“What is a cuvée?”, an American on Quora asked me recently. And in fact that is an interesting question. The simple answer is: Any wine made from different grape varieties, vintages or vineyard sites is called a blend. The direct German translation is “Verschnitt”. Since the prefix „ver-“ usually marks a word as negative or difficult, this could be translated as “to wrongly cut”: and the term is often used with a negative connotation. That’s why professional winemakers much prefer the term cuvée, which means the same thing. Or even better, they call it an assemblage, which sounds even more classy.
That blending wines leaves a sour taste in most Germans‘ mouths is due to past winemaking history. Traditionally, only single-variety wines were pressed in Germany. This also has to do with the fact that some popular German grape varieties are not very well suited for blending. A good example would be Riesling, which is rarely found in a cuvée.
In France, on the other hand, blended wines are completely normal. This is especially true for the top wines, with the exception of Burgundy. Many champagnes consist of three grape varieties: Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir. Bordeaux and other southern French wines are also cuvées. Weiterlesen