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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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  • Caparzo Brunello di Montalcino 2015  Front Label
    Caparzo Brunello di Montalcino 2015
    Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
    • JS95
    • RP93
    • WS93
    • WE92
    4.2 203 Ratings
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  • Poggio Antico Brunello di Montalcino 2015  Front Label
    Poggio Antico Brunello di Montalcino 2015
    Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
    • JS97
    • RP95
    • WS94
    • WE92
    4.5 32 Ratings
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  • Chateau Cheval Blanc  2015  Front Label
    Chateau Cheval Blanc 2015
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
    • RP100
    • WE100
    • JS99
    • D98
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    • JD98
    4.3 16 Ratings
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  • Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 Front Label
    Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • JS99
    • JD97
    • WW96
    • RP95
    • WS92
    4.6 57 Ratings
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  • Chateau Greysac  2015  Front Label
    Chateau Greysac 2015
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Medoc, Bordeaux, France
    • RP91
    • WE91
    • WW91
    3.8 160 Ratings
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  • Cuerno Ribera del Duero 2015  Front Label
    Cuerno Ribera del Duero 2015
    Tempranillo from Ribera del Duero, Spain
    • WS92
    3.7 19 Ratings
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  • Prunotto Barolo 2015 Front Label
    Prunotto Barolo 2015
    Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
    • RP92
    • JS92
    • WE91
    0.0 0 Ratings
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  • Campo Viejo Reserva Rioja 2015  Front Label
    Campo Viejo Reserva Rioja 2015
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • TA90
    4.0 42 Ratings
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  • Ramey Cabernet Sauvignon 2015  Front Label
    Ramey Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • WS93
    • RP93
    • JD92
    4.5 23 Ratings
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  • Marques de Riscal Rioja Reserva 2015  Front Label
    Marques de Riscal Rioja Reserva 2015
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
      3.7 7 Ratings
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    • CVNE Imperial Reserva Rioja 2015 Front Label
      CVNE Imperial Reserva Rioja 2015
      Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
      • TA96
      • JS95
      • JD94
      • RP93
      • WS93
      • WE91
      • D90
      4.3 77 Ratings
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    • Chateau de la Negly La Porte du Ciel 2015  Front Label
      Chateau de la Negly La Porte du Ciel 2015
      Rhone Red Blends from Languedoc, South of France, France
      • RP99
      • JD99
      • JS92
      0.0 0 Ratings
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    • Clarendelle Inspired by Haut-Brion  2015  Front Label
      Clarendelle Inspired by Haut-Brion 2015
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Bordeaux, France
      • JS91
      • WW90
      3.8 104 Ratings
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    • Ghost Horse Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2015  Front Label
      Ghost Horse Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
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      • Murphy-Goode Liar's Dice Zinfandel 2015  Front Label
        Murphy-Goode Liar's Dice Zinfandel 2015
        Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
          4.0 10 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $22.99
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        • Paul Hobbs Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 Front Label
          Paul Hobbs Beckstoffer To Kalon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
          Cabernet Sauvignon from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
          • RP98
          • JS96
          • WS92
          0.0 0 Ratings
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        • A Portela Mencia 2015  Front Label
          A Portela Mencia 2015
          Mencia from Valdeorras, Spain
          • JS93
          • WW91
          3.9 25 Ratings
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        • Vietti Barolo Lazzarito 2015  Front Label
          Vietti Barolo Lazzarito 2015
          Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
          • JS96
          • RP96
          • W&S96
          • WS95
          • D94
          0.0 0 Ratings
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        • TerraNoble Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 Front Label
          TerraNoble Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
          Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile
          • D92
          • JS91
          3.4 10 Ratings
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        • Marques de Caceres Rioja Reserva 2015  Front Label
          Marques de Caceres Rioja Reserva 2015
          Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
          • TP93
          • TA93
          • JS92
          3.9 62 Ratings
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        • Ulysses Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 Front Label
          Ulysses Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
          Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
          • JS96
          • RP95
          • JD95
          • WE94
          • WS93
          3.4 6 Ratings
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        • Joseph Drouhin Hospices De Belleville Brouilly 2015 Front Label
          Joseph Drouhin Hospices De Belleville Brouilly 2015
          Gamay from Beaujolais, Burgundy, France
          • JS93
          4.0 14 Ratings
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        • Campbells Bobbie Burns Shiraz 2015  Front Label
          Campbells Bobbie Burns Shiraz 2015
          Syrah/Shiraz from Rutherglen, Victoria, Australia
            4.1 7 Ratings
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          • Marco Abella Clos Abella 2015  Front Label
            Marco Abella Clos Abella 2015
            Other Red Blends from Priorat, Spain
              0.0 0 Ratings
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            • Yalumba The Signature Cabernet/Shiraz 2015  Front Label
              Yalumba The Signature Cabernet/Shiraz 2015
              Other Red Blends from Barossa Valley, Barossa, South Australia, Australia
              • JS96
              • D94
              • WE93
              • RP93
              • WW92
              • W&S92
              3.9 14 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $64.99
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