From the French ("vat"), and referring to the "contents of a vat." In the Champagne region of France, the word refers to a blended batch of wines. There, the large houses create their traditional house cuvées by blending several wines before the final sparkler is produced via méthode champenoise. A deluxe version is often referred to as cuvée speciale; a vin de cuvée is the wine from the first pressing. Outside Champagne, the term cuvée is also used for still wines (see wine), and may designate wines blended from different vineyards, or even different varieties.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.