Learn about red wine — the range of styles, how it’s made and more ...
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.
- Red Wine12980
- Pinot Noir1957
- Cabernet Sauvignon1823
- Other Red Blends1538
- Bordeaux Red Blends1050
- Rhône Blends788
- Other Red Wine313
- Cabernet Franc172
- Petite Sirah165
- Tuscan Blends84
- Nero d'Avola35
- Petit Verdot19
- Touriga Nacional10
- St. Laurent10
- Alicante Bouschet2
- Pinot Meunier1
- Nerello Mascalese1
- South Africa345
- New Zealand125
- Other U.S.125
- Country of Georgia4
- South America4
Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon 2007Cabernet Sauvignon from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
Kapcsandy Family Winery State Lane Cabernet Sauvignon Grand Vin 2007Cabernet Sauvignon from Yountville, Napa Valley, California
Vinedos de Paganos El Puntido Gran Reserva 2007Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
R. Lopez de Heredia Rioja Vina Tondonia Reserva (375ML half-bottle) 2007Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2007Bordeaux Red Blends from Bolgheri, Tuscany, Italy
Scarecrow Cabernet Sauvignon 2007Cabernet Sauvignon from Rutherford, Napa Valley, California
Araujo Eisele Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2007Cabernet Sauvignon from Calistoga, Napa Valley, California
Sine Qua Non Dangerous Birds Syrah 2007Syrah/Shiraz from California
PlumpJack Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2007Cabernet Sauvignon from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
Dugat-Py Mazis Chambertin 2007Pinot Noir from Gevrey-Chambertin, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
Domaine Pierre Usseglio et Fils Chateauneuf-du-Pape Mon Aieul (1.5 Liter Magnum - scuffed label) 2007Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
Quilceda Creek Palengat Proprietary Red Blend 2007Bordeaux Red Blends from Yakima Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
Azienda Agricola Zyme Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2007Other Red Blends from Valpolicella, Veneto, Italy
Bodegas Valdemar Conde de Valdemar Gran Reserva 2007Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
Corra Winery Cabernet Sauvignon 2007Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
Ceretto Barbaresco Asili Bernardot 2007Nebbiolo from Barbaresco, Piedmont, Italy
Kistler Vineyards Kistler Vineyard Pinot Noir 2007Pinot Noir from Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California