If you’ve ever picked up wine in any of the common wine bottle sizes, then you’re probably familiar with the term cuvee-you might have even picked it up from learning what is a winery. It appears on many wine labels but is most often used in reference to sparkling wine. However, not everyone knows the cuvee meaning and what it has to do with wine at all.
What Does Cuvee Mean?
Cuvee is a term used to describe the type of “blend” a wine is. This term is French-derived and came about during the first winemaking period. Typically, if you see the term cuvee on a wine bottle, it’s usually an indication that the wine is of superior quality, and would work well for a lamb wine pairing. However, since there is no legal definition for the term cuvee, this is not always the case.
In many instances, cuvee is also used to describe sparkling wines. When used in this way, cuvee describes the juice extraction process. Here, a cuvee sparkling wine would be one that is pure in form, has higher acidity, and lower pH. As a result, you end up with a more desirable wine that is sweeter in comparison to non-cuvee sparkling wines. In addition to this, cuvee also refers to wine that is “first cut” from the press.
Regardless of the way you use the cuvee definition, in essence it’s a term that describes the quality and way in which wine is made.
Types of Cuvee Wine
As with any other type of alcohol, there are variations in taste and brand. The same goes for cuvee; the most common types of cuvee wine you’ll find include red, rose, and champagne. Let’s explore some popular cuvee brands below.
Cuvee Red Wine
- Cain Cuvee
Cain Cuvee is a red wine blend originating from Napa Valley, California. It is a heavily concentrated blend that is said to taste of blackberry and oak. Cain Cuvee is meant to be a lighter, more refreshing wine compared to its counterparts.
- La Cuvee Mythique
Cuvee Mythique is as interesting as the name. This wine originated from Languedoc, France and offers an intense and spicy flavor. It features hints of truffle, vanilla, and pepper, made to be enjoyed with hearty meals.
- Intruso Almansa Grand Cuvee Tintorera
While the name might be extravagant, this Spain originated wine is a classic wine with a smooth taste. Its flavors are more intense, and it’s said to taste of berries and dried fruits–which would be true. Grand Cuvee is made with exotic spices, lavender, incense, and black raspberries.
- Erba Mountain Cuvee Red
Erba Mountain is a Napa Valley original and is on the pricier side. However, it’s for a good reason. Featuring hints of raspberry, black cherry, and oak, there's a reason why this is a go-to favorite for those fancy evening dinners. Erba mountain is intense and provides immense fruit flavors and depth.
- Chateau Cote Montpezat Castillon Cuvée Compostelle
This is a France derived red wine that is said to taste of allspice. It’s made with dark berries, plums, and blueberries, so it can present a more bitter taste. Although, it is a great finishing wine and the flavors blend together nicely.
- Borrasca Premium Rose Cuvee
Borrasca Rose is a French Sparkling Rose that is said to taste of strawberries and plum. Overall, it has a smooth texture that balances out the acidity.
- Chanoine Heritage Cuvee Rose
Though on the more expensive side and also derived from France, this Rose is said to have the best overall taste. It’s made with strawberry and apples, with hints of black fruits. It also provides all the bubbles you need for that perfect champagne shower. This rose is the perfect addition to any celebration or afternoon brunch.
- Vigneti Cenci Franciacorta La Capinera Cuvee Rose Brut
Rated overall best wine at the 2018n Decanter World Wine Awards, this Italy-derived wine is the perfect balance of sweetness and bubbly. It has hints of strawberry, red fruit, and raspberry, but still provides a very rich taste. This rose is an ideal addition to seafood and steak dishes (learn more about the best wine to pair with salmon).
- Cuvee Gigaro La Madrague Rose
Offering a much paler complexion than its counterpart this wine is a fresh approach to rose. It is derived from France and has notes of red fruit, citrus, and berries. If you need a wine to pair with a summer day out with friends, this is the one for you.
- Dom Carneros Rose Cuvee De la Pompadour
Finally, we have one of the best California originated wines. This is a true Brut rose that is said to taste of peach and strawberry. Like most bruts, it is not as sweet as most prefer, as it is a true brut mix. However, it pairs perfectly with dessert and dinner entrees. A dry rosé is also perfect for turkey wine pairing dishes.
Drink It Up!
In the end, all wine is meant to be enjoyed, regardless of what you or a sommelier calls it! Of course, it never hurts to take some sommelier classes if you want to learn even more about the wines you enjoy.
If you liked this article, you may want to check out “what is sparkling wine,” “what are maraschino cherries,” or “what is an angel shot.” We guarantee you’ll find something that suits your liking–happy drinking!