Cuvée is a French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

Wine is an alcoholic beverage, made of fermented fruit juice, usually from grapes. The natural chemical balance of grapes lets them ferment without the addition of sugars, acids, enzymes, or other nutrients. Grape wine is produced by fermenting crushed grapes using various types of yeast. Yeast...

 term derived from cuve, meaning vat or tank
A tank is a tracked, armoured fighting vehicle designed for front-line combat which combines operational mobility, tactical offensive, and defensive capabilities...

. The term cuvée is used with several different meanings, more or less based on the concept of a tank of wine put to some purpose:
  • On wine label
    Wine label
    Wine labels are important sources of information for consumers since they tell the type and origin of the wine. The label is often the only resource a buyer has for evaluating the wine before purchasing it...

    s to denote wine of a specific blend or batch. Since the usage of the term cuvée for this purpose is unregulated, and most wines will have been stored in a vat or tank at some stage of their production, the presence of the word cuvée on a label of a random producer is no guarantee of its (superior) quality. However, in the range of discerning producers who market both regular blends and blends called "cuvée...", the cuvée-labeled wines will usually be special blends or selected vats of higher quality, at least in comparison to that producer's regular wine(s). Particularly terms like "cuvée speciale", or "tête de cuvée" (the latter especially in Sauternes AOC) should indicate higher quality.
    • In this context, higher-quality than ordinary cuvées are often referred to as "reserve wine
      Reserve wine
      Reserve wine is a term given to a specific wine to imply that is of a higher quality than usual, or a wine that has been aged before being sold, or both. Traditionally winemakers would "reserve" some of their best wine rather than sell it immediately, coining the term.In some countries the use of...

      s", while a cuvée lower in quality than the main one is referred to as a "second wine
      Second wine
      Second wine is a term commonly associated with Bordeaux wine to refer to a second label wine made from cuvee not selected for use in the Grand vin or first label...


  • In some regions, the term cuvée is used to specifically indicate a blend, i.e., a wine produced from a mixture of several grape varieties, rather than a varietal wine. This is especially true outside of France.

  • In Champagne and sometimes in other regions producing
    Sparkling wine production
    There are four main methods of sparkling wine production. The first is simple injection of carbon dioxide , the process used in soft drinks, but this produces big bubbles that dissipate quickly in the glass. The second is the Metodo Italiano – Charmat process, in which the wine undergoes a...

     sparkling wine
    Sparkling wine
    Sparkling wine is a wine with significant levels of carbon dioxide in it making it fizzy. The carbon dioxide may result from natural fermentation, either in a bottle, as with the méthode champenoise, in a large tank designed to withstand the pressures involved , or as a result of carbon dioxide...

    s by the traditional method, the cuvée also refers to the best grape juice from gentle pressing of the grapes. In Champagne, the cuvée is the first 2,050 litres of grape juice from 4,000 kg of grapes (a marc), while the following 500 litres are known as the taille (tail), and is expected to give wines of a more coarse character. Many Champagne producers pride themselves on only using the cuvée in their wine.

  • The term can also be applied to beer
    Beer is the world's most widely consumed andprobably oldest alcoholic beverage; it is the third most popular drink overall, after water and tea. It is produced by the brewing and fermentation of sugars, mainly derived from malted cereal grains, most commonly malted barley and malted wheat...

    or chocolate to refer to a batch that is blended by the manufacturers to produce a certain taste.
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