Bolder, and more complex than many whites, red wines are often classified based on “body type”, or how the wine feels in your mouth. Lighter-bodied reds have fewer tannins – the bitter flavor imparted from the skin (and seed) of the grape that gives you a dry, “puckery” feeling - and feel less heavy. A full-bodied red is reds has more tannins, and feels heavier, almost thicker and “chewier”.
Aging plays a larger role in the flavor profiles of reds than it does in whites. As red wines age, tannins round out, resulting in a smoother, silkier mouth feel. Also, the older the red, the less fruity it tastes. Younger red wines tend to be deeper purple, almost blue-red in color, whereas older reds are more orange or brick-red. If you’re serving an older vintage, it also helps to let the wine breath (a.k.a. decant or pour into glasses) 30-60 minutes before serving which allows the wine’s aroma to open up and it’s flavors to soften.
Flavors and aromas typically associated with red wines are: fruity or berry, spice (cinnamon, black pepper), chocolate, leather, and violet. It’s a common misconception that red wine should be stored and consumed at room temperature. The ideal temperature to store red wine at is between 55-60 degrees. Depending on the “big-ness” of the wine, drink it anywhere from 55 (light-bodied) – 65 degrees. Once brought out of storage, a wine’s temperature will typically rise about 4-5 degrees for every 10 minutes it’s at normal room temperature.
If re-corked and stored properly, most red wines will be fine to drink 2-3 days after being opened.