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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 $919.97
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    919 97
    919 97
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  • Casisano Vigna del Colombaiolo Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 1997 Front Label
    Casisano Vigna del Colombaiolo Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 1997
    Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $129.97
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      129 97
      129 97
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    • Antinori Tignanello 1997 Front Label
      Antinori Tignanello 1997
      Tuscan Blends from Tuscany, Italy
      • RP93
      • WE93
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $279.97
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      279 97
      279 97
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    • Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1997 Front Label
      Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1997
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
      • WE91
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $129.99
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      129 99
      129 99
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    • Ravenswood Barricia Vineyard Zinfandel 1997  Front Label
      Ravenswood Barricia Vineyard Zinfandel 1997
      Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $39.97
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        39 97
        39 97
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      • Ravenswood Old Hill Zinfandel 1997
        Zinfandel from Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $29.97
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          29 97
          29 97
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        • Vina Magana Reserva 1997 Front Label
          Vina Magana Reserva 1997
          Other Red Blends from Navarra, Spain
          • RP91
          4.6 7 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $89.99
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          89 99
          89 99
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        • Ravenswood Monte Rosso Zinfandel 1997
          Zinfandel from Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
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            Currently Unavailable $39.97
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            39 97
            39 97
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          • Chateau Barde Haut  1997  Front Label
            Chateau Barde Haut 1997
            Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $24.99
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              26 49
              24 99
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            • Ravenswood Big River Zinfandel 1997
              Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
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                Currently Unavailable $29.97
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                29 97
                29 97
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              • Ravenswood Belloni Ranch Zinfandel 1997  Front Label
                Ravenswood Belloni Ranch Zinfandel 1997
                Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
                  0.0 0 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $35.49
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                  35 49
                  35 49
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                • Ravenswood Teldeschi Vineyard Zinfandel 1997  Front Label
                  Ravenswood Teldeschi Vineyard Zinfandel 1997
                  Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
                  • WS88
                  0.0 0 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $29.97
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                  29 97
                  29 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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                • Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1997  Front Label
                  Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1997
                  Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
                    0.0 0 Ratings
                    Currently Unavailable $112.97
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                    112 97
                    112 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 $139.97
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                    139 97
                    139 97
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                  • Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (loose capsule) 1997 Front Label
                    Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (loose capsule) 1997
                    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
                    • RP95
                    • WE93
                    0.0 0 Ratings
                    Currently Unavailable $129.00
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                    129
                    129
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                  • Dominus Estate 1997 Front Label
                    Dominus Estate 1997
                    Bordeaux Red Blends from Yountville, Napa Valley, California
                    • RP94
                    • WS93
                    0.0 0 Ratings
                    Currently Unavailable $229.97
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                    229 97
                    229 97
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                  • Beringer Howell Mtn. Bancroft Ranch Merlot (loose capsules) 1997 Front Label
                    Beringer Howell Mtn. Bancroft Ranch Merlot (loose capsules) 1997
                    Merlot from Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, California
                    • WS93
                    • RP92
                    • WE91
                    0.0 0 Ratings
                    Currently Unavailable $64.99
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                    75
                    64 99
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                  • Heitz Cellar Martha's Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 1997 Front Label
                    Heitz Cellar Martha's Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 1997
                    Cabernet Sauvignon from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
                    • JS94
                    • WS93
                    • RP90
                    0.0 0 Ratings
                    Currently Unavailable $249.97
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                    249 97
                    249 97
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                  • Philip Togni Cabernet Sauvignon 1997 Front Label
                    Philip Togni Cabernet Sauvignon 1997
                    Cabernet Sauvignon from Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley, California
                    • RP98
                    • WS91
                    0.0 0 Ratings
                    Currently Unavailable $209.00
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                    209
                    209
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                  • Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 1997 Front Label
                    Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 1997
                    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
                    • RP95
                    • WE93
                    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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                  • Freemark Abbey Bosche Cabernet Sauvignon 1997 Front Label
                    Freemark Abbey Bosche Cabernet Sauvignon 1997
                    Cabernet Sauvignon from Rutherford, Napa Valley, California
                    • WE90
                    0.0 0 Ratings
                    Currently Unavailable $69.99
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                    69 99
                    69 99
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                  • Felsina Fontalloro 1997 Front Label
                    Felsina Fontalloro 1997
                    Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy
                    • WS92
                    0.0 0 Ratings
                    Currently Unavailable $68.99
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                    68 99
                    68 99
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                  • Felsina Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia 1997 Front Label
                    Felsina Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia 1997
                    Sangiovese from Chianti Classico, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
                    • RP92
                    • WS92
                    0.0 0 Ratings
                    Currently Unavailable $85.00
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                    85
                    85
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