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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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  • Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2015  Front Label
    Silver Oak Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • WW92
    • D92
    4.6 118 Ratings
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  • Inglenook Cabernet Sauvignon 2015  Front Label
    Inglenook Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Rutherford, Napa Valley, California
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    • JS94
    • D92
    • RP92
    3.7 7 Ratings
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  • Piancornello Brunello di Montalcino 2015  Front Label
    Piancornello Brunello di Montalcino 2015
    Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
    • JS95
    • V93
    4.1 5 Ratings
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  • San Filippo Brunello di Montalcino Le Lucere 2015  Front Label
    San Filippo Brunello di Montalcino Le Lucere 2015
    Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
    • JS100
    • WS97
    • RP94
    4.4 6 Ratings
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  • Castellani Chianti Classico Riserva 2015  Front Label
    Castellani Chianti Classico Riserva 2015
    Sangiovese from Chianti Classico, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
    • JS93
    4.0 95 Ratings
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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
    • JS97
    • V94
    • W&S93
    • WS93
    • WE92
    4.2 47 Ratings
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  • G.D. Vajra Barolo Albe 2015  Front Label
    G.D. Vajra Barolo Albe 2015
    Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
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    • RP93
    • WE92
    • W&S92
    4.2 52 Ratings
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  • Pio Cesare Barolo 2015  Front Label
    Pio Cesare Barolo 2015
    Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
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    • D95
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    • WE94
    • W&S94
    • WS91
    4.2 49 Ratings
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  • Quintessa  2015 Front Label
    Quintessa 2015
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Rutherford, Napa Valley, California
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    • RP96
    4.6 58 Ratings
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  • Hundred Acre Wraith Cabernet Sauvignon 2015  Front Label
    Hundred Acre Wraith Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • RP100
    0.0 0 Ratings
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  • Abreu Vineyards Madrona Ranch 2015  Front Label
    Abreu Vineyards Madrona Ranch 2015
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
    • RP100
    • JD100
    • JS99
    • WS96
    0.0 0 Ratings
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  • Caymus Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2015 Front Label
    Caymus Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2015
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • WS95
    • WW94
    5.0 5 Ratings
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  • Hall Ellie's Cabernet Sauvignon 2015  Front Label
    Hall Ellie's Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
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    • RP94
    • WW94
    • WE94
    4.3 45 Ratings
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  • Bodegas Muga Reserva 2015 Front Label
    Bodegas Muga Reserva 2015
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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    • JD94
    • TA93
    • RP92
    4.2 189 Ratings
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  • Chateau Larose-Trintaudon  2015  Front Label
    Chateau Larose-Trintaudon 2015
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Haut Medoc, Bordeaux, France
    • WE92
    • JS90
    4.0 74 Ratings
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  • Argiano Brunello di Montalcino 2015  Front Label
    Argiano Brunello di Montalcino 2015
    Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
    • JS95
    • RP95
    • WS93
    • V93
    • WE92
    • D90
    4.4 45 Ratings
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  • Abreu Vineyards Las Posadas Howell Mountain 2015  Front Label
    Abreu Vineyards Las Posadas Howell Mountain 2015
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, California
    • RP100
    • JS99
    • JD98
    0.0 0 Ratings
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  • Bruno Giacosa Barolo Le Rocche del Falletto 2015  Front Label
    Bruno Giacosa Barolo Le Rocche del Falletto 2015
    Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
    • JS100
    • WS96
    • D94
    • RP94
    0.0 0 Ratings
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  • La Rioja Alta Vina Alberdi Reserva Tinto 2015  Front Label
    La Rioja Alta Vina Alberdi Reserva Tinto 2015
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
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    • Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino Tenuta Nuova 2015  Front Label
      Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino Tenuta Nuova 2015
      Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
      • JS99
      • RP98
      • D97
      • V96
      4.9 10 Ratings
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    • Peter Lehmann The Barossan Shiraz 2015 Front Label
      Peter Lehmann The Barossan Shiraz 2015
      Syrah/Shiraz from Barossa, South Australia, Australia
      • WS92
      • TP92
      • JS90
      4.0 126 Ratings
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    • Dalla Valle Maya Proprietary Red Blend 2015 Front Label
      Dalla Valle Maya Proprietary Red Blend 2015
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
      • JD100
      • RP98
      • JS98
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $578.99
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    • Bodegas y Vinedos Alion  2015  Front Label
      Bodegas y Vinedos Alion 2015
      Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
      • JS96
      • RP93
      • WS91
      4.8 5 Ratings
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    • Altesino Brunello di Montalcino 2015  Front Label
      Altesino Brunello di Montalcino 2015
      Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
      • RP95
      • JS95
      • WE93
      • V93
      4.5 32 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $61.99
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    • Silver Oak Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2015  Front Label
      Silver Oak Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
      • WW94
      4.7 42 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $124.99
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      124 99
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