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How to Pronounce Wine Names

How to pronounce wine names pronunciation guide

Taste testing wine once it has arrived at your table is easy, proper pronunciation when ordering can make anyone a little nervous. You may be out to dinner with clients to close a deal, celebrating a milestone with colleagues, or just enjoying conversation with friends, but in any scenario, knowing proper pronunciation is a quick way to impress.

Wines come from all over the world and that can make pronunciation tricky, having you thinking back to your high school Spanish, French, or Italian classes. For example, “do you say Cabernet with a hard ‘t’? Is the ‘d’ in ‘d’Abruzzo’ silent or not?"

Don’t worry you don’t need to take language classes or meet privately with a sommelier (suh-mel-yay). We’ve got you covered with a wine pronunciation guide that you will want to bookmark for years to come.

Most Common Wine Names

There are hundreds of wine terms to learn so let’s start with the ten that you will use frequently when ordering.

Beaujolais (boh-jhoe-lay)

Red wine region of southern Burgundy

Cabernet Sauvignon (cab-er-nay saw-vee-nyon)

A red wine grape, the most widely recognized

Chardonnay (shar-doh-nay)

A green grape used to make white wine

Malbec (mahl-behk)

A red wine grape of Bordeaux

Merlot (mer-loh)

A dark blue colored wine grape variety, most common in Bordeaux

Pinot Grigio (pee-noh-GREE-joe)

A white wine grape grown in Italy

Riesling (REESE-ling)

A white wine grape which originated in Germany 

Rioja (ree-OH-hah)

A wine region in Spain where these grapes are grown

Sangiovese (san-joe-VAE-sae)

A red wine grape from Italy

Sauvignon Blanc (saw-vee-nyon blahnk)

A green wine grape originally from the Bordeaux region of France

More Wines Terms For Ordering

Now that we have the most commons covered, here’s a more comprehensive list. You may want to print this out and keep it in your purse as a cheat sheet!

Wine Name

Pronunciation

Alsace

al-zass

Anjou

ahn-jhew

Auxey-Duresses

awk-say deh-ress

Barbera

bar-BEAR-ah

Barolo

bah-RO-lo

Beaulieu (Vineyards)

bo-l’yuh

Bougros

boo-groh

Bourgogne

boor-guh-nyuh

Brut

broot

Canaiolo

cahn-eye-OH-loh

Carmignano

car-mee-NYAH-no

Chablis

shah-blee

Chassagne-Montrachet

shah-san-yuh mon-rah-shay

Chenin Blanc

shen-in blahnk

Chianti

key-AHN-tee

Chinon

she-nohn

Côte d’Or

coat dor

Côte Rôtie

coat roe-tee

Cuvée

coo-vay

Dolcetto

dohl-CHET-oh

Galicia

gah-LEETH-ee-ah

Grenouilles

greh-n’wee

Grüner Veltliner

GREW-ner VELT-lee-ner

Hermitage

er-mee-tahj

Les Clos

lay cloh

Loire

lwahr

Médoc

meh-doc

Meursault

muhr-so

Moët

moh-ett

Mont de Milieu

mon deh meh-lyew

Montagny

mon-tah-nyee

Montepulciano d’Abruzzo

mon-tae-pul-chee-AH-noh dah-BRUTE-so

Montlouis

mon-loo-wee

Montrachet

mon-rah-shay

Moulis

moo-lees

Muscadet

moos-cah-day

Nantais

nahn-tay

Penedés

pen-eh-DAIS

Pinot Bianco

pee-noh bee-AHN-coh

Pinot Blanc

pee-noh blahnk

Pinot Grigio

pee-noh GREE-joe

Pinot Gris

pee-noh gree

Pinot Noir

pee-noh nwahr

Quincy

can-see

Quinta

KEEN-ta

Reuilly

reuh-yee

Rheinhessen

RYNE-hess-ehn

Saint-Amour

sant ah-more

Saint-Romain

san ro-man

Sancerre

sahn-sair

Semillon

SEM-eh-lon (Australian)

Sémillon

seh-mee-yohn (French)

St-Julien

sant jhoo-lee-ehn

Tempranillo

tem-prah-NEE-yoh

Tinto

TEEN-toe

Verdejo

ver-DAY-ho

Verdicchio

ver-DEE-key-oh

Vinho

VEEN-yo

Vinho Verde

VEEN-yo VAIRD

Viognier

vee-oh-nyay

 

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Tags: Education