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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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  • Valdicava Madonna del Piano Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2004
    Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
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  • Sine Qua Non Ode to E Syrah 2004  Front Label
    Sine Qua Non Ode to E Syrah 2004
    Syrah/Shiraz from California
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  • Schrader RBS To Kalon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 Front Label
    Schrader RBS To Kalon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2004
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
    • RP99
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  • Colgin IX Estate Red 2004 Front Label
    Colgin IX Estate Red 2004
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
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    • WS93
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  • Sierra Cantabria Finca El Bosque 2004 Front Label
    Sierra Cantabria Finca El Bosque 2004
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • RP98
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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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  • Marcassin Blue Slide Ridge Pinot Noir 2004  Front Label
    Marcassin Blue Slide Ridge Pinot Noir 2004
    Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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  • Domaine Tatsis Xinomavro Goumenissa 2004 Front Label
    Domaine Tatsis Xinomavro Goumenissa 2004
    Xinomavro from Greece
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    • Finca Allende Rioja Calvario 2004 Front Label
      Finca Allende Rioja Calvario 2004
      Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
      • RP93
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    • Corra Winery Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 Front Label
      Corra Winery Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2004
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
      • WS91
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    • Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 Front Label
      Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 2004
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Columbia Valley, Washington
      • D100
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    • Shafer Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon 2004  Front Label
      Shafer Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon 2004
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
      • WE100
      • RP99
      • W&S95
      • WS94
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    • Chateau Lafite Rothschild  2004 Front Label
      Chateau Lafite Rothschild 2004
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
      • RP95
      • W&S95
      • WS93
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    • Joseph Phelps Insignia 2004 Front Label
      Joseph Phelps Insignia 2004
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
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      • W&S91
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    • Chateau Margaux  2004 Front Label
      Chateau Margaux 2004
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Margaux, Bordeaux, France
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      • RP94
      • JD93
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    • Quintessa  2004 Front Label
      Quintessa 2004
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Rutherford, Napa Valley, California
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      • WE95
      • W&S94
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    • Famille Perrin Reserve Cotes du Rhone Rouge 2004 Front Label
      Famille Perrin Reserve Cotes du Rhone Rouge 2004
      Rhone Red Blends from Cotes du Rhone, Rhone, France
      • RP88
      • WE87
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    • Numanthia Toro 2004 Front Label
      Numanthia Toro 2004
      Tempranillo from Spain
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      • WS95
      • W&S94
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    • Bodegas Castano Monastrell 2004 Front Label
      Bodegas Castano Monastrell 2004
      Mourvedre from Spain
      • RP89
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    • Chateau Haut-Brion  2004 Front Label
      Chateau Haut-Brion 2004
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
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      • RP92
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    • Clarendon Hills Brookman Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 Front Label
      Clarendon Hills Brookman Cabernet Sauvignon 2004
      Cabernet Sauvignon from McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
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      • WE91
      • WS90
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    • Colgin Cariad 2004 Front Label
      Colgin Cariad 2004
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
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    • Williams Selyem Ferrington Vineyard Pinot Noir 2004 Front Bottle Shot
      Williams Selyem Ferrington Vineyard Pinot Noir 2004
      Pinot Noir from Anderson Valley, Mendocino, California
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      • Harlan The Maiden 2004 Front Label
        Harlan The Maiden 2004
        Bordeaux Red Blends from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
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      • Numanthia Termanthia Toro 2004 Front Label
        Numanthia Termanthia Toro 2004
        Tempranillo from Spain
        • RP100
        • WS96
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