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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 St. Jean Cinq Cepages 2001  Front Label
    Chateau St. Jean Cinq Cepages 2001
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Sonoma County, California
    • WE93
    • WS92
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    89 97
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  • Cliff Lede Poetry Cabernet Sauvignon 2001 Front Label
    Cliff Lede Poetry Cabernet Sauvignon 2001
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • WE94
    • WS91
    • CG90
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    359 97
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  • Shafer Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon 2001  Front Label
    Shafer Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon 2001
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • RP100
    • WE98
    • WS96
    • W&S94
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    Currently Unavailable $569.97
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    569 97
    569 97
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  • Roberto Voerzio Barolo Cerequio 2001
    Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
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    • Greenock Creek Alices Shiraz 2001 Front Label
      Greenock Creek Alices Shiraz 2001
      Syrah/Shiraz from Barossa Valley, Barossa, South Australia, Australia
      • RP98
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      99 99
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    • Opus One  2001 Front Label
      Opus One 2001
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
      • WE95
      • WW93
      • RP90
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      Currently Unavailable $439.97
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      439 97
      439 97
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    • Domaine Comte Georges de Vogue Bonnes Mares 2001  Front Label
      Domaine Comte Georges de Vogue Bonnes Mares 2001
      Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
      • V94
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    • Arrowood Reserve Speciale Cabernet Sauvignon 2001 Front Label
      Arrowood Reserve Speciale Cabernet Sauvignon 2001
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
      • RP95
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      129 97
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    • Bodegas Uvaguilera Aguilera Palomero 2001 Front Label
      Bodegas Uvaguilera Aguilera Palomero 2001
      Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
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        99 97
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      • Clos du Caillou Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2001
        Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
        • RP92
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        Currently Unavailable $69.97
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        69 97
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      • Joseph Phelps Backus Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2001  Front Label
        Joseph Phelps Backus Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2001
        Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
        • RP93
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        189 97
        189 97
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      • Kistler Vineyards Cuvee Catherine Pinot Noir 2001  Front Bottle Shot
        Kistler Vineyards Cuvee Catherine Pinot Noir 2001
        Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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          Currently Unavailable $249.97
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        • Clos du Caillou Chateauneuf-du-Pape Les Quartz 2001 Front Label
          Clos du Caillou Chateauneuf-du-Pape Les Quartz 2001
          Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
          • RP99
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $125.97
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          125 97
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        • Pahlmeyer Merlot 2001  Front Label
          Pahlmeyer Merlot 2001
          Merlot from Napa Valley, California
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          • Lokoya Mt. Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon 2001  Front Label
            Lokoya Mt. Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon 2001
            Cabernet Sauvignon from Mt. Veeder, Napa Valley, California
            • RP100
            • WS95
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          • Vineyard 7 and 8 7 Cabernet Sauvignon 2001
            Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
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            • Clarendon Hills Piggott Range Syrah 2001  Front Label
              Clarendon Hills Piggott Range Syrah 2001
              Syrah/Shiraz from McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
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                79 97
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              • Dominus Estate (stained label) 2001  Front Label
                Dominus Estate 2001
                Bordeaux Red Blends from Yountville, Napa Valley, California
                • RP98
                • WE94
                • W&S93
                • D92
                • JS91
                0.0 0 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $329.97
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                329 97
                329 97
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              • Verite La Joie 2001  Front Label
                Verite La Joie 2001
                Bordeaux Red Blends from Sonoma County, California
                • RP95
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              • Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 2001 Front Label
                Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 2001
                Cabernet Sauvignon from Columbia Valley, Washington
                • RP97
                • WE95
                • WS94
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                Currently Unavailable $209.97
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              • Trefethen Cabernet Sauvignon 2001 Front Label
                Trefethen Cabernet Sauvignon 2001
                Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
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                • Chateau Haut-Brion  2001 Front Label
                  Chateau Haut-Brion 2001
                  Bordeaux Red Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
                  • WS95
                  • RP94
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                  Currently Unavailable $469.97
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                  469 97
                  469 97
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                • d'Arenberg The Dead Arm Shiraz 2001 Front Label
                  d'Arenberg The Dead Arm Shiraz 2001
                  Syrah/Shiraz from McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
                  • RP98
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                  Currently Unavailable $129.97
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                  129 97
                  129 97
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                • Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon 2001 Front Label
                  Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon 2001
                  Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
                  • WS93
                  • WE91
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                  Currently Unavailable $389.97
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                  389 97
                  389 97
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                • Turley Hayne Petite Syrah 2001  Front Label
                  Turley Hayne Petite Syrah 2001
                  Petite Sirah from Napa Valley, California
                  • RP96
                  0.0 0 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $119.97
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                  119 97
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