The 31 Most Difficult Wine and Grapes Names: How to Pronounce Them

On CTV News, Leanne and I chat about probably the most tough wine and grape names to pronounce.

Click the arrows to look at the movies each above and under.

As anglophones, we discover many of those names tough since their origins are sometimes European, with accents and inflections which can be new to us.

Tip: typically e and that i are pronounced within the reverse when in the midst of a phrase, and an e on the finish of a reputation typically feels like an extended a.

Why trouble? We typically overlook these terrific wines, and don’t ask for them in liquor shops or in eating places as a result of they’re so onerous to say.

We additionally pay tribute to the film My Fair Lady (based mostly on George Shaw’s play) firstly of phase one.

In the clips, Rex Harrison as Dr. Henry Higgins and Audrey Hepburn as Eliza Doolittle practise announcing that chestnut phrase, “The rain in Spain falls primarily within the plain.”

He’s making an attempt to show her the class of the English language, and the way vital it’s to make use of correct diction and enunciation, particularly for those who don’t wish to be pegged uncultured and decrease class.

(No, the implication isn’t that you simply’ll be thought-about an uncouth beer guzzler for those who pronounce Riesling as RISE-ling. But simply don’t do it.)

Meanwhile, a real-life and modern-day doctorate of studying, Dr. Antonia Mantonakis, is educating us about how we react to tough wine names.

Dr. Mantonakis, the sensible lead researcher at Brock University’s Cool Climate of Oenolgy and Viticulture Institute in St. Catharine’s, has performed many break-through research of client wine habits.

Among them, customers pays extra for wines which have tougher to pronounce wine names.

It’s counter-intuitive however English audio system are prepared to pay a mean of $2 extra per bottle for wines with these “disfluent” names.

In the examine, three teams of about 50 members every rated the identical Niagara Chardonnay. The wine for the primary group was named Titakis, for the second group it was Tselepou, and for the third group the wine wasn’t named.

Participants have been prepared to pay $16 per bottle for probably the most tongue-twisting vineyard identify Tselepou.

As Dr. Mantonakis defined to me, the examine she performed concerned members evaluating and tasting the wine wine with out having to say the identify.

She confirmed the geralizability of the outcomes: “The Titakis/Tselepou examine’s outcomes would apply if, as an illustration, somebody was looking within the LCBO and noticed the Pfaffenheim wine, they’d be extra prepared to buy it than an bizarre sounding vineyard identify.

“Or, if somebody was at a celebration tasting wines, they usually noticed the labels of some wines to pattern, they might in all probability fee the style of the tougher to pronounce wines as increased than the better to pronounce ones.”

However, once I requested her if the outcomes would change in the event that they did actually need to ask for the wine by identify, she responded: “You elevate a very good query: inspecting the impact of merely sampling versus ordering the wine/saying it out loud. This is a examine I want to run!”


Wines Featured on CTV

I’ve capitalized the careworn syllable in every phrase. If no syllable is capitalized, all of them syllables carry equal weight.

White Wines

Peter Lehmann Wines Layers White 2015

Peter Lehmann Layers Semillon Gewürztraminer Pinot Gris Muscat


Semillon     seh mee yohn


Gewürztraminer      geh VAIRTZ trah mee ner


Pinot Gris       pee noh gree


Muscat    Mus-CAT



Studert-Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spatlese 2012



Studert Prum Riesling Spätlese


Riesling       REESE ling


Spätlese      SHPATE lay seh





Cono Sur Viognier 2009


Cono Sur Viognier


Viognier      vee oh nyay







Errazuriz Sauvignon Blanc 2015


Errazuriz Sauvignon Blanc


Sauvignon Blanc    noticed vee nyon blahn







Chsteau St. Jean Fumr Blanc 2013



Chateau St Jean Fumé Blanc


Fumé Blanc      pwee foo could blahn






Masi Soave Classico 2012



Masi Soave


Soave      swa vay






Ruffino Classico Orvieto 2013



Ruffino Orvieto


Orvieto      or vee AE toh







Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio 2015



Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio


Pinot Grigio      pee noh GREE joe







Rabl Kittmansberg Gruner Veltliner 2014



Rabal Grüner Veltliner


Grüner Veltliner      GREW ner VELT lee ner







Santorini Argyros Assyrtiko 2015



Santorini Assyrtiko


Assyrtiko      A SEER tee ko






Boutari Moschofilero 2012



Boutari Moschofilero


Moschofilero      Mos ko FEE le ro








Red Wines


Cloudy Bay Vineyards Ltd Pinot Noir 2013


Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir


Pinot Noir      pee noh nwahr










Peter Lehmann Grenache, Mourvèdre, Tempranillo Shiraz


Shiraz      Shir- AZZ

Peter Lehmann Wines Layers Red Shiraz Tempranillo Mourvedre Grenache 2011

Syrah       sih-RAH


Grenache      Gruh-NOSH


Mourvèdre      moo-VED-dra


Tempranillo      tem prah NEE yoh



Luis Canas RiojaLuis Canas Crianza Tempranillo 2012


Rioja      ree OH hah





Culmina Family Estate Winery R&D Meritage 2014

Culmina Meritage


Meritage      Meh-rih-TIJ


Hermitage      er mee tahj


Cabernet Sauvignon      cab er nay noticed vee nyon




Sterling Vineyards Vintner's Collection Merlot 2013


Sterling Merlot


Merlot      mer loh







Modus Ruffino 2012


 Modus Sangiovese


Sangiovese      san joe VAE sae







Masi Costasera Amarone Classico 2011


Masi Amarone


Amarone      ah-mah-ROH-nay








Boutari Agiorgitiko 2011

Boutari Agiorgitiko Nemea


Agiorgitiko      Ah yor yee’ ti ko


Nemea      N eh m EH aa






Boutari Naoussa Xinomavro 2012


Boutari Xinomavro


Xinomavro      Ksee NO ma vro





How to Pronounce Difficult Wine and Grape Names

Agiorgitiko Ah yor yee’ ti ko
Amarone ah-mah-ROH-nay
Assyrtiko A SEER tee ko
Cabernet Sauvignon cab er nay noticed vee nyon
Fumé Blanc pwee foo could blahn
Gewürztraminer geh VAIRTZ trah mee ner
Grenache Grenache
Grüner Veltliner GREW ner VELT lee ner
Hermitage er mee tahj
Meritage Meh-rih-TIJ
Merlot mer loh
Moschofilero Mos ko FEE le ro
Mourvèdre moo-VED-dra
Muscat Mus-CAT
Nemea N eh m EH aa
Orvieto or vee AE toh
Pinot Grigio pee noh GREE joe
Pinot Gris pee noh gree
Pinot Noir pee noh nwahr
Riesling REESE ling
Rioja ree OH hah
Sangiovese san joe VAE sae
Sauvignon Blanc noticed vee nyon blahn
Semillon seh mee yohn
Shiraz Shir- AZZ
Soave swa vay
Spätlese SHPATE lay seh
Syrah sih-RAH
Tempranillo tem prah NEE yoh
Viognier vee oh nyay
Xinomavro Ksee NO ma vro

The 31 Most Difficult Wine and Grapes Names: How to Pronounce Them

Graham: Let’s head over to Leanne, one among my favorite segments after all, Natalie speaking about wine.

Leanne: Graham, what we’re about to do may depend as Olympics. I believe we’re about to discover 11 wines, 15 grapes however basically these aren’t your bizarre grapes; they’re the trickiest names to pronounce.

Natalie: Exactly.

Leanne: And that’s earlier than you’ve had a glass of wine. Wine author extraordinaire, Natalie MacLean. We had type of a enjoyable little thought.

Natalie: Yes.

Leanne: And it was to …?

Natalie: … See if we may take probably the most tough to pronounce wine names and provides them a go. So that we all know the best way to say them if we’re in a restaurant or within the liquor retailer. There are so many wines that get ignored as a result of individuals simply don’t wish to say the names.

Leanne: Now, there’s a examine, is it at Brock?

Natalie: Yes, a superb researcher there Dr. Antonia Mantonakis.

Leanne: That feels like an amazing wine.

Natalie: I do know. She’s simply sensible by way of the analysis she’s doing on customers wine habits and wine shopping for. What she found in laboratory exams with 50 members is that buyers are prepared to pay extra and perceived the wines as higher if that they had a extra difficult identify. Now they didn’t need to pronounce them they usually didn’t need to organize them in a restaurant however as they have been type of gazing at labels, they understand the tough names to be higher wines.

Leanne: I’d virtually pay you to not need to say them on TV . We are literally going to supply somewhat nod to Audrey Hepburn in Dr Doolittle and My Fair Lady, after all based mostly on Pygmalion. Let’s take somewhat take a look at how Audrey needed to battle as Eliza Doolittle. Here’s our first clip.

Of course we each beloved this movie and the opposite one which is predicated in Pygmalion. But Natalie let’s take somewhat look, after a little bit of refinement, so for us, time spent with wine pronounces or my time spent with Natalie MacLean; that is the way it may all sound.

Natalie: Right, proper you might be … by George she’s obtained it.

Leanne: Don’t fear we’re not going to sing, it comes with a wine warning. Well you’re welcome to Natalie, I promise you I received’t. So you could have chosen some difficult to pronounce wines, one among them is the trickiest. In two-and-a-half to 3 minutes we’re going that will help you along with your pronunciation; all of our pronounces are in capital letters on the display.

Natalie: But we’re not going to indicate the wine names. That could appear to be what we’re doing however no.

Leanne: Touché so to talk. So the primary wine of which we communicate is ….

Natalie: From Peter Lehmann of Australia. There are 4 grapes on this one. It’s an actual mouthful however first we have now (seh mee yohn).   You would possibly assume it’s Semillon or sem ee on however it’s (seh mee yohn).

Leanne: (seh mee yohn).

Natalie: There we go. The subsequent one is a basic and we’re all the time joking about it, Leanne . Its (geh VAIRTZ trah mee ner)  Gewürztraminer.

Leanne: Bless you!

Natalie: Thank you.


Natalie: Plenty of these grape and wine names are European, Spanish or Italian or French and that’s why we as Anglophones particularly in North America discover it onerous to get our tongues round these names.

Leanne: Well I believe we’ve all bought one or three of those bottles of wine however we maybe not pronounced it in the best means.

Natalie: Exactly and we’ve additionally obtained a (pee noh gree) … Pinot Gris. It appears like Pinot Gris however it’s a (pee noh gree).

Then we have now Muscat which ought to be pretty simple to say. So let’s maintain shifting alongside since we wish to get by means of this.

Leanne: Let’s go on to Riesling.

Natalie: (REESE ling) …  Riesling.  Now that is onerous as a result of we regularly reverse the ‘i’ and the ‘e’ so it appears like Riseling.  In  Riedel glasses it appears like ‘riddle’ glasses however it’s truly (Ree del) for the  (Reese ling).

Leanne: (REESE ling).

Natalie: On this Riesling bottle, is a sign of the grapes ripeness and that’s (Shpate lay seh) … Spätlese.

Leanne: Okay, t you probably did somewhat spit with the (Shpate lay seh).

Natalie: Just making an attempt to annunciate my pricey. Okay, we’re going to maneuver proper alongside. I really like the identify of this wine Cono Sur. They gave us a break with the wineries identify however not a lot on the grapes. So that is…

Leanne: (Vee Oh Nyay ) … Viognier.

Natalie: Very good, Leanne, my Eliza. Okay, (Vee Oh Nyay ) and we’re going to maintain happening the road right here.

Leanne: I ought to know this one off by coronary heart, Sauvignon Blanc (noticed vee nyon blahn).

Natalie: Very good.

Leanne: But the place would you want your emphasis?

Natalie: (noticed vee nyon blahn), that’s fairly even truly and the one mistake we are likely to make with this one is saying (noticed vee nyon blanc)  You don’t need to pronounce that final ‘c’ . The vineyard is Errazuriz however I received’t make you say that.

Leanne: Thank you.

Natalie: Okay.

Leanne: Now we must always say that it’s type of even just like the wine, the pronunciation.

Natalie: Exactly.

Leanne: So Soave (swa vay)?

Natalie: Soave (swa vay), that jogs my memory of that music. I’m simply going to Soave (swa vay) and that’s Italian. You’ll discover it’s by Masi (ma see). There’s that swap between the ‘I’ and the ‘E’; we predict it’s (ma si) however it’s (ma see).

Leanne: (Ma See).

Natalie:  So that’s how one can consider a variety of these difficult ones.

Leanne: How about Orvieto (Or Vee Ae Toh)?

Natalie: (Or Vee Ae Toh).

Leanne: Roll the ‘r’ somewhat bit extra.

Natalie: You don’t need to, simply making an attempt to get our tongues spherical this as North American Anglo audio system.

Leanne: Tell us about that wine.

Natalie: So each of those are crisp, actually, the three which can be on the digital camera proper now are all very crisp, dry, refreshing summer season whites. Serve them effectively chilled, contemporary seafood and shellfish.

Leanne: And subsequent up, (Pee Noh Gree Joe) … Pinot Grigio.

Natalie: Very good.

Leanne: Now we must always say that our pronouncer isn’t proper on with this as a result of this might appear like we’d say Pinot Grigio however it’s?

Natalie: Pee Noh GREE Joe.

Leanne: GREE Joe.

Natalie: I’m simply throwing within the Italian there and don’t have an Italian bone in my physique.

Leanne: Or grape?

Natalie: Yes, precisely. Well individuals would possibly take a look at this and say it’s Pee Noh GREE Gio however no it’s (Pee Noh Gree Joe), so shifting on to this Austrian Grüner Veltliner.

Leanne: This Austrian is (GREW ner VELT lee ner).

Natalie: I’m so happy with you.

Leanne: I do know. I had assist. So (GREW ner VELT lee ner)?

Natalie: Grüner Veltliner (GREW ner VELT lee ner).

Leanne: And what ought to we all know if we order this wine?

Natalie: Again it’s a crisp contemporary white. We’re doing all whites to begin with and also you’ll know there’s a variety of these European names particularly Northern European names which can be tongue tornado however they’re value exploring. And if we maintain going we’re now on to Greece.

Leanne: We need to go to Greece and really end these in a short time as a result of we’re operating out of time.

Natalie: Okay.

Leanne: So now let me have you ever do the tongue twisters actually quick.

Natalie: Okay, (A SEER tee ko) … Assyrtiko. There’s been a revolution in Greek wines. They’re so refreshing, so good, it’s value studying the best way to say them. The final one we have now there may be (Mos ko FEE le ro) … Moschofilero.

Leanne: (Mos ko FEE le ro).

Natalie: There you go.

Leanne: And I must know in regards to the Moschofilero.

Natalie: Okay, effectively you understand you possibly can have a standard Greek tavern dinner … contemporary seafood, perhaps some olives, some robust cheeses, some toasted nuts. Then you’re simply searching on the good turquoise blue Mediterranean. Pour your self a glass of this effectively chilled wine and also you’re all set.

Leanne: This is why she’s a wine author, Graham, and we can have all of those pronounces on our web site, so the following time you head to the LCBO you’ll simply sound “chichi” and also you’ll be capable of see the rain in Spain.

(2nd Part) The 31 Most Difficult Wine and Grapes Names: How to Pronounce Them

Graham: Alright, let’s head again to Leanne and Natalie; they’re speaking about wine.

Leanne: I’ve to say Graham, Natalie actually wanted to drink within the business break however we didn’t have time as a result of we have now to alter over to the Reds and the most typical errors in pronunciation for the Reds. This is Natalie’s likelihood to be a Professor McHiggins; you’re the Henry Higgins on this.

Natalie: I would like somewhat handkerchief.

Leanne: We’re beginning with the reds, we have now the Cloudy Bay.

Natalie: The Cloudy Bay is a superb New Zealand wine. I do know Pinot Noir is a quite common parlance, it’s a highly regarded wine however at first you would possibly take a look at that identify and also you would possibly assume pee no noyer however it’s pee noh nwahr.

Leanne: Pinot Noir and the following one?

Natalie: Alright, this has various grapes; that is the Peter Lehmann Layers. Layers as a result of it’s complicated and has many grapes in right here.

Leanne: You have Shiraz (Shir-azz); it has a variety of grapes.

Natalie: Exactly and you understand what’s attention-grabbing about Shiraz (Shir-azz) is that it comes from Australia. They renamed Syrah to Shiraz (Shir-azz) as a result of it’s simpler to say, extra client pleasant. The Australians are very good so Shiraz (Shir-azz) is in any other case generally known as Syrah when it’s in France.

Grenache (Gruh-nosh) can be in there, you would possibly assume gren-acha, gre-nashi however it’s  (Gruh-nosh).

Now right here’s a mouthful Mouvèdre (Moo-ved-dra).

Leanne: Mouvèdre (Moo-ved-dra).

Natalie: We’re European names and grapes and the accents and the pronunciation are all going to have an effect on the pronunciation (Moo-ved-dra).

Then we have now Tempranillo (Tem Prah Nee Yoh) which is definitely a Spanish grape. Tempranillo (Tem Prah Nee Yoh) …so as a substitute (tem prah nee low), it’s (Tem Prah Nee Yoh).

Leanne: And that strikes us right into a Spanish wine, to have a good time Rioja.

Natalie: Exactly, Rioja not (ree-oh-jah) it’s (ree-OH-hah). The main grape in Rioja (ree-OH-hah) is Tempranillo (Tem Prah Nee Yoh), so we simply transition from Tempranillo proper into Rioja.

Leanne: I really like that you simply’ve turned it right into a lesson, unbelievable! Now the following wine you’ve chosen is …?

Natalie: Okay, it is a terrific British Columbia crimson wine . When they blended the standard grapes utilized in Bordeaux, right here in Canada or the United States, we name it Meritage (Meh-Rih-Tij). Lots of people get that somewhat confused with Meritage (er-rih-taj) from France. They have (er-meh-taj) as in ‘Hermitage’ however that is Meritage, (Meh-Rih-Tij).

This one is 100% North American kind of pronunciation and it has Cabernet Sauvignon (Cab-er-nay-saw-vee-nyon) within the mix – Cabernet Sauvignon (Cab-er-nay-saw-vee-nyon).

Leanne: Beautiful, I really like the best way that it rolls off  the tongue and tastes on the tongue, okay.

Natalie: Exactly, so shifting proper alongside to Merlot (Mer-loh), we have now a Merlot (Mer-loh) right here from California. Again, I believe you understand right here in Canada we don’t get as caught up with these onerous T’s and C’s on the finish.

Leanne: As you’ve been touring stateside and also you’ve heard a variety of …. ?

Natalie:   Merlots, sure, let’s simply not try this. This Italian mix, Modus, from Ruffino has Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in it and it additionally has the classics Sangiovese (San Joe Vae Sae). It’s not (san joe veese) however Sangiovese (San Joe Vae Sae) and that final ‘ae’ is typically an extended ’a’ when it’s in an Italian phrase . So Sangiovese (San Joe Vae Sae) is in Chianti however it’s additionally within the Super Tuscan wine.

Leanne: Well, lots of people love saying this phrase, Amarone (Ah-Mah-Roh-Nay).

Natalie: There it’s once more, the lengthy ‘e’ on the finish so it’s not (ah-mah-rhon), it’s Amarone.

We have Masi (ma-see) not (ma-say).

Leanne: And the previous couple of are difficult.

Natalie: They are Greek.

Leanne: Take a go at it … it’s all Greek to me.

Natalie: And so excellent. We have from Nemea, this grape Agiorgitiko (Ah Yor Yee’Ti Ko) after which the final one is Xinomavro (Ksee No Ma Vro).

Leanne: Xinomavro. (Ksee No Ma Vro)

Natalie: They’re full-body dry complicated crimson wines, nice with grilled beets.

Leanne: And we must always say these are all wines Natalie loves to jot down about and discuss.

Natalie: I do.

Leanne: They’re all listed on our web site so we hope that we have now helped you, for those who felt somewhat like Eliza.   



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