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Ask Dr. Vinny

Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, or "Vinny" for short. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the technical aspects of winemaking to the fine points of etiquette. I hope you find my answers educational and even amusing. Looking for a particular answer? Check my archive and my FAQs. You can also follow me on Twitter: @AskDrVinny.




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Dear Dr. Vinny,

What is the difference between assemblage and coupage?

—Franco S., Playa del Carmen Mexico

Dear Franco,

Not much. Both are French words that refer to blending wine before bottling.

Splitting hairs, coupage has an ever so slight negative connotation, since it translates literally into something like “to cut” and can indicate stretching out a good wine by cutting it with lesser-quality wine, while assemblage sounds more like you’re creating a fine bottle of wine by putting all the pieces together. But the terms are really used interchangeable, with assemblage being more common.

—Dr. Vinny

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