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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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  • Ornellaia Masseto 1997 Front Label
    Ornellaia Masseto 1997
    Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
    • JS98
    • V96
    • RP94
    5.0 6 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $879.97
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    879 97
    879 97
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  • Giuseppe Quintarelli Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 1997  Front Label
    Giuseppe Quintarelli Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 1997
    Other Red Blends from Valpolicella, Veneto, Italy
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $359.97
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      359 97
      359 97
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    • Joseph Phelps Insignia 1997 Front Label
      Joseph Phelps Insignia (stained label) 1997
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
      • RP100
      • WS97
      • WE95
      • W&S93
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $449.97
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      449 97
      449 97
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    • Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape 1997  Front Label
      Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape 1997
      Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $189.97
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        189 97
        189 97
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      • San Giusto a Rentennano Percarlo 1997  Front Label
        San Giusto a Rentennano Percarlo 1997
        Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy
        • RP97
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $229.97
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        229 97
        229 97
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      • Manuel Jose Colares MJC Colares Tinto 1997  Front Label
        Manuel Jose Colares MJC Colares Tinto 1997
        Other Red Wine from Portugal
        • W&S91
        4.1 9 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $37.99
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        37 99
        37 99
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      • Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 1997  Front Label
        Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 1997
        Cabernet Sauvignon from Columbia Valley, Washington
        • RP94
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $189.97
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        189 97
        189 97
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      • Baron de Magana Reserva Tinto 1997 Front Label
        Baron de Magana Reserva Tinto 1997
        Other Red Blends from Navarra, Spain
        • RP91
        • WW91
        4.7 9 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $89.99
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        89 99
        89 99
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      • Louis Jadot Beaune Theurons 1997
        Pinot Noir from Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $74.97
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          74 97
          74 97
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        • Domaine Joblot Givry Clos du Cellier Aux Moines Premier Cru 1997
          Pinot Noir from Givry, Cote Chalonnaise, Burgundy, France
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $57.97
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            57 97
            57 97
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          • Dominus Estate 1997  Front Label
            Dominus Estate 1997
            Bordeaux Red Blends from Yountville, Napa Valley, California
            • RP94
            • WS93
            • WE93
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $439.97
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            439 97
            439 97
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          • Beaulieu Vineyard Georges de Latour Private Reserve 1997  Front Label
            Beaulieu Vineyard Georges de Latour Private Reserve 1997
            Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
            • WS95
            • WE94
            • RP94
            • W&S92
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $158.97
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            158 97
            158 97
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          • Opus One (stained labels) 1997 Front Label
            Opus One (stained labels) 1997
            Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
            • WS94
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $399.97
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            399 97
            399 97
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          • Robert Mondavi Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 1997 Front Label
            Robert Mondavi Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 1997
            Cabernet Sauvignon from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
            • RP92
            • WS91
            4.0 5 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $139.99
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            150
            139 99
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          • Chateau Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 1997 Front Label
            Chateau Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 1997
            Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
            • RP98
            • WS95
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $269.97
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            269 97
            269 97
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          • Chateau St. Jean Cinq Cepages 1997 Front Label
            Chateau St. Jean Cinq Cepages 1997
            Bordeaux Red Blends from Sonoma County, California
            • WS96
            • RP94
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $129.97
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            129 97
            129 97
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          • Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon 1997 Front Label
            Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon 1997
            Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
            • RP98
            • WS94
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $259.99
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            259 99
            259 99
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          • Inglenook Rubicon 1997 Front Label
            Inglenook Rubicon 1997
            Bordeaux Red Blends from Rutherford, Napa Valley, California
            • W&S95
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $165.97
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            165 97
            165 97
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          • Ridge Monte Bello 1997 Front Label
            Ridge Monte Bello 1997
            Bordeaux Red Blends from Santa Cruz Mountains, California
            • RP94
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $369.97
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            369 97
            369 97
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          • PlumpJack Oakville Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 1997 Front Label
            PlumpJack Oakville Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 1997
            Cabernet Sauvignon from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
            • WE94
            • RP90
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $149.97
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            149 97
            149 97
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          • Dalla Valle Cabernet Sauvignon 1997  Front Label
            Dalla Valle Cabernet Sauvignon 1997
            Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
            • RP93
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $149.97
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            149 97
            149 97
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          • Harlan The Maiden 1997 Front Label
            Harlan The Maiden 1997
            Bordeaux Red Blends from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
            • RP94
            • WS90
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $299.97
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            299 97
            299 97
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          • Chateau Lynch-Bages  1997 Front Label
            Chateau Lynch-Bages 1997
            Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $125.00
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              125
              125
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            • Chateau Duhart-Milon  1997  Front Label
              Chateau Duhart-Milon 1997
              Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
                0.0 0 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $89.00
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                89
                89
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              • Martin Ray Diamond Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 1997 Front Label
                Martin Ray Diamond Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 1997
                Cabernet Sauvignon from Diamond Mountain District, Napa Valley, California
                • WS97
                0.0 0 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $199.00
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                199
                199
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