Do you look at a bottle of wine that says "Reserve" on the label, and figure that must be special? Well, you may be right or you may have encountered a marketing technique that doesn't really mean much. Let us help you learn how to tell the difference.
In general, anyone might think that reserve is a guarantee of quality since it sounds like the winemaker thought this was an extraordinary vintage, so they held some back and aged it longer. In practice though, some winemakers do that, and others may just be using the word as a brand name.
It mostly depends on the country. In the US, the word reserve doesn't necessarily have any specific meaning. On the other hand, it's a very significant factor in wines from countries like Spain and Italy.
Spain and Italy both have strict regulations. In Spain, a wine must be aged for at least 3 years, and also be aged in oak barrels for at least 6 months before it can be labelled "Reserva." In Italy, each region has its own rules for what qualifies as a "Riserva" wine. For example, a Barolo must be aged for at least 5 years. In the US, there are no mandatory requirements, but individual winemakers can voluntarily set and follow their own similar guidelines.
When you're shopping for wine at Vino, you can trust our hand-picked selection, and contact us with any questions you have. You'll always be sure you're getting the best values on the wines and spirits you love.