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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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  • Heitz Cellar Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2015  Front Label
    Heitz Cellar Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
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  • Ceretto Barolo 2015  Front Label
    Ceretto Barolo 2015
    Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
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  • Col d'Orcia Brunello di Montalcino 2015  Front Label
    Col d'Orcia Brunello di Montalcino 2015
    Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
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  • Caparzo Brunello di Montalcino 2015  Front Label
    Caparzo Brunello di Montalcino 2015
    Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
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  • Castiglion del Bosco Brunello di Montalcino 2015  Front Label
    Castiglion del Bosco Brunello di Montalcino 2015
    Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
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    • WE92
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  • Opus One (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2015  Front Label
    Opus One (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2015
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
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  • Chateau Greysac  2015  Front Label
    Chateau Greysac 2015
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Medoc, Bordeaux, France
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  • Chateau Mouton Rothschild  2015 Front Label
    Chateau Mouton Rothschild 2015
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
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    Bodegas Vega Sicilia Valbuena 5 2015
    Other Red Blends from Ribera del Duero, Spain
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  • Contino Rioja Reserva 2015  Front Label
    Contino Rioja Reserva 2015
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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    • WS90
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  • Poggio Antico Brunello di Montalcino 2015  Front Label
    Poggio Antico Brunello di Montalcino 2015
    Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
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    4.6 53 Ratings
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  • Ceretto Brunate Barolo 2015  Front Label
    Ceretto Brunate Barolo 2015
    Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
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    • D91
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  • Chateau Canon  2015  Front Label
    Chateau Canon 2015
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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    Poggio Antico Brunello di Montalcino Altero 2015
    Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
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  • Andrew Will Winery Sorella 2015  Front Label
    Andrew Will Winery Sorella 2015
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Columbia Valley, Washington
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  • Piancornello Brunello di Montalcino 2015  Front Label
    Piancornello Brunello di Montalcino 2015
    Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
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  • Ceretto Prapo Barolo 2015  Front Label
    Ceretto Prapo Barolo 2015
    Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
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  • Damilano Barolo Lecinquevigne 2015  Front Label
    Damilano Barolo Lecinquevigne 2015
    Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
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  • Campo Viejo Reserva Rioja 2015  Front Label
    Campo Viejo Reserva Rioja 2015
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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  • St. Supery Dollarhide Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2015  Front Label
    St. Supery Dollarhide Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
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  • Camigliano Brunello di Montalcino 2015  Front Label
    Camigliano Brunello di Montalcino 2015
    Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
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  • Chateau Pavie  2015 Front Label
    Chateau Pavie 2015
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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  • Rodney Strong Brothers Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 Front Label
    Rodney Strong Brothers Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
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  • Gaja Pieve Santa Restituta Brunello di Montalcino 2015  Front Label
    Gaja Pieve Santa Restituta Brunello di Montalcino 2015
    Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
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    • Tenuta di Arceno Valadorna 2015  Front Label
      Tenuta di Arceno Valadorna 2015
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Tuscany, Italy
      • RP95
      • WS93
      • JS92
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