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In English-speaking countries, a common term (blend) for the blending of wines; see under Cuvée.

A term used in viticulture with different meanings in different countries. The word comes from the French cuve (vat or wine container). In its original sense, it refers to a certain amount of wine in a container (a barrel of wine, so to speak). In German-speaking countries, it is usually understood to mean the artful blending of wines from different grape varieties. However, this can also be grape musts that are then fermented together, as is common in the southern Rhône. Other terms are Blend (New World), Cape Blend (South Africa), CVC (Conjunto de Varias Cosechas in Spain), Coupage, Marriage, Mélange (France for spirits), Meritage (California) and in German-speaking countries Verschnitt. As a rule, wines of the same colour are blended.

However, the term has no legal meaning in wine terms, so "cuvée" on the label does not mean anything unambiguous, because it can also be a wine from one grape variety, from one single vineyard or from one vintage. For example, it can also be an exclusive special bottling of a winery for a gastronomic establishment. In no case (as is not so seldom assumed in German-speaking countries) is the blending of wines in comparison to varietal wines a negative difference in quality.

Purpose of blending

The blending of wines is mainly done for taste reasons. One wants to bring in alcohol content, aromas, acidity and colour through several different grape varieties. The latter is achieved by using teinturier varieties, of which only 5% are sufficient to deepen the colour....

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