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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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  • Bonanza by Chuck Wagner California Cabernet Sauvignon Lot 2  Front Label
    Bonanza by Chuck Wagner California Cabernet Sauvignon Lot 2
    Cabernet Sauvignon from California
      4.3 112 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $24.99
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    • Red Schooner by Caymus Voyage 8 Front Label
      Red Schooner by Caymus Voyage 8
      Malbec from Argentina
      • WW90
      4.2 10 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $53.99
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    • Dark Horse Big Red Blend Front Label
      Dark Horse Big Red Blend
      Other Red Blends from California
      • TP90
      3.6 363 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $8.99
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    • Pepperwood Grove Cabernet Sauvignon Front Label
      Pepperwood Grove Cabernet Sauvignon
      Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile
        3.4 115 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $7.99
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      • Troublemaker Red Blend  Front Label
        Troublemaker Red Blend
        Other Red Blends from Central Coast, California
        • WE90
        3.9 328 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $16.99
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      • Begonia Sangria (1 Liter) Front Label
        Begonia Sangria (1 Liter)
        Other Red Blends from Spain
          3.9 19 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $11.99
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        • New Age Red Front Label
          New Age Red
          Other Red Blends from Mendoza, Argentina
            3.9 201 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $10.99
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          • Pepperwood Grove Pinot Noir Front Label
            Pepperwood Grove Pinot Noir
            Pinot Noir from Chile
              3.5 171 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $7.99
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            • Locations by Dave Phinney I-6  Front Label
              Locations by Dave Phinney I-6
              Other Red Blends from Italy
                3.8 5 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $19.99
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                19 99
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              • Marietta Old Vine Red Lot 69 Front Label
                Marietta Old Vine Red Lot 69
                Other Red Blends from Sonoma County, California
                • WW89
                3.7 17 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $14.99
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              • Locations by Dave Phinney F-6 Red Front Label
                Locations by Dave Phinney F-6 Red
                Other Red Blends from France
                • JS92
                4.3 9 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $20.99
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              • Apothic Brew Red Blend Front Label
                Apothic Brew Red Blend
                Other Red Blends from California
                  4.0 81 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $14.99
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                  14 99
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                • Cupcake Vineyards Black Forest  Front Label
                  Cupcake Vineyards Black Forest
                  Other Red Blends from California
                    3.9 22 Ratings
                    Currently Unavailable $10.99
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                  • Smoking Loon Red Loon Red Wine Blend Front Label
                    Smoking Loon Red Loon Red Wine Blend
                    Other Red Blends from California
                      3.7 51 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $8.99
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                    • Two Vines California Cabernet Sauvignon Front Label
                      Two Vines California Cabernet Sauvignon
                      Cabernet Sauvignon from California
                        3.7 46 Ratings
                        Currently Unavailable $8.99
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                        8 99
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                      • Fantini Edizione Cinque Autoctoni 18th Release  Front Label
                        Fantini Edizione Cinque Autoctoni 18th Release
                        Other Red Blends from Abruzzo, Italy
                          0.0 0 Ratings
                          Currently Unavailable $57.99
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                          57 99
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                        • Chateau de Saint Cosme Little James Basket Press Red Blend  Front Label
                          Chateau de Saint Cosme Little James Basket Press Red Blend
                          Rhone Red Blends from Vin de France, France
                          • JS90
                          3.9 32 Ratings
                          Currently Unavailable $14.99
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                          14 99
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                        • Fess Parker Frontier Red Blend  Front Label
                          Fess Parker Frontier Red Blend
                          Other Red Blends from California
                            4.0 37 Ratings
                            Currently Unavailable $13.99
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                            13 99
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                          • Middle Sister Goodie Two Shoes Pinot Noir Front Label
                            Middle Sister Goodie Two Shoes Pinot Noir
                            Pinot Noir from California
                              3.4 50 Ratings
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                            • Middle Sister Wild One Malbec Front Label
                              Middle Sister Wild One Malbec
                              Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina
                                3.8 38 Ratings
                                Currently Unavailable $13.99
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                                13 99
                                13 99
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                              • Middle Sister Rebel Red Blend Front Label
                                Middle Sister Rebel Red Blend
                                Other Red Blends from California
                                  3.4 39 Ratings
                                  Currently Unavailable $10.99
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                                • Sokol Blosser Evolution Red Blend  Front Label
                                  Sokol Blosser Evolution Red Blend
                                  Other Red Blends from Oregon
                                  • WS90
                                  • WE90
                                  3.8 51 Ratings
                                  Currently Unavailable $17.99
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                                  17 99
                                  17 99
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                                • Altered Dimension Cabernet Sauvignon  Front Label
                                  Altered Dimension Cabernet Sauvignon
                                  Cabernet Sauvignon from Columbia Valley, Washington
                                    4.8 5 Ratings
                                    Currently Unavailable $17.99
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                                    17 99
                                    17 99
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                                  • Red Diamond Temperamental Front Label
                                    Red Diamond Temperamental
                                    Other Red Blends from California
                                      3.6 42 Ratings
                                      Currently Unavailable $9.99
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                                      11
                                      9 99
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                                    • promisQous Red Blend Front Label
                                      promisQous Red Blend
                                      Other Red Blends from California
                                        3.9 39 Ratings
                                        Currently Unavailable $13.99
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                                        13 99
                                        13 99
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