Ruinart champagne in coupe

The one champagne you can serve in a coupe!

Photo by Daniele Pesaresi on Visualhunt.com / CC BY-ND
How To Say Champagne Names

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Why are Champagne Names hard to pronounce?

Why is it so hard to pronounce champagne names? So many are mispronounced, even by people who think they know how to say them correctly.

Of course all champagne is made in France, so you would think some knowledge of French would help you out here, but this is not always the case.

You see, many old champagne families who set up their houses in Champagne did not originally come from France – they came from Germany, and one of the most famous is Dutch in origin!

Foreign Influence Is The Cause Of Many Mistakes In Pronouncing Champagne Names.

I’ve checked how to say these names with a friend in Paris (merci, Louis!!), and he double-checked those she wasn’t completely sure of, so I’m confident that this is one of the most reliable resources you will find on the net, or anywhere else, for how to pronounce the names of champagnes.

Why Don’t More People Get Pronunciation Right?

There are many terribly well-meaning pronunciation guides to champagne names on the net, but they are riddled with mistakes.

If someone writes a phonetic spelling for champagne which looks like this: ‘DOM PAY/ree/nyong’ (I took this example from a top-rated, and otherwise excellent wine site), I can tell at a glance the whoever provided it has very little, if any grounding in the French language, and where one error exists many more are sure to follow.

French is not a stressed language like Italian or Spanish, so if you see capitals letters (which indicate stress) in the phonetic description of a French word, you can be sure that it is off-track, and likely to be wrong.

A List Of Some Of The Top Champagne Houses and Brand Names  With Audio

You will definitively know how to pronounce them. They are in no particular order.

Please click on the links for the audio, and more information about each brand.

Dom Pérignondoh~ pay:ree:nyoh~

This one is all French, so it’s relatively simple to pronounce!

 

Dom perignon champagne label

How to pronounce Dom Perignon

 

Moët et Chandonmoh:eht eh shah~:doh~ (not moh:ay)

Moët et Chandon is a name so many people argue over. Those who insist ‘Moët’ is pronounced moh:ay have all the reasons French grammar can give them, but the don’t know the one thing that is essential. Moët is not a French name! It’s Dutch in origin, so it doesn’t follow French rules of pronunciation.

 

Moet et chandon label howdyousaythatword.com

Can you pronounce this one?

 

Deutzdøhtz  

This is not the expected German pronunciation even though it is German in origin. Deutz is a very fine champagne!


Deutz Station

This champagne name is pronounced differently than in German!

Photo by anton dieter on Visualhunt / CC BY

Heidsiecked:seek

This is another outstanding French champagne which is not pronounced the German way, even though it is German in origin!

 

Heidsieck Champagne Vintage Poster

Pronounce Heidsieck Champagne

Photo by estampemoderne.fr on VisualHunt / CC BY-ND

 

Veuve Clicquotvøhv klee:koh (not voov)

This one is pure French, but don’t say ‘veuve’ to sound like ‘voov’. Did you know ‘Veuve Clicquot’ means ‘The Widow Clicquot’? There’s a bit of trivia to drop into conversations if you are stuck for something to say!

 

Veuve clicquot champagne bottle and logo

Veuve means ‘widow’

 

Pommerypom:ree (not pom/meh/ree)

An excellent French champagne, but make sure you get the pronounciation right and say ‘Pommery’ with two syllables and not three.


Pommery Champagne Chateau in Reims

Pommery Champagne in Reims

 

Ruinart rwee:nahr (not ‘ruin art’)

Ruinart is a real vintage classic champagne. You can destroy its legacy by pronouncing it ‘ruin art’, so don’t, it deserves better. And if you aren’t ordering it because the name looks like a nightmare to pronounce, do try it! It’s simply wonderful, and the one champagne you can serve in the old-fashioned ‘coupe’ which is a champagne glass with a wide rim. Did you know that those were invented to get rid of some of the bubbles? Different eras, different reasons for doing things.

 

Ruinart champagne on ice

Great champagne, don’t ruin it with bad pronunciation

Photo by Hotel Le Plaza Brussels on VisualHunt.com / CC BY-ND

 

Taittingerteh:ta~:zhay (not tay:teen:djuh)

Yes, I’m familiar with posh English people who pronounce Taittinger tay:teen:djuh with smug faces. No amount of snobbery will make their pronunciation correct. If they correct you on this one with their version, simply smile politely and tell them you prefer the correct pronunciation.

Taittinger Champagne Hot Air Balloon

Pronounce Taittinger correctly, don’t suck all the hot air out of the balloon with the wrong pronunciation!

Photo by Ed Clayton on VisualHunt / CC BY

Find out more about champagne fun facts and essential knowledge by clicking here.