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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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  • Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon 1998
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • RP94
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  • Chateau Lafite Rothschild  1998 Front Label
    Chateau Lafite Rothschild 1998
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
    • RP98
    • WS95
    • D94
    • W&S94
    4.7 6 Ratings
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  • Diamond Creek Volcanic Hill Cabernet Sauvignon 1998  Front Label
    Diamond Creek Volcanic Hill Cabernet Sauvignon 1998
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • WS94
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    Currently Unavailable $259.97
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    259 97
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  • Verite La Joie (bin soiled label) 1998 Front Label
    Verite La Joie (bin soiled label) 1998
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Sonoma County, California
    • RP94
    • JD94
    • JS91
    • WS90
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    249 97
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  • Clos des Papes Chateauneuf-du-Pape (stained label) 1998  Front Label
    Clos des Papes Chateauneuf-du-Pape (stained label) 1998
    Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
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    • Galah Estate Clare Valley 1998
      Other Red Wine from Clare Valley, South Australia, Australia
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      • Penfolds Grange 1998 Front Label
        Penfolds Grange 1998
        Syrah/Shiraz from South Australia, Australia
        • WS97
        • RP96
        • WE95
        0.0 0 Ratings
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      • Dominus Estate 1998 Front Label
        Dominus Estate 1998
        Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
        • W&S95
        • WS91
        • D90
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        Currently Unavailable $259.97
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        259 97
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      • Chateau Latour  1998 Front Label
        Chateau Latour 1998
        Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
        • W&S96
        • WS94
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        559 99
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      • Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou  1998 Front Label
        Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou 1998
        Bordeaux Red Blends from St-Julien, Bordeaux, France
        • RP91
        • W&S90
        0.0 0 Ratings
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        159 97
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      • Chateau Figeac  1998 Front Label
        Chateau Figeac 1998
        Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
        • RP90
        0.0 0 Ratings
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        199
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      • Chateau Lynch-Bages  1998 Front Label
        Chateau Lynch-Bages 1998
        Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
        • W&S91
        • WS90
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $209.00
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        209
        209
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      • Chateau Cheval Blanc  1998 Front Label
        Chateau Cheval Blanc 1998
        Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
        • JD100
        • D100
        • WS98
        • RP96
        • JS96
        • W&S95
        0.0 0 Ratings
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        959 97
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      • Chateau Margaux (stained label) 1998 Front Label
        Chateau Margaux (stained label) 1998
        Bordeaux Red Blends from Margaux, Bordeaux, France
        • W&S96
        • WS91
        • RP91
        0.0 0 Ratings
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      • Silver Oak Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1998 Front Label
        Silver Oak Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1998
        Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
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        • Carruades de Lafite  1998 Front Label
          Carruades de Lafite 1998
          Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
          • RP90
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          229
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        • Harlan The Maiden 1998 Front Label
          Harlan The Maiden 1998
          Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
          • RP91
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        • Harlan Estate 1998  Front Label
          Harlan Estate 1998
          Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
          • RP95
          • WS90
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        • Joseph Phelps Insignia 1998 Front Label
          Joseph Phelps Insignia 1998
          Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
          • WS93
          • W&S92
          • RP91
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        • Chateau Pavie  1998 Front Label
          Chateau Pavie 1998
          Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
          • RP95
          • W&S95
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        • Pride Mountain Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 1998  Front Label
          Pride Mountain Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 1998
          Cabernet Sauvignon from North Coast, California
          • WS93
          • RP90
          • W&S90
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        • Fox Creek Reserve Shiraz 1998 Front Label
          Fox Creek Reserve Shiraz 1998
          Syrah/Shiraz from Australia
          • RP96
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        • Del Dotto Cabernet Sauvignon 1998  Front Label
          Del Dotto Cabernet Sauvignon 1998
          Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
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          • Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape 1998 Front Label
            Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape 1998
            Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
            • WE96
            • WS95
            • JD95
            • RP93
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            Currently Unavailable $139.99
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            139 99
            139 99
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          • Chateau St. Jean Cinq Cepages 1998  Front Label
            Chateau St. Jean Cinq Cepages 1998
            Bordeaux Red Blends from Sonoma County, California
            • RP91
            • WE90
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $99.97
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            99 97
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