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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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  • Remelluri La Granja Rioja Gran Reserva 2011 Front Label
    Remelluri La Granja Rioja Gran Reserva 2011
    Other Red Blends from Rioja, Spain
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    • WS90
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  • La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904 Tinto 2011  Front Label
    La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904 Tinto 2011
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • WW94
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  • Clarendon Hills Astralis Syrah 2011  Front Label
    Clarendon Hills Astralis Syrah 2011
    Syrah/Shiraz from McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
    • RP96
    4.1 16 Ratings
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  • Fattoria dei Barbi Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2011 Front Label
    Fattoria dei Barbi Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2011
    Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
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    • WE90
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  • Vite Colte Essenze Barolo del Comune di Barolo 2011  Front Label
    Vite Colte Essenze Barolo del Comune di Barolo 2011
    Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
    • JS93
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  • Clarendon Hills Blewitt Springs Grenache 2011  Front Label
    Clarendon Hills Blewitt Springs Grenache 2011
    Grenache from McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
    • WW93
    3.8 13 Ratings
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  • Chateau Lassegue  2011 Front Label
    Chateau Lassegue 2011
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
    • WE91
    4.8 6 Ratings
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  • Colpetrone Sagrantino di Montefalco 2011 Front Label
    Colpetrone Sagrantino di Montefalco 2011
    Sagrantino from Umbria, Italy
    • JS93
    • WS91
    • D90
    3.7 43 Ratings
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  • Bodegas Volver Tarima Organic 2011 Front Label
    Bodegas Volver Tarima Organic 2011
    Mourvedre from Jumilla, Spain
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    • Felsina Chianti Classico Colonia Gran Selezione 2011  Front Label
      Felsina Chianti Classico Colonia Gran Selezione 2011
      Sangiovese from Chianti Classico, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
      • RP96
      • JS93
      • WS90
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    • Chateau Laffitte Laujac  2011 Front Label
      Chateau Laffitte Laujac 2011
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Medoc, Bordeaux, France
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      • Remelluri Rioja Reserva (375ML Half-bottle) 2011 Front Label
        Remelluri Rioja Reserva (375ML Half-bottle) 2011
        Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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        • JS92
        • JD91
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      • Remo Farina Montefante Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Riserva 2011  Front Label
        Remo Farina Montefante Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Riserva 2011
        Other Red Blends from Valpolicella, Veneto, Italy
        • JS94
        0.0 0 Ratings
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      • Vina Herminia Rioja Reserva 2011 Front Label
        Vina Herminia Rioja Reserva 2011
        Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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        • Villa Al Cortile Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2011  Front Label
          Villa Al Cortile Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2011
          Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
          • JS92
          • WE90
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        • Ostatu Rioja Reserva 2011 Front Label
          Ostatu Rioja Reserva 2011
          Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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          • Bodegas Ramon Bilbao Gran Reserva 2011  Front Label
            Bodegas Ramon Bilbao Gran Reserva 2011
            Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
            • TA92
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          • R. Lopez de Heredia Vina Cubillo Crianza 2011  Front Label
            R. Lopez de Heredia Vina Cubillo Crianza 2011
            Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
            • TA93
            4.1 14 Ratings
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          • Bodegas Urbina Crianza 2011  Front Label
            Bodegas Urbina Crianza 2011
            Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
            • TA92
            • W&S90
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          • Mt. Brave Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 Front Label
            Mt. Brave Cabernet Sauvignon 2011
            Cabernet Sauvignon from Mt. Veeder, Napa Valley, California
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            • W&S92
            • WE91
            • D90
            4.6 7 Ratings
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          • Chateau Lafleur  2011  Front Label
            Chateau Lafleur 2011
            Bordeaux Red Blends from Pomerol, Bordeaux, France
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            • RP94
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          • Conde de Hervias Torre del Conde de Hervias 2011 Front Label
            Conde de Hervias Torre del Conde de Hervias 2011
            Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
            • V93
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          • Domaine Jules Desjourneys Moulin-a-Vent Les Michelons 2011 Front Label
            Domaine Jules Desjourneys Moulin-a-Vent Les Michelons 2011
            Gamay from Beaujolais, Burgundy, France
            • RP92
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          • Cignale  2011 Front Label
            Cignale 2011
            Bordeaux Red Blends from Tuscany, Italy
            • JS95
            • RP92
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          • Celani Vineyards Ardore Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 Front Label
            Celani Vineyards Ardore Cabernet Sauvignon 2011
            Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
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