Red wine is made from dark-coloured (red) grape varieties. The actual colour of a red wine can range from intense violet, all the way to brick red.
The colour of a juice extracted from most black grapes is greenish-white and the red colour comes from anthocyan pigments naturally present in the skin of the grape. The only exceptions are the relatively uncommon teinturier varieties, which produce a red coloured juice. This means much of the red-wine production process involves extraction of colour and flavour components from the grape skin.
Red wines are produced in virtually all of the world's wine regions, although the proportion of red wines produced at the cool limit of wine production is low, since it can be difficult to develop sufficient pigmentation of most grapes’ skins to produce a proper red wine.
French for red is rouge, Italian is rosso, Spanish and Portuguese more expressively tinto, Russian is cherny, and German is rot. Spain divides her red wines into those which really are tinto and lighter ones called clarete.
Red wine’s diverse styles and structure make it the ideal choice for the dinner table. Red wine has a firmer structure than typical white and rosé wines supporting it when coming up against strong flavors. Steak and Cabernet is the tried and true pairing, fuller-bodied red wines in general pair well with denser, heavier foods, while lighter bodied reds with high acidity pair well with lighter fare, like roasted chicken and vegetable dishes. Matching the weight of the wine with the richness of the food leads to successful and harmonious pairings.
Red wine is heralded for its ageability, but in order for a wine to age to its full potential, it must be stored properly. Factors that affect the aging process are temperature, light and humidity. Red wines should be stored at about 55° Fahrenheit, 10° F below the ideal serving temperature.