Would you upgrade to a "Reserve" wine

Really interested to hear others thoughts on this issue. I was recently looking at the Concha y Toro website and observed the number of wines they produced from the same grape varieties, but with differing “Reserve” levels. I presume that the difference is mainly down to the quality of grape selection, and length of time in oak barrels.

My question is, do you think to worth paying the extra? I have listed a few of the Trivento bottles as an example, but it is much broader than that brand. If you enjoyed the “basic” one, would you consider next time upgrading to the next level? Or would you buy another wine from a different producer matched that value?

I’ve included a simple poll to collate some response, but would welcome the discussion.

  • I’d stay with the basic reserve wine
  • If I like the basic, I would upgrade to a higher Reserve
  • I’d rather buy a more expensive wine from a different producer

0 voters

Trivento Reserve Malbec £8

Trivento Private Reserve Malbec £10

Trivento Golden Reserve Malbec £16


Reserve means something in some regions e.g. Rioja, but it doesn’t in Argentina where AFAIK its just a marketing label.

Trivento is a label owned by the reliable Concha y Toro.

There’s no information about the wines so if you’re happy with the basic one you can stay with it or try the more expensive.

Or buy Argentinian Malbec from an Argentian estate winery…


Hmmm, depends…

Not helpful I realise, but Reserve doesn’t necessarily mean anything. It certainly doesn’t guarantee anything beyond a different label.

It might be a cynical marketing ploy or it might indicate actual quality in the bottle. I think I’d look for different indicators that the wine was an upgrade on the basic (single/named vineyard is quite often a good one).

Riserva / Reserva have a technical meaning (eg Chianti / Rioja respectively) in terms of how the wine has been produced and might indicate better quality or a style I might enjoy more.

Having said that, if I enjoyed a basic wine from an estate producer as @peterm mentions, I’d probably be happy to try their next level, whatever the label descriptor. Maybe less so for mass-produced brands.


Worth keeping this graphic in mind when electing to pay an extra couple of quid on a bottle…

From… https://www.thewinesociety.com/value-charter


I’m with @peterm on this . Reserve means absolutely nothing in this case and it may not have anything to do with barrelling, ageing or higher quality grapes . Trivento is a mass produced label. I would suggest trying more Malbecs from smaller producers within Argentina or site selective Malbecs to get a feel for other more expressive styles .


Whilst this is true (and something is use myself) it is a bit simplistic

Keeping in mind the comments others have made - ‘no legal standing’ - makes me wonder what the increased costs would be for some of these wines…the cynic would say the extra printing for the word ‘reserve’ :wink: but we have potential for additional grape cost, barrels, cellaring charges, cost of cash for keeping wine in the cellar longer etc

But…have we just fallen for a marketing trick - perceived product quality increase - and therefore the only thing we’ve added to is the profit margin in the supply chain ?

Im with @Leah on this - go and find some smaller producers and try their wines


Indeed, I quite agree. But if you’re stood in the wine aisle in Tescos wondering if the £8 bottle is better than the £6 from the same producer it’s not a bad guide.

Also good advice, but it’s not always easy to know how big the producer is from reading a label on a bottle.

If it mentions the word “artisanal”…

Maybe. Smaller definitely does not always equal better when it comes to wine. Some of the huge producers make great wine, because they have the investment scale to build state of the art production facilities and employ excellent winemakers.

But then I’m a cynic too, and playing devils advocate is fun! :wink:


And if you’re going to buy a big-brand, industrial-scale wine, the South American ones tend to be the most reliably decent.

Now I just need to find a way to get the message across to my mother - gently - that Concha y Toro is a better bet than Yellow Tail…


For what? Drinking yes, cleaning the toilet, no


If only your Mum lived near Dan Murphys she could treat you to toilet cleaner in bulk


Ah, the classic household product challenge:



Good lord that stuff looks brutal :open_mouth:



I’m getting citrus, pine needles and a racy alkalinity. It has lots of body and really coats the gums beautifully… you?


Similar, but the funny-shaped neck makes it hard to swig from…


All wine bottles are that shape, you get used to it.

1 Like

Meanwhile, the other stuff is eating right through the porcelain.


I think the reserve is indicative of a higher ‘quality’ but what does that mean?

I think to the supermarket shopper it means something, especially when it’s £3-4 more a bottle. (and then the next level is another £3-4 more than that)

I think to the informed wine social elite that we are it infers lower yields, more complex blending, increased time in oak or subject to more winery processes, perhaps being matured at the winery before release a tad longer. Possibly it may include wines blended from the better vineyard sites…but as mentioned, this is no definition, it’s all inferred.

I would certainly try a better reserva from this type of new world producer, mainly as they seem to have extremely uniform and consistent quality breaks at the different price points and you can predict a lot of what is said above in them.

I think they took the general model and terminology from Rioja and how things can be done and turned it into a commercial offering any consumer can understand, informed or not!

Surely this is a textbook example of how the new world understood consumer behaviour and gave the right product to the right market and communicated it in the right way?


Just for you…



I would definitely pay more for that :+1:


And……. to just to also clarify this brand is bottled in the UK and shipped in containers in.