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 is a “cuvée”?
—Linda, Lake Lure, N.C.
The French term “cuvée,” pronounced "koo-vay," means “vat” or “tank,” and suggests a special selection of a wine.
When it comes to Champagne and other sparkling wines, cuvée can refer to the first pressing of juice. But most commonly, the term simple refers to a specific blend or selection of wine and the bottling made from it. For example, single-vineyard wines are often referred to as cuvées. The term is not regulated, and is frequently used to evoke special quality. But there is nothing necessarily special about a "cuvée,” and the term can be applied to the most ordinary of wines.