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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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  • Peter Michael Les Pavots 2003 Front Label
    Peter Michael Les Pavots 2003
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Sonoma County, California
    • RP95
    • WE93
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  • Peter Michael L'Esprit des Pavots 2003  Front Label
    Peter Michael L'Esprit des Pavots 2003
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Knights Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • RP90
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  • Colgin Cariad 2003 Front Label
    Colgin Cariad 2003
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
    • RP97
    • WE95
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  • Chateau Bellevue Mondotte  2003  Front Label
    Chateau Bellevue Mondotte 2003
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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    • Chateau Angelus  2003 Front Label
      Chateau Angelus 2003
      Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
      • RP99
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      429 97
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    • Bond St. Eden 2003 Front Label
      Bond St. Eden 2003
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
      • WE96
      • RP94
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $299.97
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      299 97
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    • Louis Latour Chateau Corton Grancey Grand Cru 2003  Front Label
      Louis Latour Chateau Corton Grancey Grand Cru 2003
      Pinot Noir from Aloxe-Corton, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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        Currently Unavailable $149.00
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        149
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      • Standish The Relic Shiraz 2003 Front Label
        Standish The Relic Shiraz 2003
        Rhone Red Blends from Barossa Valley, Barossa, South Australia, Australia
        • RP98
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      • Domaine de Cristia Cuvee Renaissance Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2003  Front Label
        Domaine de Cristia Cuvee Renaissance Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2003
        Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
        • RP93
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        Currently Unavailable $109.97
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      • Domaine de la Janasse Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Chaupin 2003  Front Label
        Domaine de la Janasse Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Chaupin 2003
        Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
        • WS94
        • RP94
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $85.00
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        85
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      • Galardi Roccamonfina Terra di Lavoro 2003 Front Label
        Galardi Roccamonfina Terra di Lavoro 2003
        Other Red Blends from Campania, Italy
        • RP94
        0.0 0 Ratings
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      • Chateau Lafite Rothschild  2003 Front Label
        Chateau Lafite Rothschild 2003
        Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
        • RP100
        • JS98
        • WE97
        • WS96
        0.0 0 Ratings
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      • Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 2003 Front Label
        Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 2003
        Cabernet Sauvignon from Columbia Valley, Washington
        • RP100
        • WE97
        • WS95
        4.1 10 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $299.97
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      • Chateau Pavie  2003 Front Label
        Chateau Pavie 2003
        Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
        • RP99
        • WS97
        4.2 9 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $349.97
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        349 97
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      • Opus One (stained labels) 2003 Front Label
        Opus One (stained labels) 2003
        Bordeaux Red Blends from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
        • RP94
        4.8 9 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $399.97
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      • Chateau Lynch-Bages  2003 Front Label
        Chateau Lynch-Bages 2003
        Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
        • RP94
        • WE94
        • WS92
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      • Robert Foley Vineyards Claret 2003 Front Label
        Robert Foley Vineyards Claret 2003
        Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
        • RP96
        • WE96
        • WS95
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      • Chateau Pichon-Longueville Baron  2003 Front Label
        Chateau Pichon-Longueville Baron 2003
        Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
        • JS96
        • WS95
        • RP94
        • WE93
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      • Grgich Hills Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2003 Front Label
        Grgich Hills Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2003
        Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
          4.2 15 Ratings
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        • Chateau Latour  2003 Front Label
          Chateau Latour 2003
          Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
          • RP100
          • JS100
          • WS98
          • WE97
          4.1 7 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $1,379.99
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        • Chateau Cos d'Estournel  2003 Front Label
          Chateau Cos d'Estournel 2003
          Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Estephe, Bordeaux, France
          • JS98
          • WE95
          • RP93
          • WS92
          4.5 7 Ratings
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        • Chateau Branaire-Ducru  2003 Front Label
          Chateau Branaire-Ducru 2003
          Bordeaux Red Blends from St-Julien, Bordeaux, France
          • RP94
          • JS94
          • WS93
          • WE91
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        • Delas Hermitage Les Bessards 2003 Front Label
          Delas Hermitage Les Bessards 2003
          Syrah/Shiraz from Hermitage, Rhone, France
          • RP96
          • WS95
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          Currently Unavailable $189.97
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          189 97
          189 97
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        • Colgin IX Estate Red 2003 Front Label
          Colgin IX Estate Red 2003
          Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
          • WE98
          • RP96
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $289.97
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          289 97
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        • Harlan Estate (scuffed label) 2003 Front Label
          Harlan Estate (scuffed label) 2003
          Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
          • WE98
          • WS94
          • RP92
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $549.97
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          549 97
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