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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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  • Scarecrow Cabernet Sauvignon (bin soiled label) 2005 Front Label
    Scarecrow Cabernet Sauvignon (bin soiled label) 2005
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Rutherford, Napa Valley, California
    • RP96
    • WS96
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  • Ornellaia Masseto 2005 Front Label
    Ornellaia Masseto 2005
    Merlot from Tuscany, Italy
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    • RP94
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    799 97
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  • Domaine Perrot-Minot Gevrey-Chambertin Les Perrieres Premier Cru Vieilles Vignes 2005  Front Label
    Domaine Perrot-Minot Gevrey-Chambertin Les Perrieres Premier Cru Vieilles Vignes 2005
    Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • BH92
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  • Shafer Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon 2005  Front Label
    Shafer Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon 2005
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Stags Leap District, Napa Valley, California
    • RP99
    • W&S94
    • JS94
    • CG93
    • WS92
    0.0 0 Ratings
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    359 97
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  • Domaine Perrot-Minot Nuits-Saint-Georges La Richemone Premier Cru 2005  Front Label
    Domaine Perrot-Minot Nuits-Saint-Georges La Richemone Premier Cru 2005
    Pinot Noir from Nuits-St-Georges, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • BH91
    • V91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $229.97
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  • Colgin IX Estate Red 2005 Front Label
    Colgin IX Estate Red 2005
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
    • RP97
    • WS94
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    Currently Unavailable $409.97
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  • Domaine Serene Grace Vineyard Pinot Noir 2005
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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    • Louis Jadot Chapelle-Chambertin Grand Cru 2005  Front Label
      Louis Jadot Chapelle-Chambertin Grand Cru 2005
      Pinot Noir from Burgundy, France
      • RP94
      • BH94
      5.0 8 Ratings
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      309
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    • Kamen Estate Cabernet Sauvignon (3 Liter) 2005  Front Label
      Kamen Estate Cabernet Sauvignon (3 Liter) 2005
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
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      • Marques de Murrieta Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial 2005  Front Label
        Marques de Murrieta Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial 2005
        Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
        • JS97
        • RP96
        • WE95
        • WS94
        • W&S94
        4.5 25 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $75.99
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        89
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      • Diamond Creek Red Rock Terrace Cabernet Sauvignon 2005  Front Label
        Diamond Creek Red Rock Terrace Cabernet Sauvignon 2005
        Cabernet Sauvignon from Diamond Mountain District, Napa Valley, California
        • W&S98
        • RP95
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $259.97
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      • Nickel & Nickel Branding Iron Cabernet Sauvignon 2005
        Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
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          109 97
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        • La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 890 Tinto 2005  Front Label
          La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 890 Tinto 2005
          Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
          • JS98
          • TA98
          • WS95
          • RP94
          3.8 5 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $179.99
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        • Alban Lorraine Estate Syrah 2005 Front Label
          Alban Lorraine Estate Syrah 2005
          Syrah/Shiraz from Edna Valley, Central Coast, California
          • RP100
          • WS96
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        • Pride Mountain Vineyards Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 Front Label
          Pride Mountain Vineyards Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2005
          Cabernet Sauvignon from North Coast, California
          • WS96
          • RP96
          • WE94
          0.0 0 Ratings
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          189
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        • Torbreck RunRig 2005 Front Label
          Torbreck RunRig 2005
          Syrah/Shiraz from Barossa Valley, Barossa, South Australia, Australia
          • RP98
          • WS95
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $199.97
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          225 97
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        • Realm Beckstoffer Dr. Crane Cabernet Sauvignon 2005  Front Label
          Realm Cellars Beckstoffer Dr. Crane Cabernet Sauvignon 2005
          Cabernet Sauvignon from St. Helena, Napa Valley, California
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          • Glaetzer Amon Ra Shiraz 2005  Front Label
            Glaetzer Amon Ra Shiraz 2005
            Syrah/Shiraz from Barossa Valley, Barossa, South Australia, Australia
            • JD98
            • WE95
            • WS92
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $89.97
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          • DuMOL Eddie's Patch Syrah 2005  Front Label
            DuMOL Eddie's Patch Syrah 2005
            Syrah/Shiraz from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
            • WS94
            • RP94
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $95.00
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          • Orin Swift Cellars Papillon 2005  Front Label
            Orin Swift Cellars Papillon 2005
            Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
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            • Etude Deer Camp Pinot Noir 2005
              Pinot Noir from Carneros, California
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              • Etude Estate Grace Benoist Ranch Temblor Vineyard Pinot Noir 2005
                Pinot Noir from Carneros, California
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                • Quilceda Creek Galitzine Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 Front Label
                  Quilceda Creek Galitzine Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2005
                  Cabernet Sauvignon from Yakima Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
                  • RP97
                  0.0 0 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $339.97
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                  339 97
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                • Chateau Cos d'Estournel  2005 Front Label
                  Chateau Cos d'Estournel 2005
                  Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Estephe, Bordeaux, France
                  • JS99
                  • JD99
                  • WS98
                  • RP98
                  • WE97
                  • W&S95
                  • D93
                  4.4 20 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $299.99
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                  299 99
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                • Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 Front Label
                  Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon 2005
                  Cabernet Sauvignon from Columbia Valley, Washington
                  • RP100
                  • D99
                  • WE96
                  • WS94
                  4.2 5 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $319.97
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                  319 97
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