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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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  • Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Artemis Cabernet Sauvignon 2017  Front Label
    Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Artemis Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • WW94
    • D93
    • WE92
    4.5 354 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $69.99
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  • Duckhorn Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2017  Front Label
    Duckhorn Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • W&S94
    • WW92
    4.7 31 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $69.99
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    78
    69 99
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  • Cakebread Cabernet Sauvignon 2017  Front Label
    Cakebread Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • JD92
    • RP90
    4.8 134 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $89.99
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    89 99
    89 99
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  • Bella Union by Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon 2017  Front Label
    Bella Union by Far Niente Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • WE95
    • WW92
    4.3 120 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $64.99
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    80
    64 99
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  • Joel Gott Blend No. 815 Cabernet Sauvignon 2017  Front Label
    Joel Gott Blend No. 815 Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
    Cabernet Sauvignon from California
    • TP92
    4.0 909 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $16.99
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    20
    16 99
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  • Petra Zingari Toscana 2017  Front Label
    Petra Zingari Toscana 2017
    Tuscan Blends from Tuscany, Italy
    • WS93
    • JS93
    3.9 814 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $18.99
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    18 99
    18 99
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  • Black Stallion Winery Cabernet Sauvignon 2017  Front Label
    Black Stallion Winery Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • WE90
    • WW90
    4.4 108 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $26.99
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    30
    26 99
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  • Cakebread Two Creeks Vineyards Pinot Noir 2017  Front Label
    Cakebread Two Creeks Vineyards Pinot Noir 2017
    Pinot Noir from Anderson Valley, Mendocino, California
    • WW92
    • RP91
    4.9 27 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $51.99
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    53 99
    51 99
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  • Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon 2017  Front Label
    Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Maipo Valley, Chile
    • JS99
    • TP97
    • WS95
    • WE95
    • W&S94
    • RP94
    4.6 18 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $119.99
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    119 99
    119 99
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  • Masciarelli Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2017  Front Label
    Masciarelli Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2017
    Montepulciano from Abruzzo, Italy
      3.8 412 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $10.99
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      14
      10 99
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    • Elouan Pinot Noir 2017  Front Label
      Elouan Pinot Noir 2017
      Pinot Noir from Oregon
        4.0 352 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $19.99
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        24
        19 99
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      • Quilt Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 Front Label
        Quilt Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
        Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
        • WS92
        4.4 196 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $52.99
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        59
        52 99
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      • Elk Cove Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2017  Front Label
        Elk Cove Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2017
        Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
        • JS92
        • WW90
        4.2 87 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $29.99
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        29 99
        29 99
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      • Joseph Phelps Cabernet Sauvignon 2017  Front Label
        Joseph Phelps Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
        Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
        • JS95
        • WE95
        • D94
        • WS92
        • RP91
        • WW91
        • JD90
        • CG90
        4.6 17 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $79.99
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        79 99
        79 99
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      • Hall Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2017  Front Label
        Hall Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
        Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
        • WW90
        3.9 9 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $59.99
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        65
        59 99
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      • Far Niente Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2017  Front Label
        Far Niente Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
        Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
        • WW94
        4.6 42 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $149.99
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        149 99
        149 99
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      • Nickel & Nickel State Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon 2017  Front Label
        Nickel & Nickel State Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
        Cabernet Sauvignon from Yountville, Napa Valley, California
        • WW96
        • RP92
        • JS92
        • WE90
        4.5 29 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $109.99
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        125
        109 99
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      • Chappellet Signature Cabernet Sauvignon 2017  Front Label
        Chappellet Signature Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
        Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
        • WW93
        • JD92
        • RP91
        4.4 65 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $69.99
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        69 99
        69 99
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      • Vigilance Cabernet Sauvignon 2017  Front Label
        Vigilance Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
        Cabernet Sauvignon from Red Hills, Lake County, North Coast, California
          3.9 285 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $13.99
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          25
          13 99
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        • Roserock by Drouhin Oregon Zephirine Pinot Noir 2017  Front Label
          Roserock by Drouhin Oregon Zephirine Pinot Noir 2017
          Pinot Noir from Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon
          • RP94
          • WE93
          4.4 9 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $57.99
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          57 99
          57 99
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        • Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon 2017  Front Label
          Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
          Cabernet Sauvignon from St. Helena, Napa Valley, California
          • RP97
          • WW97
          • JS96
          • JD96
          • WS95
          0.0 0 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $218.99
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          218 99
          218 99
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        • A to Z Pinot Noir 2017  Front Label
          A to Z Pinot Noir 2017
          Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
          • WE89
          3.8 23 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $19.99
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          22
          19 99
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        • Martin Ray Synthesis Cabernet Sauvignon 2017  Front Label
          Martin Ray Synthesis Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
          Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
          • JS95
          4.2 86 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $34.99
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          50
          34 99
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        • CADE Howell Mountain Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2017  Front Label
          CADE Howell Mountain Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
          Cabernet Sauvignon from Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, California
          • JD96
          • RP94
          • WW93
          • WS93
          4.5 40 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $114.99
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          114 99
          114 99
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        • Yalumba Samuel's Collection Shiraz 2017 Front Label
          Yalumba Samuel's Collection Shiraz 2017
          Syrah/Shiraz from Barossa, South Australia, Australia
          • JS91
          • WE90
          3.9 108 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $20.99
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          20 99
          20 99
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