Wine Word of the Week: Cuvée

By Kori ~ August 7th, 2010.

This week’s Wine Word of the Week is cuvée.

Official definition from Jancis Robinson’s The Oxford Companion to Wine:
Cuvée is a French wine term derived from cuve, with many different meanings in different contexts. In general terms it can be used to mean any containerful, or even any lot, of wine and therefore wine labels often carry relatively meaningless descriptions incorporating the word cuvée. ….

In Champagne and other environments in which traditional method sparkling wines are made, cuvée is a name for the first and best juice to flow from the press. The blend of base wines assembled for second fermentation in bottle is also known as the cuvée. Thus the term is often used in many champagne and sparkling wine names.

Elsewhere, particularly in German-speaking wine regions oddly enough, cuvée may be used to describe any ambitious blend, particularly of different vine varieties.

Layman’s terms from Kori:
Cuvée has a number of different meanings but is most often used regarding sparkling wine production. Cuvée is the first press or first juice to emerge from the grape, and it is also the blend of separate lots of wine to achieve a house style.

Filed under: Wine Word of the Week

Reader's Comments

  1. Wine and Spirits | August 9th, 2010 at 2:33 am

    […] wine surge stalled? – The Financial Times Europe’s beer gardens of Eden – Chicago Sun-Times Wine Word of the Week: Cuvée – Wine Peeps Discover Southern Italy’s unsung grapes – The Globe and Mail Unlikely Duo Taps […]

  2. Jenny | August 9th, 2010 at 7:30 am

    Love the definitions.