Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, but you can call me Vinny. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the fine points of etiquette to the science of winemaking. And don't worry, I'm no wine snob—you can also ask me those "dumb questions" you're too embarrased to ask your wine geek friends! I hope you find my answers educational, empowering and even amusing. And don't forget to check out my most asked questions and my full archives for all my Q&A classics.
Dear Dr. Vinny,
What does the word “cuvée” mean, exactly? Is it just another word for “wine”?
—Yoon-sik, Seoul, South Korea
There are two main uses for the word “cuvée” (pronounced KOO-vay) in the wine world. When in reference to Champagne, it refers specifically to the first-pressed (and most desired) juice. Outside of bubbly, cuvée refers to a particular blend of a wine, and typically of more than one grape variety.
It’s a fancy-sounding word, so sometimes it’s used to indicate a wine of superior quality or a special reserve, but the term is not regulated, so that’s not always the case.