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 Wine3884
- Cabernet Sauvignon790
- Pinot Noir662
- Bordeaux Red Blends366
- Other Red Blends310
- Rhône Blends106
- Cabernet Franc36
- Petite Sirah34
- Other Red Wine30
- Tuscan Blends19
- Nero d'Avola10
- Petit Verdot4
- Touriga Nacional2
- Alicante Bouschet1
Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 2002Cabernet Sauvignon from Columbia Valley, Washington
Sine Qua Non For The Love Of It Syrah 2002Syrah/Shiraz from California
Domaine Ponsot Clos de la Roche Vieilles Vignes 2002Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
Branson Coach House Coach House Block Shiraz 2002Syrah/Shiraz from Barossa Valley, Barossa, South Australia, Australia
Mas Que Vinos La Plazuela 2002Other Red Blends from La Mancha, Spain
Chateau Latour 2002Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
Shafer Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon 2002Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
Domaine Fournier Sancerre Rouge 2002Pinot Noir from Sancerre, Loire, France
Bond Vecina (slightly torn label) 2002Bordeaux Red Blends from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
Wolf Blass Gold Label Cabernet Sauvignon 2002Cabernet Sauvignon from Coonawarra, South Australia, Australia
David Arthur Elevation 1147 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2002Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
Switchback Ridge Peterson Family Vineyard Petite Sirah 2002Petite Sirah from Napa Valley, California
Whitehall Lane Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2002Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
Dynamite Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2002Cabernet Sauvignon from North Coast, California
Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande 2002Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
Harlan Estate 2002Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
Ramey Diamond Mountain District Red 2002Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
Chateau Lafite Rothschild 2002Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
Foppiano Sangiovese 2002Sangiovese from Sonoma County, California
Araujo Eisele Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2002Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California