Log In / Join Now

Ask Dr. Vinny



Do you have a question for Dr. Vinny? Ask it here...

Dear Dr. Vinny,

What does the word “cuvée” mean, exactly? Is it just another word for “wine”?

—Yoon-sik, Seoul, South Korea

Dear Yoon-sik,

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.

—Dr. Vinny

Wine Basics

We break down the basics—how to taste, serve, store and more. Plus:
» Maps of major wine regions
» Grape variety characteristics

How-to Videos

Learn to taste wine like a pro, pull a cork with flair, get great wine service in a restaurant and more

Wine Spectator School: All courses are FREE for WineSpectator.com Members

Learn from the experts and get the most out of each sip. Take one of our online courses or take them all—from the ABCs of Tasting to in-depth seminars on Food Pairing, California Cabernet, Bordeaux, Tuscany, Sensory Evaluation and more.

Browse our course catalog
Check out the professional wine sales and service courses
Learn Wine Forum: Got questions? Get answers


WineRatings+ app: Download now for 340,000+ ratings.