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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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  • Sur de los Andes Malbec Reserva 2014 Front Label
    Sur de los Andes Malbec Reserva 2014
    Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina
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  • Mayacamas Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 Front Label
    Mayacamas Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Mt. Veeder, Napa Valley, California
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  • Heitz Cellar Martha's Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2014  Front Label
    Heitz Cellar Martha's Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
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    • D97
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  • Castellani Sangiovese 2014 Front Label
    Castellani Sangiovese 2014
    Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy
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  • Marques de Riscal Rioja Reserva 2014  Front Label
    Marques de Riscal Rioja Reserva 2014
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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  • Chateau Ste. Michelle Ethos Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2014  Front Label
    Chateau Ste. Michelle Ethos Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2014
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Columbia Valley, Washington
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    • RP92
    • D90
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  • Robert Sinskey Point of View 2014  Front Label
    Robert Sinskey Point of View 2014
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Carneros, California
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      Bordeaux Red Blends from Pomerol, Bordeaux, France
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    • Opaque Malbec 2014  Front Label
      Opaque Malbec 2014
      Malbec from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
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      • WE91
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      Ferrari-Carano Tresor 2014
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Sonoma County, California
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    • La Rioja Alta Vina Alberdi Reserva Tinto (375ML half-bottle) 2014  Front Label
      La Rioja Alta Vina Alberdi Reserva Tinto (375ML half-bottle) 2014
      Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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    • Fabre Montmayou Grand Vin 2014 Front Label
      Fabre Montmayou Grand Vin 2014
      Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina
      • WS90
      4.1 6 Ratings
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      Trinchero Mario's Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
      • D94
      • WE92
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    • Antinori Pian Delle Vigne Brunello Di Montalcino 2014  Front Label
      Antinori Pian delle Vigne Brunello di Montalcino 2014
      Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
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      • RP91
      • JS90
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    • Rodney Strong Alexander's Crown Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 Front Label
      Rodney Strong Alexander's Crown Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
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    • Signorello Padrone Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 Front Label
      Signorello Padrone Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
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      • V94
      • RP93
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    • Hacienda Araucano Alka Carmenere 2014 Front Label
      Hacienda Araucano Alka Carmenere 2014
      Carmenere from Chile
      • JS93
      • WE92
      • RP90
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    • Marques de Murrieta Dalmau Tinto Reserva 2014  Front Label
      Marques de Murrieta Dalmau Tinto Reserva 2014
      Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
      • D98
      • TA97
      • RP93
      • W&S90
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    • Pine Ridge Fortis Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 Front Label
      Pine Ridge Fortis Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
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    • Tasca d'Almerita Rosso del Conte 2014  Front Label
      Tasca d'Almerita Rosso del Conte 2014
      Other Red Blends from Italy
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    • Di Majo Norante Don Luigi Riserva 2014  Front Label
      Di Majo Norante Don Luigi Riserva 2014
      Montepulciano from Molise, Italy
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    • Au Contraire Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2014 Front Label
      Au Contraire Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2014
      Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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      • Vivanco Reserva Rioja Seleccion de Familia 2014  Front Label
        Vivanco Reserva Rioja Seleccion de Familia 2014
        Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
        • TA91
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      • Lang & Reed Two-Fourteen Cabernet Franc 2014 Front Label
        Lang & Reed Two-Fourteen Cabernet Franc 2014
        Cabernet Franc from Napa Valley, California
        • WS93
        • WW90
        • RP90
        4.5 8 Ratings
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      • Storybook Mountain Antaeus 2014  Front Label
        Storybook Mountain Antaeus 2014
        Other Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
        • WW92
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