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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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  • Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon 2002  Front Label
    Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon 2002
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
    • RP97
    • WS95
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  • Mommessin Clos de Tart Grand Cru 2002 Front Label
    Mommessin Clos de Tart Grand Cru 2002
    Pinot Noir from Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • RP96
    • WS93
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    689 97
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  • Emmanuel Rouget Vosne-Romanee Cros-Parantoux Premier Cru 2002  Front Label
    Emmanuel Rouget Vosne-Romanee Cros-Parantoux Premier Cru 2002
    Pinot Noir from Vosne-Romanee, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • BH94
    • V91
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    2,299 97
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  • Greenock Creek Alices Shiraz 2002 Front Label
    Greenock Creek Alices Shiraz 2002
    Syrah/Shiraz from Barossa Valley, Barossa, South Australia, Australia
    • RP96
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    64 99
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  • Ridge Monte Bello 2002 Front Label
    Ridge Monte Bello 2002
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Santa Cruz Mountains, California
    • RP98
    • WS90
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    Currently Unavailable $249.97
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    249 97
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  • Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2002  Front Label
    Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2002
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • RP96
    • WS93
    • WE90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $299.00
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    299
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  • Del Dotto The David (6 Liter) 2002
    Other Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
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    • Vall Llach Embruix 2002  Front Label
      Vall Llach Embruix 2002
      Other Red Blends from Priorat, Spain
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        85
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      • Torbreck RunRig 2002  Front Label
        Torbreck RunRig 2002
        Syrah/Shiraz from Barossa Valley, Barossa, South Australia, Australia
        • RP99
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        Currently Unavailable $219.97
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      • Kistler Vineyards Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2002 Front Label
        Kistler Vineyards Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2002
        Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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        • Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon 2002  Front Label
          Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon 2002
          Cabernet Sauvignon from Sonoma County, California
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            Currently Unavailable $79.97
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            79 97
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          • Numanthia Toro 2002  Front Label
            Numanthia Toro 2002
            Tempranillo from Spain
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              71 97
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            • Radio-Coteau Hellenthal Vineyard Pinot Noir 2002
              Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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              • Opus One (scuffed label) 2002 Front Label
                Opus One (scuffed label) 2002
                Bordeaux Red Blends from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
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                • Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Artemis Cabernet Sauvignon 2002  Front Label
                  Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Artemis Cabernet Sauvignon 2002
                  Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
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                  • Bond Vecina (slightly torn label) 2002 Front Label
                    Bond Vecina (slightly torn label) 2002
                    Bordeaux Red Blends from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
                    • WS95
                    • RP95
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                  • Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 2002  Front Label
                    Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 2002
                    Cabernet Sauvignon from Columbia Valley, Washington
                    • RP98
                    • WE97
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                    Currently Unavailable $249.97
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                    249 97
                    249 97
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                  • Sine Qua Non For The Love Of It Syrah 2002  Front Bottle Shot
                    Sine Qua Non For The Love Of It Syrah 2002
                    Syrah/Shiraz from California
                    • RP100
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                    Currently Unavailable $979.97
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                    979 97
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                  • Bond St. Eden 2002  Front Label
                    Bond St. Eden 2002
                    Bordeaux Red Blends from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
                    • RP100
                    • WS96
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                    Currently Unavailable $559.97
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                    559 97
                    559 97
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                  • Cecchi Chianti Classico 2002 Front Label
                    Cecchi Chianti Classico 2002
                    Sangiovese from Chianti Classico, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
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                      13 99
                      13 99
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                    • Joseph Phelps Backus Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2002 Front Label
                      Joseph Phelps Backus Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2002
                      Cabernet Sauvignon from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
                      • RP96
                      • WE95
                      • CG95
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                      Currently Unavailable $339.97
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                      339 97
                      339 97
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                    • Domaine Fournier Sancerre Rouge 2002 Front Label
                      Domaine Fournier Sancerre Rouge 2002
                      Pinot Noir from Sancerre, Loire, France
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                        17 99
                        9 99
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                      • Flora Springs Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2002 Front Label
                        Flora Springs Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2002
                        Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
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                          Currently Unavailable $89.00
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                          89
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                        • Chateau Pichon-Longueville Baron  2002 Front Label
                          Chateau Pichon-Longueville Baron 2002
                          Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
                          • WS93
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                          Currently Unavailable $149.99
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                          149 99
                          149 99
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                        • Dancing Bull Zinfandel 2002 Front Label
                          Dancing Bull Zinfandel 2002
                          Zinfandel from California
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                            Currently Unavailable $11.99
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                            11 99
                            11 99
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