In fact, I’m convinced that part of what makes Cristal so popular is that the name is within the grasp of almost anyone.
The fact that you have studied French will not always help you – many champagne brand names originate from countries such as Germany or The Netherlands which puts a spin on how you say them.
There is a popular misconception that you see in many top champagne and wine glossaries – whoever compiles them does not know enough about the French language – and I can tell this at a glance.
You see, French is not aÃ‚Â stressed language. Spanish and Italian are stressed languages. What does this mean?
Look at a word like ‘amigo’ in Spanish. If you write it out phonetically, and show the syllables it will look like this: ah/MEE/goh. The capitals show the part of the word that is stressed, so that is where the emphasis is.
When someone phonetically writes ‘Dom Perigonon’ like this ‘DOHM PAY/reen/yong’ you know they don’t know what they are talking about ( I took this example from one of the largest wine sites on the web). There is NO stress in French, so there is no reason to used capitals to indicate stress.
That I can find mistakes in the rest of the word and glossary is for granted. This is how it should be written correctly ‘doh~ pay/ree/nyoh~’.
The tilde (~) I’ve used shows that the ‘m’ and the final ‘n’ are nasalised – English does have this sound so there is no reason not to use it – the ‘-n’ in words such as ‘sing’ is what I’m talking about – and only the ‘n’ – not the ‘g’ at the end of it.
And of course, I’ve added in audio so there is no confusion – both from a French speaker, and from an English speaker, so you don’t sound like Inspector Clouseau.
I’m not a fan of half-assed guides on anything, so I double-checked these with my contacts in France.
Click on the links, and you will get the audio for these top 10 misprounced brand names and more about them.