HowDoYouSayThatWord Learn how to say that word correctly! Wed, 23 Jan 2019 16:42:32 +0000 en-US hourly 1 25186317 10 Things You Must Know About Champagne Mon, 02 Oct 2017 19:40:22 +0000 [toc] What do you know about champagne other than its bubbly, expensive and signals glamour and good times, and possibly, for those who do not know their limits, bad behaviour and a hangover…? Doesn’t everyone know what champagne is? The short answer is ‘no’, and the long answer is ‘noo’. I have heard otherwise perfectly…

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10 Things You Must Know About Champagne
What do you know about champagne other than its bubbly, expensive and signals glamour and good times, and possibly, for those who do not know their limits, bad behaviour and a hangover…? Doesn’t everyone know what champagne is? The short answer is ‘no’, and the long answer is ‘noo’. I have heard otherwise perfectly well-educated people say the stupidest things about champagne. It is better to keep your mouth shut and let people suspect you are unsophisticated, than to open it and most assuredly convince them that you are. Why keep them guessing or let them know for sure when you can easily learn how to sound like an expert on champagne? Read, click on the links to listen to the audio and learn more…

1. It’s not champagne unless it comes from Champagne

Don’t Call Sparkling Wine From California Or Australia (however wonderful It Is) ‘Champagne‘. Until a couple of years, some American wine-makes made use of a nifty loop-hole in international legislation and shamelessly called their sparkling wine ‘champagne’, thereby infuriating the French. That is now mostly closed – the argument is too lengthy to detail here, but no decent and respectful wine-maker outside the Appellation of Champagne would call their product, however refined, ‘champagne’. Interestingly enough, champagne is the only wine that does not need to mention AOC status on the label – the mere fact that it is called champagne is enough to confirm it.

Some trivia: What do you call sparkling wine made outside of the Appellation of Champagne in France?

It’s generally called ‘crémant‘, (kray:mah~) though some of the coarser ones may be referred to as ‘mousseaux’ (moo:soh). (A big thank-you to Jancis Robinson who helped me out here via Twitter – check out her website for all things wine. It is superb).

2. It Is Extremely Crass To Pop The Cork And Spray Champagne Over Your Companions Unless You Have Just Won The Grand Prix Or A Similarly Prestigious Sporting Event.

Don’t allow the cork to pop loudly – remove the foil and the wire, gently twist the bottle (not the cork) allowing it to release with a muted thud that says ‘I am a person of the world’, not a loud explosion that says ‘I have learned all I know about champagne from the scene in Dumb, Dumber where they kill an endangered species with an exploding cork.’


3. Anyone Who Knows A Frog’s Toe About Champagne Knows That The Good Monk Dom Pérignon Did Not Invent Or Discover Champagne.

He is terribly unlikely to have uttered the words ‘Come Quickly, I Am Drinking The Stars’.

It’s a charming story, but don’t repeat unless you are dismissing it. Back in those days, the spontaneous ‘second fermentation’ which creates the bubbles often resulted in exploding bottles. This a problem which ‘the Dom’ was more interested in avoiding than encouraging. Candidates include cider-makers and a couple of English scientists. Methinks the answer is ‘no-one, really’. It’s more a question of ‘who learned to control the second fermentation?’

It’s clear that bubbles were spontaneously and unintentionally appearing in bottles of wine due to weather and other factors. Unlike Dom Pérignon, not everyone thought this was a bad thing, and interested wine-makers then started looking at ways to control the process and make the bottles strong enough to cope with the 5-6 atmospheres created by the CO2 without exploding.

4. What Is Wrong With This Picture? Oh Dear….. Or Rather, What Isn’t?

Champagne and sparkling wine should be served in a flute, not a bowl on a stem (unless you are an eccentric connoisseur with a fetish for the good old days). It’s not pure snobbery – the large surface area makes the bubbles dissipate more quickly. And anyone who tells you to tie ribbons on glasses shouldn’t be telling you anything at all. As for writing ‘bride’ and ‘groom’ on the glasses…the less said the better. Everything about this picture says ‘sweet cheap sparkling sort-of-wine’. Please don’t do this to proper champagne, sparkling wine, or even the cheap stuff if you are passing it off as the real thing. On a similar note ‘non’ to festive little umbrellas and any other adornments and…..HAH! Bet you thought I was going to say ice-cubes.Wrong, because it turns out…

5. Some People Think Putting Ice-Cubes In Your Champagne Is Trendy.

Piper-Heidsieck, the ultra-luxe champagne house has created the ‘Piscine’ (‘piscine’ means ‘swimming pool’ in French). You go to a club where the muted lights, loud music, and your gratitude that the doorman let you in addles your wits. The slick barman offers you a Piscine, and you say ‘mais oui’, not having a clue what he means. He proceeds to pour loads of terribly expensive Piper-Heidsieck Cuvée-Brut over ice in an extra-large, specially designed glass. And from then on you remember nothing until you wake up. Fortunately Facebook is plastered with photos of you having a good time so your memory may be indelibly refreshed for all perpetuity…

This drink may be terribly fashionable in parts of Paris and other international cities, but I’m not convinced. It hurts to think of what ice will do to the delicate aromas of fine champagne, but if you think this sounds like a smashing good time, you probably aren’t drinking it for the ‘delicate aromas’.

6. Never, Ever Freeze Champagne

As I Was Saying, It Ruins The Aromas And Flavours. Use an ice-bucket which has a mixture of water and ice – you can cool a bottle of champagne (from the cellars) to the right temperature in 15-20 minutes like this. If there is *no more room in your cellar* give it about 40 minutes (between 8 celsius for younger champagnes and 10 for mature champagnes). If you are chilling bottles in the fridge (not the freezer, I implore you, but if it’s for the ‘Piscine’ then I hope you are using ‘Piper’, not the Pol Roger). Lay them down on the bottom shelf for at least 3 hours to chill, or keep them there until you need them (but not for weeks on end – they are best stored in the *cellar*).


7. Take Advice from Sommeliers

In the type of establishments who OUGHT to be serving champagne, sommeliers are not just ‘wine stewards’ – they are very highly trained professionals who really know their stuff, and are there to guide you. There is absolutely nothing wrong in asking for their suggestions. If you find yourself competing for attention with someone who knows (or pretends to know) more than you do about champagne, it’s best to shut up and learn, or wait for them to trip up on something you know for sure, like the Dom Pérignon story.

8. For Heaven’s Sake, Learn How To Correctly Pronounce The Names Of The Various Champagne Brands

Now That There Is a Handy Reference at, you have no excuse.

9. Older May Be Better When It Comes To Wine, But Not Champagne

There is a quaint story which is always told by someone ‘who knows the family’ and as such should be taken with a generous handful of salt, but it illustrates the point very well, so it bears repeating. It goes like this: The matriarch of the family is celebrating her 80th birthday, and to mark the occasion the family decide it would be nice to open an 80-year-old bottle of their own. After the bottle is opened and tasted, Monsieur diplomatically proclaims ‘I am happy to say that Madame has aged far better than our champagne…

10. Don’t Be Too Much Of A Snob To Prefer A Good Sparkling Wine

There are excellent sparkling wines from South Africa, Australia, the States, and other countries which can equal the best champagnes, and better the mediocre ones. A true wine-love should never be hung up on names and labels.

Looking for more French words or other how to say the names of different drinks? We’ve got everything covered on the site – including important Bordeaux wines and a guide to French pronunciation. If we don’t, please let me know what you’d like me to add!

Click on our handy reference to hear audio pronunciation with phonetic spelling! of champagne names

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1855 Bordeaux Classification Whites: Sauternes And Barsac Superior First Growths Sat, 16 Sep 2017 19:19:36 +0000 The post appeared first


1855 Bordeaux Classification Whites Sauternes And Barsac Superior First Growths


The name of the chateau is followed by the appellation. Links are to chateaux websites.

Château d’Yquem dee/kehm  Sauternes

1855 Bordeaux Classification Pronunciation of Sauternes and Barsac Second Growths


1855 Bordeaux Classification Pronunciation of Reds: First, Second, and Third Crus


1855 Bordeaux Classification Pronunciation of Reds: Fourth and Fifth Crus


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Best South African Food Tue, 29 Aug 2017 20:15:52 +0000 Best South African Food - Dutch Waffels, The Tea Merchant, Falksalt, is not only a pronunciation site.

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Best South African Food

[toc] is not only a pronunciation site. People who want to know how to pronounce food and wine words tend to love food and wine, and I’m no exception. The recent Johannesburg Good Food and Wine show was packed with wonderful things which I tried, and have been eating/sipping/talking about ever since…

Here is a list of my best South African food – all drawn from Good Food and Wine. I’m going to do a monthly update because there are so many things I love, and not enough room in one article to do them all justice.

The rule is: If I haven’t tried it personally, I won’t add it. I’m always open to advertising quality products elsewhere on the site, but you cannot pay me or bribe me to get onto this list!!

Here we go for October 2011

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Indulge Decadent Dining And Boutique Confectionary

What is left to say in the face of perfection? Spectacular confectionary (just look at the photo), a top-notch catering service, and a restaurant and coffee shop that consistently serves nothing but the best!

Everything is so pretty, and so delicious….the only problem is deciding what to choose.

Find them at the Rivonia Village Shopping Centre, next to Woolworths on Rivonia Boulevard.  Website

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Dutch Waffels

If you like sweet things, and I most certainly do, you will love these.

‘Stroopwafels’ originate in Holland, but you don’t have to travel that far to get a taste of them.

They are delicious with a cup of coffee or tea. I made my way through a packet in one sitting, and I’m suffering from withdrawals, so I will have to stock up again. I should have bought more!!!!

Check out the great website for lots of great information, and how to get your teeth into them:

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Wedgewood Handmade Confectionary

If you don’t like Honey Nougat, I give up. I love nougat, and I particularly love Gilly Walters’ nougat because it’s not too sweet and doesn’t skimp on the nuts!

In addition to producing nougats so divine they bring tears to my eyes, this family business participates in community upliftment projects and cares for the community by making their own bio-fuel.

Do take a look at their website for more information:

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Saint Sebastian Bay Extra Virgin Olive Oil

I bought a bottle and have done serious damage to my supply in a very short time – there is not that much left in the bottle.

Saint Sebastian Bay Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Of course it’s fabulous in food too, but you know an olive oil is spectacular when you can eat (not merely taste!) it on its own. They also produce a balsamic vinegar, which I’m dying to get my paws on.

This is their website which carries a list of stockists:  It is truly worth making the extra effort to find it.

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I was going to keep to only home-grown South African products on this list, but Falksalt made me change my mind. These natural sea salt flakes come in several different flavours. I got the Citron (lemon) and Wild Garlic flavours, and I cannot wait to try the others.

They are fabulous sprinkled over almost anything. I have been using them in a couple of recipes I tested, with delicious results. It’s no surprise that they are favourites of many celebrity chefs.

Personally, I prefer them to Maldon salt by far (sorry Jamie Oliver). I know Spar stocks them. This is the website:, and their international site is

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The Tea Merchant

I was blown away by the incredible teas featured by Belinda and Carin of The Tea Merchant at the Jo’burg Good Food and Wine Show, and so was everyone else. They have been voted Product of the Year – and rightly so.

They have an amazing range of teas, every one inspired and delicious, and their range of teapots can make a Grown Girl weep. Take a look at their website

Have you tried any of these products? Have any cuisine you’d like to recommend? Please go ahead and use the comments section. I’d love to hear what you have to say! We’ll keep adding new English words, with ‘how do you say it’ guides.

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