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. Since dry wines have little to no residual sugar, they also have fewer calories, especially when comparing them to Champagne and sparkling 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
4,897 Items
4,897 Items
Gift Type
Occasion
Variety
Rating & Price
Rating All
Price All
4,897 Items
  • La Nevera Garnacha Carinena 2017  Front Label
    La Nevera Garnacha Carinena 2017
    Grenache from Carinena, Spain
    • JS92
    4.1 114 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $13.99
    Try the
    15
    13 99
    Save $1.01 (7%)
  • Eguren Ugarte Crianza 2018  Front Label
    Eguren Ugarte Crianza 2018
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • JS92
    • W&S91
    4.0 60 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $14.99
    Try the
    14 99
    14 99
    Save $0.00 (0%)
  • Eguren Ugarte Reserva 2015  Front Label
    Eguren Ugarte Reserva 2015
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • D93
    4.8 29 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $19.99
    Try the
    19 99
    19 99
    Save $0.00 (0%)
  • Clos Dalian Garnacha Crianza 2016  Front Label
    Clos Dalian Garnacha Crianza 2016
    Grenache from Terra Alta, Spain
    • WW89
    • WE88
    4.4 51 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $9.99
    Try the
    11 99
    9 99
    Save $2.00 (17%)
  • Piccini Sasso al Poggio 2016  Front Label
    Piccini Sasso al Poggio 2016
    Tuscan Blends from Tuscany, Italy
    • JS92
    • WE90
    4.5 14 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $25.99
    Try the
    30
    25 99
    Save $4.01 (13%)
  • Eden Rift Terraces Pinot Noir 2018  Front Label
    Eden Rift Terraces Pinot Noir 2018
    Pinot Noir from Cienega Valley, Central Coast, California
    • WE94
    • W&S94
    • JS94
    • RP92
    4.8 21 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $63.99
    Try the
    63 99
    63 99
    Save $0.00 (0%)
  • Chateau Pey de Pont 2015
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Medoc, Bordeaux, France
    • WE92
    4.2 82 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $23.99
    Try the
    23 99
    23 99
    Save $0.00 (0%)
  • Consentido Monastrell Barrica 2017
    Mourvedre from Yecla, Spain
    • JS90
    4.2 86 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $10.99
    Try the
    12
    10 99
    Save $1.01 (8%)
  • Hacienda Lopez de Haro Rioja Gran Reserva 2012
    Other Red Blends from Rioja, Spain
    • WW93
    • JS92
    4.8 33 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $25.99
    Try the
    29 99
    25 99
    Save $4.00 (13%)
  • Bodegas Mas Alta Artigas Priorat 2017
    Rhone Red Blends from Priorat, Spain
    • JD94
    • W&S93
    • RP91
    4.2 17 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $35.99
    Try the
    35 99
    35 99
    Save $0.00 (0%)
  • Jean-Paul Brun Domaine des Terres Dorees Fleurie 2019
    Gamay from Beaujolais, Burgundy, France
    • JS94
    • RP92
    4.4 5 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $33.99
    Try the
    33 99
    33 99
    Save $0.00 (0%)
  • Chateau Les Gravettes Bordeaux Superieur 2016
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Bordeaux, France
    • JS91
    4.4 55 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $14.99
    Try the
    14 99
    14 99
    Save $0.00 (0%)
  • Adriano Marco e Vittorio Sanadaive Barbaresco 2018
    Nebbiolo from Barbaresco, Piedmont, Italy
    • JD92
    • WW91
    4.4 59 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $31.99
    Try the
    31 99
    31 99
    Save $0.00 (0%)
  • Zeni Valpolicella 2020  Front Label
    Zeni Valpolicella 2020
    Other Red Blends from Valpolicella, Veneto, Italy
    • WW91
    4.6 41 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $17.99
    Try the
    20
    17 99
    Save $2.01 (10%)
  • Domaine des Marrans Fleurie 2019  Front Label
    Domaine des Marrans Fleurie 2019
    Gamay from Beaujolais, Burgundy, France
    • RP93
    • V91
    4.0 15 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $25.99
    Try the
    25 99
    25 99
    Save $0.00 (0%)
  • Sarada Calizo Garnacha 2019  Front Label
    Sarada Calizo Garnacha 2019
    Grenache from Spain
    • JS92
    4.0 73 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $12.99
    Try the
    12 99
    12 99
    Save $0.00 (0%)
  • Artazu Pasos de San Martin Garnacha 2016  Front Label
    Artazu Pasos de San Martin Garnacha 2016
    Grenache from Navarra, Spain
    • JS95
    • RP92
    4.1 33 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $26.99
    Try the
    30
    26 99
    Save $3.01 (10%)
  • Chateau Haut Gaudin Bordeaux Superieur 2018  Front Label
    Chateau Haut Gaudin Bordeaux Superieur 2018
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Bordeaux, France
    • JS90
    4.0 250 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $15.99
    Try the
    40
    15 99
    Save $24.01 (60%)
  • Vinos de Arganza Lagar de Robla Premium Mencia 2020  Front Label
    Vinos de Arganza Lagar de Robla Premium Mencia 2020
    Mencia from Bierzo, Spain
    • JS91
    4.8 29 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $11.99
    Try the
    12 99
    11 99
    Save $1.00 (8%)
  • Chateau Trois Moulins  2016  Front Label
    Chateau Trois Moulins 2016
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Haut Medoc, Bordeaux, France
    • JS92
    4.8 31 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $18.99
    Try the
    21 99
    18 99
    Save $3.00 (14%)
  • K Vintners Charlotte 2017  Front Label
    K Vintners Charlotte 2017
    Rhone Red Blends from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
    • JS96
    • RP93
    4.3 8 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $54.99
    Try the
    54 99
    54 99
    Save $0.00 (0%)
  • Proyecto Salvaje del Moncayo Garnacha 2019  Front Label
    Proyecto Salvaje del Moncayo Garnacha 2019
    Grenache from Navarra, Spain
    • WW91
    4.6 38 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $13.99
    Try the
    14 99
    13 99
    Save $1.00 (7%)
  • Arnaldo Rivera Barolo Ravera 2015  Front Label
    Arnaldo Rivera Barolo Ravera 2015
    Nebbiolo from Barolo, Piedmont, Italy
    • JS96
    • WS92
    • WE90
    4.2 47 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $62.99
    Try the
    62 99
    62 99
    Save $0.00 (0%)
  • Domaine Fagolet Morgon Le Janin 2020  Front Label
    Domaine Fagolet Morgon Le Janin 2020
    Gamay from Beaujolais, Burgundy, France
    • WW91
    • WE91
    4.7 40 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $28.99
    Try the
    35
    28 99
    Save $6.01 (17%)
  • Chateau Arnauld  2018  Front Label
    Chateau Arnauld 2018
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Haut Medoc, Bordeaux, France
    • D96
    • JS92
    4.8 27 Ratings
    Regular price
    Currently Unavailable $43.99
    Try the
    43 99
    43 99
    Save $0.00 (0%)
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...