Sounds like it’s the good and fancy stuff, right? Not exactly, says Anthony Giglio of Details magazine.

When a wine has ‘Reserve” on the label, it might mean that the wine has been aged a specific amount of time depending on the regulations of the wine region. Many wineries added the term to the label if they had produced cheaper wines. However, nowadays “Reserve” is usually just a marketing ploy.

Giglio explains that only Old World, or European, wine regions regulate what can go on wine bottles. New World regions such as the United States, South America, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa do not have systems for those rules and regulations.

Says Giglio: The term is so misused on American bottles that most of the wine critics and sommeliers ignore it unless we know that the producer has a sense of integrity.


Details: Ask the Wine Guy: Does “Reserve” Really Signify a Superior Wine Bottle?