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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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  • Cakebread Merlot 2016  Front Label
    Cakebread Merlot 2016
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • RP92
    4.9 103 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $74.99
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    74 99
    74 99
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  • Duckhorn Napa Valley Merlot (375ML half-bottle) 2016  Front Label
    Duckhorn Napa Valley Merlot (375ML half-bottle) 2016
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • JS92
    • WW91
    • WE91
    • W&S90
    • WS90
    • CG90
    3.9 5 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $28.99
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    28 99
    28 99
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  • Substance Vineyard Collection Northridge Merlot 2016  Front Label
    Substance Vineyard Collection Northridge Merlot 2016
    Merlot from Wahluke Slope, Columbia Valley, Washington
    • JD96
    • JS93
    • RP93
    • WS90
    4.0 14 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $39.99
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    45
    39 99
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  • Silverado Mt. George Merlot 2016  Front Label
    Silverado Mt. George Merlot 2016
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • TP94
    • W&S92
    • WE92
    • WW91
    4.2 20 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $39.99
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    39 99
    39 99
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  • Cannonball Merlot 2017  Front Label
    Cannonball Merlot 2017
    Merlot from Sonoma County, California
    • TP90
    3.6 21 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $14.99
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    14 99
    14 99
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  • Duckhorn Napa Valley Merlot (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2014 Front Label
    Duckhorn Napa Valley Merlot (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2014
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
    • WS92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $135.97
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    135 97
    135 97
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  • Merryvale Merlot 2016  Front Label
    Merryvale Merlot 2016
    Merlot from Napa Valley, California
      4.9 6 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $48.99
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      48 99
      48 99
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    • Trefethen Merlot 2017  Front Label
      Trefethen Merlot 2017
      Merlot from Oak Knoll District, Napa Valley, California
      • WE90
      4.6 14 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $39.99
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      45
      39 99
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    • Kenwood Sonoma County Merlot 2016  Front Label
      Kenwood Sonoma County Merlot 2016
      Merlot from Sonoma County, California
        3.8 7 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $12.99
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        16
        12 99
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      • Meeker Handprint Merlot 2014  Front Bottle Shot
        Meeker Handprint Merlot 2014
        Merlot from Sonoma County, California
          4.0 7 Ratings
          Currently Unavailable $46.99
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          46 99
          46 99
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        • Barkan Classic Merlot (OK Kosher) 2018  Front Label
          Barkan Classic Merlot (OK Kosher) 2018
          Merlot from Israel
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $11.99
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            11 99
            11 99
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          • Acre Merlot 2016  Front Label
            Acre Merlot 2016
            Merlot from Napa Valley, California
            • WE90
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $32.99
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            32 99
            32 99
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          • Pedestal Merlot 2016  Front Label
            Pedestal Merlot 2016
            Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
            • JD95
            • JS94
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Currently Unavailable $69.99
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            69 99
            69 99
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          • Citra Merlot 2018  Front Label
            Citra Merlot 2018
            Merlot from Abruzzo, Italy
              3.3 11 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $9.99
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              9 99
              9 99
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            • Keenan Napa Valley Merlot 2015  Front Label
              Keenan Napa Valley Merlot 2015
              Merlot from Napa Valley, California
              • RP92
              • WW91
              4.4 5 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $48.99
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              48 99
              48 99
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            • Rombauer Merlot 2017  Front Label
              Rombauer Merlot 2017
              Merlot from Napa Valley, California
              • JS92
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Currently Unavailable $47.99
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              47 99
              47 99
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            • Ravenswood Vintners Blend Merlot 2017  Front Label
              Ravenswood Vintners Blend Merlot 2017
              Merlot from California
                0.0 0 Ratings
                Currently Unavailable $9.99
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                9 99
                9 99
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              • Skyfall Merlot 2017  Front Label
                Skyfall Merlot 2017
                Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
                  0.0 0 Ratings
                  Currently Unavailable $16.99
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                  16 99
                  16 99
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                • Tabor Mt. Tabor Merlot (OK Kosher) 2018  Front Label
                  Tabor Mt. Tabor Merlot (OK Kosher) 2018
                  Merlot from Israel
                    0.0 0 Ratings
                    Currently Unavailable $15.99
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                    15 99
                    15 99
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                  • Guenoc California Merlot 2017 Front Label
                    Guenoc California Merlot 2017
                    Merlot from California
                      2.9 7 Ratings
                      Currently Unavailable $10.99
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                      12
                      10 99
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                    • Parducci Small Lot Merlot 2017  Front Label
                      Parducci Small Lot Merlot 2017
                      Merlot from Mendocino, California
                        3.6 6 Ratings
                        Currently Unavailable $12.99
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                        15
                        12 99
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                      • Candoni Merlot 2016 Front Label
                        Candoni Merlot 2016
                        Merlot from Veneto, Italy
                          3.8 12 Ratings
                          Currently Unavailable $13.99
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                          13 99
                          13 99
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                        • entwine Merlot 2014 Front Label
                          entwine Merlot 2014
                          Merlot from California
                            0.0 0 Ratings
                            Currently Unavailable $9.99
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                            9 99
                            9 99
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                          • Carmenet Merlot 2015  Front Label
                            Carmenet Merlot 2015
                            Merlot from California
                              3.7 27 Ratings
                              Currently Unavailable $12.99
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                              12 99
                              12 99
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                            • Hogue Genesis Merlot 2016 Front Label
                              Hogue Genesis Merlot 2016
                              Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
                                3.5 6 Ratings
                                Currently Unavailable $17.99
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                                17 99
                                17 99
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