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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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  • Bruno Giacosa Barbaresco Rabaja Riserva 2001  Front Label
    Bruno Giacosa Barbaresco Rabaja Riserva 2001
    Nebbiolo from Barbaresco, Piedmont, Italy
    • V98
    • RP97
    • WS93
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  • Domaine Comte Georges de Vogue Musigny Vieilles Vignes 2001  Front Label
    Domaine Comte Georges de Vogue Musigny Vieilles Vignes 2001
    Pinot Noir from Chambolle-Musigny, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • RP96
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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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    320
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  • Robert Mondavi Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (3 Liter Bottle) 2001
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
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    • Marchesi di Gresy Barbaresco Gaiun Martinenga 2001  Front Label
      Marchesi di Gresy Barbaresco Gaiun Martinenga 2001
      Nebbiolo from Barbaresco, Piedmont, Italy
      • WS91
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    • Opus One (torn labels) 2001 Front Label
      Opus One (torn labels) 2001
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
      • WE95
      • WW93
      • RP90
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $279.00
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      279
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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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    • 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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    • Sine Qua Non Midnight Oil Syrah 2001 Front Label
      Sine Qua Non Midnight Oil Syrah 2001
      Syrah/Shiraz from Central Coast, California
      • RP96
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      499 97
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    • Avignonesi Desiderio 2001  Front Label
      Avignonesi Desiderio 2001
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Tuscany, Italy
      • RP94
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    • Paolo Scavino Barolo Rocche dell'Annunziata Riserva 2001  Front Label
      Paolo Scavino Barolo Rocche dell'Annunziata Riserva 2001
      Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
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      • Finca Villacreces Nebro 2001  Front Label
        Finca Villacreces Nebro 2001
        Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
        • RP98
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        209 97
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      • Roberto Voerzio Barolo Brunate 2001  Front Label
        Roberto Voerzio Barolo Brunate 2001
        Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
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          209 97
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        • Hartford Fanucchi-Wood Road Zinfandel 2001  Front Bottle Shot
          Hartford Fanucchi-Wood Road Zinfandel 2001
          Zinfandel from California
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          • Dal Forno Romano Valpolicella Superiore 2001 Front Label
            Dal Forno Romano Valpolicella Superiore 2001
            Other Red Blends from Valpolicella, Veneto, Italy
            • WS91
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            119 97
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          • Alvaro Palacios Les Terrasses Priorat Velles Vinyes 2001
            Other Red Blends from Priorat, Spain
            • RP89
            • WS88
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          • Castello dei Rampolla d'Alceo 2001  Front Label
            Castello dei Rampolla d'Alceo 2001
            Bordeaux Red Blends from Tuscany, Italy
            • RP95
            • WS93
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $189.97
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            189 97
            189 97
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          • Greenock Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 2001 Front Label
            Greenock Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 2001
            Cabernet Sauvignon from Australia
            • RP93
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          • Opus One (scuffed label) 2001 Front Label
            Opus One (scuffed label) 2001
            Bordeaux Red Blends from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
            • WE95
            • RP90
            4.8 5 Ratings
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          • Joseph Phelps Insignia 2001 Front Label
            Joseph Phelps Insignia (bin soiled label) 2001
            Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
            • RP99
            • WE96
            • W&S95
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            Currently Unavailable $269.97
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            269 97
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          • Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2001 Front Label
            Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2001
            Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
            • RP96
            • JS96
            • JD96
            • WS93
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            Currently Unavailable $134.97
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          • Chateau Lafite Rothschild  2001 Front Label
            Chateau Lafite Rothschild 2001
            Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
            • WS96
            • RP96
            5.0 5 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $719.97
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          • Chateau Mouton Rothschild  2001 Front Label
            Chateau Mouton Rothschild 2001
            Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
            • WS94
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $519.97
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            519 97
            519 97
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          • Caymus Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2001 Front Label
            Caymus Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2001
            Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
            • RP96
            • WS93
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $239.97
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            239 97
            239 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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              Currently Unavailable $69.99
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