List Page Learn About Content Graphic

Red Wine

Learn about red wine — the range of styles, how it’s made and more ...

undefined, null

What are the types and styles of red wine?

There are hundreds of types of red wine varieties in commercial use, from light and finessed to bold and structured, however, only about 35 varieties contribute to the majority of red wine production. The most grown grape varieties are:

How is red wine made?

To make red wine, the pressed grape juice is left in contact with its skins—a process called maceration—to draw out color, tannins and phenols (compounds responsible for the complex aromas and flavors in wine). With fermentation complete, the wine is aged in tank or barrel. Short aging results in a fresh, fruity red. To allow time for flavors to integrate, more complex wines need to age longer, often in oak barrels, which may impart notes of toast, vanilla or coconut.

What gives red wine its color?

Grape juice is almost colorless. Color comes from maceration, when the juice is left in contact with grape skins. Longer macerations result in deeper red tones, but grape variety hues vary. For example, wines made from Nebbiolo are pale garnet, Merlot is bright ruby and Syrah opaque purple.

How do you serve red wine?

Temperature is key. Aim for 55° F to 60° F for lighter reds and 60° F to 65° F for fuller ones. A wine served too cold will be muted. Serve it warm and it will taste too alcoholic. If you have a wine fridge or cellar, you’re set. If not, place the bottle in your refrigerator for 20-30 minutes prior to serving. Next, some reds benefit from a few minutes or more of aeration in a decanter. This exposes the wine to oxygen, which helps release the compounds responsible for aroma and taste. As for drinking red wines, the best glasses have a stem and a bowl large enough to allow proper swirling to allow release of aromas. Fill your glass no more than halfway.

How long does red wine last?

Opened and re-corked, a bottle will stay fresh in your fridge for one to two days, a bit longer for more tannic reds. (We have ideas for what to do with leftover red wine if you don’t get back to it quickly). Unopened, red wines stay good for one year to several decades. Optimal storage means bottles lay on their sides in a moderately humid environment at 57° F, but assessing how long to age a bottle is complicated. Seek a wine professional for advice if you are unsure.

Pairing red wine with food

These guidelines will help you make the most of red wine pairing options.

  • If a sauce is involved, focus more on that than the protein. For example, considering Coq Au Vin, play off the pancetta, mushrooms and wine with an earthy Pinot Noir.
  • Match intensity levels, i.e. a bold red with a bold dish, lighter with lighter. Spice-rubbed lamb kabobs go perfectly with a bold Syrah from Columbia Valley, Washington.
  • A highly tannic red pairs well with fatty foods. Dolcetto is amazing with a cheese and charcuterie plate.
  • High acid foods call for high acid wines. Ever wonder Barbera and Sangiovese are so ubiquitous in Italy? As high acid wines, both are perfect matches to anything involving tomato sauce.
  • Beware of dry red with dessert! Your wine should be sweeter than the treat. Try Tawny Port with dark chocolate for a match made in heaven.

While every U.S. state produces wine, the most famous and popular regions remain those on the west coast:

  • Napa Valley. First commercial winery 1861. Cabernet.
  • Sonoma County. Since mid-1800’s. Pinot Noir, Zinfandel and Cabernet.
  • Paso Robles. 1880’s. Cabernet, Zinfandel and Rhone varieties.
  • Santa Rita Hills. 1971. Pinot Noir.
  • Willamette Valley, Oregon. 1965. Pinot Noir.
  • Columbia Valley, Washington (and part of northern Oregon). 1860’s. Merlot, Syrah and Cabernet.

Worldwide, wine destinations abound, with the most venerated in Europe. The last four are popular New World regions.

  • Bordeaux, France. As early as 60 BC. Based on Merlot and Cabernet.
  • Burgundy, France. From 2nd century AD. Pinot Noir.
  • Tuscany, Italy. From 8th century BC. Based on Sangiovese, plus “Super Tuscans” made with other reds.
  • Rioja, Spain. From 11th century BC. Based on Tempranillo.
  • Stellenbosch, South Africa. 1680’s. Cabernet, Merlot, Shiraz, Pinotage.
  • Mendoza, Argentina. Late 1800’s. Malbec and others.
  • Colchagua Valley, Chile. 1870’s. Cabernet, Merlot and Carmenere.
  • Barossa Valley, Australia. 1842. Shiraz and others.

Sweet red wine

Whether light and effervescent (e.g., Lambrusco and Brachetto d’Acqui) or bold and fortified (Port and Bual Madeira), sweet red wines can be terrific on their own or with a range of desserts.

Dry red wine

A dry red occurs when fermentation continues until most or all grape sugars have been converted to alcohol. Most common red wines on the shelf – Cabernet, Merlot, Syrah, etc.—are dry wines.

Smoothest red wine

Red wines are perceived as smooth when their tannins are either naturally low, have been carefully managed by the winemaker or have partially fallen out of suspension due to aging. Red varieties with lower tannins include Pinot Noir, Grenache, Gamay, Barbera and Corvina.

Filter by
378 Items
378 Items
Gift Type
Occasion
Variety
Rating & Price
Rating All
Price All
378 Items
  • Chateau Terrasson Cuvee Prevenche 2016  Front Label
    Chateau Terrasson Cuvee Prevenche 2016
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Cotes de Castillon, Bordeaux, France
    • WE92
    3.6 214 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $17.99
    Try the
    35
    17 99
    Save $17.01 (49%)
  • Chateau La Perriere Lussac St.-Emilion 2016  Front Label
    Chateau La Perriere Lussac St.-Emilion 2016
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Bordeaux, France
    • WE91
    4.7 27 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $24.99
    Try the
    45
    24 99
    Save $20.01 (44%)
  • Sur de los Andes Reserva Malbec 2016  Front Label
    Sur de los Andes Reserva Malbec 2016
    Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina
    • JS91
    4.1 236 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $14.99
    Try the
    25
    14 99
    Save $10.01 (40%)
  • Chateau de Ribebon Bordeaux Superieur 2016  Front Label
    Chateau de Ribebon Bordeaux Superieur 2016
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Bordeaux, France
    • JS91
    3.8 455 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $14.99
    Try the
    25
    14 99
    Save $10.01 (40%)
  • Purple Heart Red Wine 2016  Front Label
    Purple Heart Red Wine 2016
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Sonoma County, California
      3.4 28 Ratings
      Regular price
      Currently Unavailable $12.99
      Try the
      20
      12 99
      Save $7.01 (35%)
    • Louis Martini Monte Rosso Cabernet Sauvignon 2016  Front Label
      Louis Martini Monte Rosso Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Moon Mountain District, Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
      • JS97
      • RP95
      • WE94
      3.3 6 Ratings
      Regular price
      Currently Unavailable $104.99
      Try the
      150
      104 99
      Save $45.01 (30%)
    • Seven Hills Winery Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2016  Front Label
      Seven Hills Winery Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Columbia Valley, Washington
        4.1 19 Ratings
        Regular price
        Currently Unavailable $21.99
        Try the
        30
        21 99
        Save $8.01 (27%)
      • Avignonesi Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2016  Front Label
        Avignonesi Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2016
        Sangiovese from Montepulciano, Tuscany, Italy
        • JS93
        • WE93
        4.0 74 Ratings
        Regular price
        Currently Unavailable $21.99
        Try the
        30
        21 99
        Save $8.01 (27%)
      • Castelli Martinozzi Brunello di Montalcino 2016  Front Label
        Castelli Martinozzi Brunello di Montalcino 2016
        Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
        • JS95
        • WE93
        4.1 61 Ratings
        Regular price
        Currently Unavailable $37.99
        Try the
        50
        37 99
        Save $12.01 (24%)
      • Piccini Sasso al Poggio 2016  Front Label
        Piccini Sasso al Poggio 2016
        Tuscan Blends from Tuscany, Italy
        • JS92
        • WE90
        4.4 8 Ratings
        Regular price
        Currently Unavailable $22.99
        Try the
        30
        22 99
        Save $7.01 (23%)
      • Bodegas Pujanza Finca Valdepoleo 2016  Front Label
        Bodegas Pujanza Finca Valdepoleo 2016
        Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
        • JS94
        • RP93
        3.9 9 Ratings
        Regular price
        Currently Unavailable $38.99
        Try the
        50
        38 99
        Save $11.01 (22%)
      • Jaboulet Hermitage La Maison Bleue 2016  Front Label
        Jaboulet Hermitage La Maison Bleue 2016
        Syrah/Shiraz from Hermitage, Rhone, France
        • JS95
        • JD93
        • RP93
        • WS90
        3.5 8 Ratings
        Regular price
        Currently Unavailable $79.99
        Try the
        103
        79 99
        Save $23.01 (22%)
      • San Simeon Stormwatch Estate Reserve Red 2016  Front Label
        San Simeon Stormwatch Estate Reserve Red 2016
        Bordeaux Red Blends from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
        • WE93
        4.3 36 Ratings
        Regular price
        Currently Unavailable $64.99
        Try the
        80
        64 99
        Save $15.01 (19%)
      • Col d'Orcia Brunello di Montalcino 2016  Front Label
        Col d'Orcia Brunello di Montalcino 2016
        Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
        • JD95
        • WE93
        • RP93
        4.1 8 Ratings
        Regular price
        Currently Unavailable $44.99
        Try the
        55
        44 99
        Save $10.01 (18%)
      • Kendall-Jackson Jackson Estate Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2016  Front Label
        Kendall-Jackson Jackson Estate Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
        Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
        • JD92
        4.1 55 Ratings
        Regular price
        Currently Unavailable $36.99
        Try the
        45
        36 99
        Save $8.01 (18%)
      • Lamole di Lamole Campolungo Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2016  Front Label
        Lamole di Lamole Campolungo Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2016
        Sangiovese from Chianti Classico, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy
        • WS94
        • JS92
        • RP92
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Regular price
        Currently Unavailable $39.99
        Try the
        48
        39 99
        Save $8.01 (17%)
      • La Magia Brunello di Montalcino 2016  Front Label
        La Magia Brunello di Montalcino 2016
        Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
        • JS96
        • D95
        • JD94
        • WE90
        4.1 52 Ratings
        Regular price
        Currently Unavailable $49.99
        Try the
        60
        49 99
        Save $10.01 (17%)
      • Artadi Pasos de San Martin Garnacha 2016  Front Label
        Artadi Pasos de San Martin Garnacha 2016
        Grenache from Navarra, Spain
        • WS95
        • RP92
        3.5 6 Ratings
        Regular price
        Currently Unavailable $24.99
        Try the
        30
        24 99
        Save $5.01 (17%)
      • Bootleg Red Blend 2016  Front Label
        Bootleg Red Blend 2016
        Other Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
        • JD94
        • WE90
        4.1 55 Ratings
        Regular price
        Currently Unavailable $37.99
        Try the
        45
        37 99
        Save $7.01 (16%)
      • Tornatore Pietrarizzo Etna Rosso 2016  Front Label
        Tornatore Pietrarizzo Etna Rosso 2016
        Nerello Mascalese from Sicily, Italy
        • JS93
        • WE93
        3.9 120 Ratings
        Regular price
        Currently Unavailable $46.99
        Try the
        55
        46 99
        Save $8.01 (15%)
      • ColleMassari Montecucco Rosso Riserva 2016  Front Label
        ColleMassari Montecucco Rosso Riserva 2016
        Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy
        • JS91
        • WS90
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Regular price
        Currently Unavailable $22.99
        Try the
        27
        22 99
        Save $4.01 (15%)
      • Vinum Cellars Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2016  Front Label
        Vinum Cellars Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
        Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
        • JS92
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Regular price
        Currently Unavailable $46.99
        Try the
        55
        46 99
        Save $8.01 (15%)
      • Yalumba The Signature Cabernet/Shiraz 2016  Front Label
        Yalumba The Signature Cabernet/Shiraz 2016
        Other Red Blends from Barossa Valley, Barossa, South Australia, Australia
        • JS96
        • D96
        • RP94
        • WE94
        • V93
        4.6 8 Ratings
        Regular price
        Currently Unavailable $59.99
        Try the
        70
        59 99
        Save $10.01 (14%)
      • Caparzo Brunello di Montalcino 2016  Front Label
        Caparzo Brunello di Montalcino 2016
        Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
        • WS96
        • JS94
        • V93
        • D93
        4.2 69 Ratings
        Regular price
        Currently Unavailable $41.99
        Try the
        49
        41 99
        Save $7.01 (14%)
      • Finca Nueva Crianza 2016  Front Label
        Finca Nueva Crianza 2016
        Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
        • RP90
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Regular price
        Currently Unavailable $17.99
        Try the
        21
        17 99
        Save $3.01 (14%)
      Sorry, we couldn't find any matches.

      Internet Explorer is no longer supported.
      Please use a different browser like Edge, Chrome or Firefox to enjoy all that Wine.com has to offer.

      It's easy to make the switch.
      Enjoy better browsing and increased security.

      Yes, Update Now

      Search for ""

      Processing Your Order...