We’ve all been there. You’re looking at the wine menu, and you think you know which wine you want, but there’s just one problem…your wine name pronunciation is hit or miss.
Your cheeks get hot. Your palms start to sweat. And you curse yourself for not sticking with high school level French... Spanish? German? What language even is this?
In fact, the mere idea of uttering this strange arrangement of letters makes you want to throw the wine menu across the room and hide in a hole for the rest of eternity.
First off, this reaction is completely normal and natural. Second off, there’s really no need to be embarrassed. Some wine words are extremely counterintuitive (Paso Robles) or feature crazy accents and umlauts (Gewürztraminer), while some wine words (like Languedoc Roussillon) look like straight up gibberish.
Unless you’re a certified sommelier with years of training, chances are, some wine words are going to trip you up. The important thing is giving it the good old college try, and keep learning as you go.
Hopefully you have the kind of friends who would pull you aside rather than call you out in front of a group of people. We hope you consider this blog post exactly that - a slight nudge from a friend.
Fear not - today you’ll learn the right way to say the most mispronounced wine words.
Wine Name Pronunciation for Beginners
Let’s cover the wine name pronunciation basics! Click the link to hear an audio pronunciation from our on-staff sommelier.
1. Pinot Noir | How to pronounce Pinot Noir
/pee - no nwar/
A light-bodied red wine with notes of red fruit, flower, and spice.
2. Cabernet Sauvignon | How to pronounce Cabernet Sauvignon
/kab - er - nay saw - vin - yawn/
The world’s most popular red wine grape, a cross between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc.
3. Merlot | How to pronounce Merlot
/murr - low/
A red wine known for its black cherry flavors, supple tannins, and chocolatey finish.
4. Pinot Grigio | How to pronounce Pinot Grigio
/pee - no gree - jee - o/
A white wine with notes of white peach, lemon zest, and cantaloupe.
5. Champagne | How to pronounce Champagne
/sham - pain/
The most iconic wine in the world, a blend of grapes including Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier.
Now that you know how to pronounce common wine phrases, let's move onto some more difficult terms.
Wine Name Pronunciation for Aspiring Experts
6. Beaujolais | How to pronounce Beaujolais
/bow - zhuh - lei/
A light red wine with flavors of raspberry, cherry, and cranberry.
7. Chablis | How to pronounce Chablis
/sha - blee/
A leaner style of Chardonnay with generally less oak.
8. Charcuterie | How to pronounce charcuterie
/shar - koo - ter - ee/
The French art of preparing and assembling cured meats.
9. Chenin Blanc | How to pronounce Chenin Blanc
/shen - in blonk/
A white wine originated in South Africa with notes of yellow apple, chamomile, and honey.
10. Gewürztraminer | How to pronounce Gewürztraminer
/ga - vurtz - tra - me - ner/
A floral white wine with notes of lychee, grapefruit, and ginger.
11. Grüner Veltliner | How to pronounce Grüner Veltliner
/grew - ner felt - lee - ner/
A white wine with notes of starfruit, asparagus, and white pepper.
12. Languedoc Roussillon | How to pronounce Languedoc Roussillon
/laang - gue - daak roo - see - own/
A well known wine region in France.
13. Manischewitz | How to pronounce Manischewitz
/man - nuh - sheh - vuhts/
A popular kosher wine.
14. Moscato d’Asti | How to pronounce Moscato d’Asti
/mo - scah - toe dahs - tee/
A semi-sparkling style of Moscato with sweet aromas of peach, orange blossom, and lemon.
15. Paso Robles | How to pronounce Paso Robles
/pa - sow roh - buhls/
A notable wine region in California known for Syrah, other Rhône varieties, and Cabernet Sauvignon.
16. Resveratrol | How to pronounce resveratrol
/rez - veh - ruh - traal/
An antioxidant found in wine from grape skin.
17. Sauternes | How to pronounce Sauternes
/soh - tehrn/
A very sweet white wine with notes of marmalade and honeyed apricot.
18. Sémillon | How to pronounce Sémillon
/sem - ee - yawn/
A white grape of Bordeaux with notes of lemon, beeswax, and yellow peach.
19. Sommelier | How to pronounce sommelier
/suh - muhl - yei/
A highly trained wine professional specializing in all aspects of wine service and pairings.
20. Terroir | How to pronounce terroir
/tehr - waar/
The geographical characteristics of a vineyard that give the wine its unique properties
21. Umami | How to pronounce umami
/oo - maa - mee/
One of the five basic tastes. A flavor detectable in oysters and some Champagne.
22. Valdiguié | How to pronounce Valdiguié
/val - di - gay/
A red wine with flavors of red cherry, blackberry, black pepper, and cloves.
23. Veuve Clicquot | How to pronounce Veuve Clicquot
/voov klee - kloh/
A well known Champagne named after the first woman to run a Champagne House.
24. Viognier | How to pronounce Viognier
/vee - own - yay/
a full-bodied white wine with notes of tangerine, peach, and honeysuckle.
In Vino Finito
If you’re digging this wine name pronunciation guide, you’ll love our newsletter. We always feature a new wine word of the day, complete with audio pronunciation, so you’re always learning new wine lingo.
At the end of the day, the best way to learn about wine is to try it! If you have any questions about wine name pronunciation (or if you’d like to request a wine in your Bright Cellars box), email our Wine Concierge Team at firstname.lastname@example.org or give them a call at (844) 223-5527.