Ordering luxury Champagne can make you feel sophisticated — or embarrassed, if you can’t pronounce the name correctly. But don’t feel discouraged. It’s hard even for wine connoisseurs to correctly pronounce some of the top labels. The complexities of the French language leave some t’s and r’s pronounced, and others mysteriously silent. On top of that, the letter “g” rarely is pronounced the way it is in English.
Here are some of the most mispronounced Champagne brands. We’ve included video clips of their correct sound to help you avoid wine list embarrassment.
Moet – [Moh-ET]
Just because everyone around you is saying “Mo-ay” doesn’t mean it’s correct! The final “t” is actually not silent here; Moet rhymes with jet.
Veuve Clicquot – [Vuv Clee-KWOH]
Resist the temptation to order a flute of “voov”. The pronunciation is actually a very soft, quick sound that is closer to “vuv” (rhymes with love). The “t” in Cliquot is silent.
Pol Roger – [Pol Roh-ZHAY]
Unlike Americans named Roger, the final “r” in French Roger is silent.
Taittinger – [Teh-tin-ZHAY]
Similar to in Pol Roger, the final “r” in Taittinger is silent. The “g” is also pronounced more like a very soft “j” (think like the soft “g” in “massage”).
Nicholas Feuillate – [Nik-oh-la Foy-aht]
Two tripwires to watch for here: the “s” in Nicholas is silent, and the double “ll” is pronounced as “y”.
Bollinger – [Boll-ahn-ZHAY]
Same rule as Pol Roger and Taittinger. The “g” is a soft “g” here, similar to the way it sounds in “massage”, and the “r” is silent.
Ruinart – [Rwee-nar]
Despite its appearance, Ruinart sounds nothing like the word “ruin”. And yes, the “t” at the end is silent.
Perrier Jouët – [Peh-ree-ay Zhoo-ET]
Don’t add any fancy French sounds to Jouët — it rhymes with “get”.