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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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  • Decoy Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon 2017  Front Label
    Decoy Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Sonoma County, California
    • WE90
    4.1 814 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $19.99
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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 46 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $64.99
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  • Continuum  2017  Front Label
    Continuum 2017
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
    • JS98
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $259.99
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    275
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  • Petra Zingari Toscana 2017  Front Label
    Petra Zingari Toscana 2017
    Tuscan Blends from Tuscany, Italy
    • WS93
    • JS93
    4.0 403 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $17.99
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    17 99
    17 99
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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
    • WE92
    4.5 201 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $69.99
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    75
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  • Justin Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 Front Label
    Justin Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
      4.4 310 Ratings
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    • Quilt Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 Front Label
      Quilt Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
      • WS92
      4.3 140 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $52.99
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    • The Prisoner Wine Company Cuttings 2017  Front Label
      The Prisoner Wine Company Cuttings 2017
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
      • WW94
      4.5 170 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $49.99
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    • Flowers Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2017 Front Label
      Flowers Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2017
      Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
      • JS94
      • WS92
      • RP90
      4.5 131 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $49.99
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      49 99
      49 99
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    • Faust Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 Front Label
      Faust Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
      • JS92
      4.4 73 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $51.99
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    • La Crema Monterey Pinot Noir 2017  Front Label
      La Crema Monterey Pinot Noir 2017
      Pinot Noir from Central Coast, California
      • WE89
      4.0 191 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $18.99
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      23
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    • Conundrum Red Blend 2017 Front Label
      Conundrum Red Blend 2017
      Other Red Blends from California
      • WW89
      4.3 349 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $19.99
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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
      4.1 492 Ratings
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    • Shafer One Point Five Cabernet Sauvignon 2017  Front Label
      Shafer One Point Five Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Stags Leap District, Napa Valley, California
      • JS95
      • JD93
      • RP91
      4.8 13 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $109.99
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      109 99
      109 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 58 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $84.99
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      84 99
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    • La Crema Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2017 Front Label
      La Crema Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2017
      Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
      • RP91
      • WS90
      4.3 318 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $20.99
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    • Vina Robles Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2017  Front Label
      Vina Robles Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
      • WE93
      • WW90
      3.9 424 Ratings
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      26
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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
      4.5 26 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $149.99
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      149 99
      149 99
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    • Turley Old Vines Zinfandel 2017  Front Label
      Turley Old Vines Zinfandel 2017
      Zinfandel from California
      • D93
      • RP92
      • V90
      • WS90
      4.5 24 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $39.99
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      39 99
      39 99
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    • Hess Allomi Cabernet Sauvignon 2017  Front Label
      Hess Allomi Cabernet Sauvignon 2017
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
      • WW92
      • WE90
      4.2 152 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $29.99
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      34
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    • Hermanos Hernaiz El Pedal 2017  Front Label
      Hermanos Hernaiz El Pedal 2017
      Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
      • JS92
      3.8 39 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $11.99
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      11 99
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    • Schug Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2017 Front Label
      Schug Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2017
      Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
      • JS91
      3.7 211 Ratings
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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
      4.6 20 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $108.99
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      125
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    • Paul Hobbs Russian River Pinot Noir 2017  Front Label
      Paul Hobbs Russian River Pinot Noir 2017
      Pinot Noir from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
      • JD95
      • JS93
      • RP92
      • CG92
      • WS91
      4.6 26 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $64.99
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      64 99
      64 99
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    • Catena Malbec 2017  Front Label
      Catena Malbec 2017
      Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina
      • JS93
      • RP91
      • W&S90
      4.1 382 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $19.99
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      19 99
      19 99
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