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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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  • Chateau Lafite Rothschild  1999 Front Label
    Chateau Lafite Rothschild 1999
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
    • RP95
    • WS94
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  • Ridge Monte Bello 1999  Front Label
    Ridge Monte Bello 1999
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Santa Cruz Mountains, California
    • WS92
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    Currently Unavailable $249.97
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    249 97
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  • Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon 1999  Front Label
    Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon 1999
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Sonoma County, California
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    • Chateau Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 1999 Front Label
      Chateau Montelena Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 1999
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Calistoga, Napa Valley, California
      • RP95
      • WS94
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      159 97
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    • Dominus Estate 1999  Front Label
      Dominus Estate 1999
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
      • WE91
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      Currently Unavailable $219.97
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    • Nickel & Nickel Carpenter Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 1999 Front Label
      Nickel & Nickel Carpenter Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 1999
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
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      • Albino Rocca Vigneto Loreto Barbaresco 1999
        Nebbiolo from Barbaresco, Piedmont, Italy
        • RP92
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      • Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon 1999
        Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
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        • Fuligni Brunello di Montalcino 1999
          Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
          • WS95
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          Currently Unavailable $72.99
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        • Chateau St. Jean Cinq Cepages 1999 Front Label
          Chateau St. Jean Cinq Cepages 1999
          Bordeaux Red Blends from Sonoma County, California
          • WS95
          • RP90
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        • Joseph Phelps Insignia 1999 Front Label
          Joseph Phelps Insignia 1999
          Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
          • WS94
          • RP91
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          Currently Unavailable $219.97
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        • Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1999  Front Label
          Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1999
          Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
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          • Chateau Haut-Brion (stained label) 1999 Front Label
            Chateau Haut-Brion (stained label) 1999
            Bordeaux Red Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
            • RP93
            • WS92
            • JS92
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          • Dalla Valle Cabernet Sauvignon 1999 Front Label
            Dalla Valle Cabernet Sauvignon 1999
            Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
            • WS95
            • RP94
            • WE94
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          • Chateau Lynch-Bages  1999 Front Label
            Chateau Lynch-Bages 1999
            Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
            • RP90
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          • Robert Mondavi Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 1999  Front Label
            Robert Mondavi Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 1999
            Cabernet Sauvignon from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
            • WE95
            • WS94
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          • Rudd Jericho Canyon Vineyard Proprietary Red 1999 Front Label
            Rudd Jericho Canyon Vineyard Proprietary Red 1999
            Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
            • WE93
            • RP92
            • WS92
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            129 97
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          • Harlan Estate 1999 Front Label
            Harlan Estate 1999
            Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
            • WE96
            • WS95
            • RP94
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            Currently Unavailable $779.00
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          • Verite La Muse 1999 Front Label
            Verite La Muse 1999
            Bordeaux Red Blends from Sonoma County, California
            • RP96
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            279 97
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          • Chateau Palmer  1999 Front Label
            Chateau Palmer 1999
            Bordeaux Red Blends from Margaux, Bordeaux, France
            • RP95
            • JS91
            • WS91
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          • Beaulieu Vineyard Clone 6 Cabernet Sauvignon Signet Collection 1999
            Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
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            • Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1999 Front Label
              Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 1999
              Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
              • WE93
              • WS92
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              112 97
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            • Chateau Margaux  1999 Front Label
              Chateau Margaux 1999
              Bordeaux Red Blends from Margaux, Bordeaux, France
              • RP95
              • WS93
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              Currently Unavailable $589.97
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              589 97
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            • Chateau Cheval Blanc (scuffed labels) 1999 Front Label
              Chateau Cheval Blanc (scuffed labels) 1999
              Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
              • RP93
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              Currently Unavailable $499.00
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              499
              499
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            • Pine Ridge Stags Leap Cabernet Sauvignon 1999
              Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
              • WS94
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              Currently Unavailable $58.49
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              64 99
              58 49
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