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—Dr. Vinny

Dear Dr. Vinny,

What's so special about a "cuvée"?

—Steve, Cumberland, R.I.

Dear Steve,

The French word “cuvée” translates to “vat” or “tank,” and suggests a special selection or blend of wine.

When it comes to Champagne and other sparkling wines, the word typically refers to the first-pressed (and best) juice. Outside of that, it’s just used to evoke images of higher quality, but the term is not regulated. I’ve seen it generically refer to a blend of more than one grape variety. But there is nothing necessarily special about a "cuvée."

—Dr. Vinny

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