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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 2004 Front Label
    Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon 2004
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
    • RP97
    • WS94
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  • Two Hands Ares Shiraz 2004  Front Label
    Two Hands Ares Shiraz 2004
    Syrah/Shiraz from Barossa Valley, Barossa, South Australia, Australia
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    • RP96
    0.0 0 Ratings
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  • Shafer One Point Five Cabernet Sauvignon 2004  Front Label
    Shafer One Point Five Cabernet Sauvignon 2004
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • WS93
    • WE93
    • RP92
    • W&S92
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  • Joseph Phelps Insignia (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2004  Front Label
    Joseph Phelps Insignia (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2004
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
    • RP98
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $449.97
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  • Hundred Acre Kayli Morgan Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 Front Label
    Hundred Acre Kayli Morgan Cabernet Sauvignon 2004
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • RP98
    • WS93
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $369.97
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    369 97
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  • Colgin Cariad 2004 Front Label
    Colgin Cariad 2004
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
    • RP99
    • WS96
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $379.97
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  • Ridge Monte Bello (3 Liter Bottle) 2004  Front Bottle Shot
    Ridge Monte Bello (3 Liter Bottle) 2004
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Santa Cruz Mountains, California
    • W&S94
    • RP92
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  • Robert Mondavi Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 Front Label
    Robert Mondavi Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2004
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
    • WS95
    • CG93
    • WE92
    • RP92
    0.0 0 Ratings
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  • Bond Pluribus 2004  Front Label
    Bond Pluribus 2004
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • WS96
    • RP95
    • WE91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $379.97
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  • Clarendon Hills Astralis Syrah 2004 Front Label
    Clarendon Hills Astralis Syrah 2004
    Syrah/Shiraz from McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
    • RP98
    • WE98
    • WS97
    4.7 5 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $309.97
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  • Chris Ringland Three Rivers Dry Grown Shiraz 2004  Front Label
    Chris Ringland Three Rivers Dry Grown Shiraz 2004
    Syrah/Shiraz from Barossa Valley, Barossa, South Australia, Australia
    • RP100
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $629.97
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    629 97
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  • Robert Foley Vineyards Claret (3 Liter - signed) 2004  Front Label
    Robert Foley Vineyards Claret (3 Liter - signed) 2004
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
    • RP94
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    799 97
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  • Bond Vecina 2004 Front Label
    Bond Vecina 2004
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
    • RP96
    • WE92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $359.97
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    359 97
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  • Philip Togni Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 Front Label
    Philip Togni Cabernet Sauvignon 2004
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley, California
    • RP95
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  • Gaja Camarcanda 2004  Front Label
    Gaja Camarcanda 2004
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Bolgheri, Tuscany, Italy
    • RP92
    • WS91
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  • Diamond Creek Gravelly Meadow Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 Front Label
    Diamond Creek Gravelly Meadow Cabernet Sauvignon 2004
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Diamond Mountain District, Napa Valley, California
    • W&S96
    • RP95
    0.0 0 Ratings
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  • Hestan Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2004  Front Label
    Hestan Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2004
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • RP92
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  • Bouchard Pere & Fils Chambertin Grand Cru 2004  Front Label
    Bouchard Pere & Fils Chambertin Grand Cru 2004
    Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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    • Clos des Papes Chateauneuf-du-Pape (stained labels) 2004 Front Label
      Clos des Papes Chateauneuf-du-Pape (stained labels) 2004
      Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
      • WS96
      • RP95
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      Currently Unavailable $139.97
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    • Bodegas Lan Edicion Limitada 2004  Front Label
      Bodegas Lan Edicion Limitada 2004
      Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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      • Merus Cabernet Sauvignon 2004  Front Label
        Merus Cabernet Sauvignon 2004
        Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
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        • Domaine Charvin Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2004  Front Label
          Domaine Charvin Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2004
          Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
          • WS92
          • JD91
          • RP90
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $95.97
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        • Bodegas Urbina Gran Reserva 2004  Front Label
          Bodegas Urbina Gran Reserva 2004
          Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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            Currently Unavailable $49.99
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            49 99
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          • Harlan Estate 2004 Front Label
            Harlan Estate 2004
            Bordeaux Red Blends from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
            • RP98
            • WE98
            • WS97
            4.4 5 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $779.97
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            779 97
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          • Caymus Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 Front Label
            Caymus Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2004
            Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
            • WE97
            • RP95
            • WS94
            4.9 9 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $229.00
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            229
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