How on earth do you say THAT!? - A wine pronunciation guide

How on earth do you say THAT!? - A wine pronunciation guide

Picture this… you’re on a first date, all is going pretty well. You’re feeling optimistic, you’re at a nice restaurant, and your date suggests you choose the wine. Picking up the wine list, your blood runs cold… Gewürztraminer?  Châteauneuf-du-Pape?!

It can be a bit hard to order something you don’t know how to pronounce, and it’s probably happened to all of us at one point or another. It’s especially hard when you’re trying to make a good impression - whether that’s a date scenario, or you’re at a business event, and want to pass off that you know what you’re talking about!

Never fear! We’ve scoured the most common names and varieties, so you can order whichever glass or bottle you like, with reckless abandon (and moderation, of course).


Alsace (Ahl-sass) - Vineyard region in northeastern France

Brut (Broot) - A dry, sparkling wine (also seen as extra brut or brut natural)

Beaujolais (Bo-zho-lay) - A red wine region of Burgundy, also a fruity-style French wine

Bordeaux (Bor-doh) - Major city in France, and its wine-growing region

Bourgogne (Boor-gonn-yeh) - A wine from the Chablis region in France

Cabernet Sauvignon (Ka-ber-nay So-veen-yon) - A common, deep-flavoured red wine, can be amongst the finest reds. Typically pairs well with red meat

Chablis (shah-blee) - A French white wine made from Chardonnay grapes

Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Shah-toe-NEF-doo-parp) - A red wine, from the region of the same name in France

Chianti (Kee-yahn-tee) - A famous red wine from Tuscany

Eiswein (Ice-vine) - A sweet dessert wine made with partially frozen grapes

Gewürztraminer (geh-vairtz-trah-mee-ner) - An aromatic white wine that grows best in cooler climates

Grüner Veltliner (Grew-ner velt-lee-ner) - An Austrian dry white wine also produced in the USA

Merlot (Mer-low) - A lighter and softer style red wine

Pinot Grigio (Pee-noh gree-joe) - A white wine with crisp, citrus flavors - the same grape as Pinot Gris, but produced in the Italian style with lighter, fresher notes

Pinot Gris (Pee-noh gree) - The same grape as Pinot Grigio, but French-style, which is slightly different. Pinot Gris is typically rich and often sweet, with tropical fruit overtones

Pinot Noir (Pee-noh-nwahr) - A widely-produced red wine with typically berry flavours

Reisling (Rees-ling) - A sweeter white, typically light and easy to drink

Rioja (Ree-oh-hah) - A blend of different grape varieties from the Rioja region in Spain

Rosé (Ro-zay) - Literally meaning ‘pink’ or ‘rosy’ in French, Rosé is

Saumur (So-mure) - A white wine from the Loire Valley in France

Sauternes (So-turn) - A French sweet wine from the Sauternais region

Semillon (Seh-mee-yohn) - A golden-skinned grape making dry, sweet white wines

Sangiovese (San-joe-veh-see) - Popular Italian wine, also the base grape for many other wines

Sauvignon Blanc (So-veen-yon blahngk) - A popular dry, light-bodied white wine

Syrah (See-rah) - Another name for Shiraz (can depend on region as to what it’s called)

Tempranillo (Tem-prah-nee-yo) - A full-bodied red wine, originating from Spain

Viognier (Vee-on-yeh) - A full-bodied white wine, usually pairs well with spices and vegies

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