You’ve been pronouncing your favourite wine all wrong!

You’ve been pronouncing your favourite wine all wrong! Experts reveal the correct way to say everything from Sauvignon Blanc to Rioja

Nothing impresses guests at a dinner party quite like a lush bottle of wine to share, but what about when it comes to telling your guests the name of the tipple you’ve picked out? 

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While Chardonnay is familiar enough to most people to easily trip off the tongue, what about the delightfully sweet Gewurztraminer or the richly earthy Sangiovese.

Pinot Noir is the most commonly mispronounced wine in the world with an average of 2,380 people searching for pronunciation guidance on Google each month, according to new research from language learning platform Preply (

Data also revealed that Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon follow closely in second and third place, with 1,620 and 1,260 searches each month by wine enthusiasts looking for help.

Other commonly mispronounced wines include Pinot Grigio (PEE-no-GREE-jo), Riesling (rees-ling), Prosecco (proh-SEHK-koh) and Sangiovese (SAN-joe-veh-see). 

While we may be more familiar with common pronunciations like Pinot Noir or Prosecco, there are more intimidating monikers (stock image)

Language expert Yolanda del Peso says the key with approaching unnerving names is familiarising yourself with the common languages of origin.

Understanding common phonetics practices can help you deal with tricky letter combinations. 

‘For example, Tempranillo seems like it should be pronounced “tem-pruh-NILL-o” to an English speaker, but knowing that it is a Spanish wine tells us that we should follow Spanish rules of pronunciation,’ the Marketing Specialist at Preply added. 

‘That means the double “LL” is actually pronounced as a “Y” sound, giving us “tem-pruh-NEE-yo”.’

Similarly, ‘eaux’ in French usually makes for an ‘o’ type sound in English.

The language learning platform has also revealed the 20 most commonly mispronounced names, along with with a handy cheat sheet of how you can say them.

The 20 most commonly mispronounced wine names and how to say them 

Pinot Noir – PEE-noh nwar

Sauvignon Blanc – soh-VIN-yohn blan

Cabernet Sauvignon – kab-er-nay soh-VIN-yohn

Pinot Grigio – PEE-no-GREE-jo

Champagne – sham-peyn

Bordeaux – baw-DOH

Chianti – KEE-ahn-tee

Riesling – rees-ling

Merlot – mer-loh

Prosecco – proh-SEHK-koh

 Rioja – REE-oh-hah

Burgundy – BUR-guhn-dee

Sangiovese – SAN-joe-veh-see

Tempranillo – tem-pruh-NEE-yo

Gewurztraminer – ga-VERTZ-trah-mee-ner

Vermouth – VUR-muhth

Chardonnay – shar-dah-nay

Shiraz – schuh-RAAZ

Syrah – see-rah

Sancerre – son-seuh

Source: Preply 


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