Learn about red wine — the range of styles, how it’s made and more ...
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.
- Red Wine4232
- Cabernet Sauvignon786
- Pinot Noir466
- Other Red Blends410
- Bordeaux Red Blends370
- Rhône Blends195
- Other Red Wine46
- Petite Sirah35
- Tuscan Blends32
- Cabernet Franc29
- Nero d'Avola6
- Petit Verdot1
- Pinot Meunier1
- Alicante Bouschet1
Chateau St. Jean Cinq Cepages 2001Bordeaux Red Blends from Sonoma County, California
Cliff Lede Poetry Cabernet Sauvignon 2001Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
Shafer Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon 2001Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
Roberto Voerzio Barolo Cerequio 2001Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
Greenock Creek Alices Shiraz 2001Syrah/Shiraz from Barossa Valley, Barossa, South Australia, Australia
Domaine Comte Georges de Vogue Bonnes Mares 2001Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
Arrowood Reserve Speciale Cabernet Sauvignon 2001Cabernet Sauvignon from Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
Bodegas Uvaguilera Aguilera Palomero 2001Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
Clos du Caillou Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2001Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
Joseph Phelps Backus Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2001Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
Kistler Vineyards Cuvee Catherine Pinot Noir 2001Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
Clos du Caillou Chateauneuf-du-Pape Les Quartz 2001Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
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Pahlmeyer Merlot 2001Merlot from Napa Valley, California
Lokoya Mt. Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon 2001Cabernet Sauvignon from Mt. Veeder, Napa Valley, California
Vineyard 7 and 8 7 Cabernet Sauvignon 2001Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
Clarendon Hills Piggott Range Syrah 2001Syrah/Shiraz from McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon 2001Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
Turley Hayne Petite Syrah 2001Petite Sirah from Napa Valley, California