red Blends from Portugal
      • RP92
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $55.99
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      55 99
      55 99
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    • Sierra Cantabria Cantabria Coleccion Privada 1996  Front Label
      Sierra Cantabria Cantabria Coleccion Privada 1996
      Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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        Currently Unavailable $18.99
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        18 99
        18 99
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      • Bodegas Ismael Arroyo Val Sotillo 1996
        Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
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          Currently Unavailable $29.99
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        • Teofilo Reyes Tinto (slightly torn labels) 1996
          Other Red Blends from Ribera del Duero, Spain
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            Currently Unavailable $32.99
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            32 99
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          • Opus One  1996 Front Label
            Opus One 1996
            Bordeaux Red Blends from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
            • RP94
            • D93
            5.0 6 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $379.97
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            379 97
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          • Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1996 Front Label
            Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1996
            Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
            • RP92
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $89.97
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            89 97
            89 97
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          • Dominus Estate 1996 Front Label
            Dominus Estate 1996
            Bordeaux Red Blends from Yountville, Napa Valley, California
            • RP95
            • JS94
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $199.97
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            199 97
            199 97
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          • Chateau Haut-Brion  1996 Front Label
            Chateau Haut-Brion 1996
            Bordeaux Red Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
            • WS93
            • RP92
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $589.97
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            589 97
            589 97
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          • Chateau Latour  1996 Front Label
            Chateau Latour 1996
            Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
            • RP100
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $849.97
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            849 97
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          • Chateau Pichon-Longueville Baron  1996 Front Label
            Chateau Pichon-Longueville Baron 1996
            Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
            • RP91
            • WS90
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $229.97
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            229 97
            229 97
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          • Shafer Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon 1996 Front Label
            Shafer Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon 1996
            Cabernet Sauvignon from Stags Leap District, Napa Valley, California
            • RP98
            • W&S94
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $299.97
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            299 97
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          • Pahlmeyer Napa Valley Proprietary Red 1996 Front Label
            Pahlmeyer Napa Valley Proprietary Red 1996
            Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
            • RP95
            • WS90
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $149.97
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            149 97
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          • Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1996 Front Label
            Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1996
            Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
            • WS90
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $109.97
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            109 97
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          • Chateau Lafite Rothschild  1996 Front Label
            Chateau Lafite Rothschild 1996
            Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
            • RP100
            • JS97
            • WS96
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $1,699.97
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            1,699 97
            1,699 97
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          • Dalla Valle Cabernet Sauvignon 1996 Front Label
            Dalla Valle Cabernet Sauvignon 1996
            Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
            • WS94
            • RP93
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $159.99
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            159 99
            159 99
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          • Joseph Phelps Insignia 1996 Front Label
            Joseph Phelps Insignia 1996
            Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
            • RP95
            • WS93
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $199.99
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            199 99
            199 99
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          • Domenico Clerico Barolo Percristina 1996 Front Label
            Domenico Clerico Barolo Percristina 1996
            Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
            • RP95
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $249.97
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            249 97
            249 97
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          • Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou  1996 Front Label
            Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou 1996
            Bordeaux Red Blends from St-Julien, Bordeaux, France
            • RP96
            • WS91
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $279.97
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            279 97
            279 97
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          • Dominus Estate (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1996 Front Label
            Dominus Estate (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1996
            Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
            • RP95
            • JS94
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $429.99
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            429 99
            429 99
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          • Chateau Calon-Segur  1996 Front Label
            Chateau Calon-Segur 1996
            Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Estephe, Bordeaux, France
            • RP92
            • WS90
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $189.97
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            189 97
            189 97
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