How to pronounce the names of champagnes

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All about champagne HowDoYouSayThatWord.com

Why are champagne brand names so difficult to pronounce?

Most champagne brand names 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. This foreign influence is the cause of many a mistake in pronouncing champagne names. I’ve checked how to say these names with a friend in Paris (merci, Oriane!!), and she 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.

Champagne Club

Here is a list of some of the top Champagne Houses and brand names, with audio, so 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.

  1. Dom Pérignondoh~pay/ree/nyoh~
  2. Moët et Chandonmoh/eht eh shah~/doh~ (not moh/ay)
  3. Deutzdøhtz (not the expected German pronunciation; a very fine champagne)
  4. Heidsieckehd/seek
  5. Veuve Clicquotvøhv klee/koh (not voov)
  6. Pol Rogerpohl roh/zhay (not ‘roger’ like the name)
  7. Louis Roedererlouis rho/eh/d’/ray
  8. Mummmewm (not ‘mum’, I implore you)
  9. Pommerypohm/ree (not pom/meh/ree)
  10. Ruinartrwee/nahr (not ‘ruin art’)
  11. Taittingerteh/ta~/zhay (not tay/teen/djuh)

Wine Gifts, Champagne Gifts, Gift Baskets, Wine Clubs If you have any questions or comments, I look forward to hearing them. There are many other champagnes of course, so should one you are unsure about not be listed here or in the database, let me know, and I will get back to you within 2 days at the most!

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About the Author

Marie-Ora is obsessed with pronunciation, languages, food, wine, cooking, 4Foots. and chocolate. When she isn't working, she enjoys snacking, sipping on wine, reading and napping, and is currently researching methods to do all 4 simultaneously. Although Marie-Ora has absolutely no vices, she is easily provoked by mis-pronunciations, bad coffee, and unwarranted hype.

23 Comments

  1. ida  September 19, 2011

    This is such a lovely and informative blog.Just discovered it- thank you for the constant element of surprise,Marie-Ora. Wonderful. Very refreshing.(Literally:)-

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  2. Mia  September 23, 2011

    This particular blog is simply delightful! Shocking how many “know-it-all’s” don’t actually know that much (in the pronunciation department) This blog is very easy to understand and the sound files are the cherry on top!!! Great Job….

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  3. Statement  February 16, 2012

    Very informative post on champagne brands, thanks!

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  4. Rahul Dhanai  August 20, 2012

    nice its a very helpful site

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  5. David Boyer  December 2, 2012

    Dear Marie-Ora,

    Thank you for posting this information. You have done a great service for many people that want to learn correct pronunciations but until recently found scant resources or, as you mentioned, found sites that post and promulgate incorrect pronunciations.

    With considerable embarrassment I have many times listened to Americans, and even professionals such as fine wine merchants and sommeliers, decimate these important pronunciations. I’m far from perfect but as a wine writer with a focus on French wine, I feel a certain responsibility to use correct pronunciations when verbally referring to these most wonderful wines.

    Merci beaucoup,

    David
    classof1855.com

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    • Marie-Ora  December 2, 2012

      David – thank-you so much for your kind words! You have no idea how much I appreciate them – this is very much a labor of love for me. Please, if you have any suggestions for additional words that need to be added, let me know. Hope you stop by again!

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      • David Boyer  January 23, 2013

        Hi Maria-Ora,

        There are many wine names I would love for you to include on your site and I’d be happy to put a link to your site on my blog and website pages. My fear is that you’d be ready to ring my neck for sending you all of these words. I have long wanted a resource to send people to in order to hear the name pronounced as it should be. I have come across a few other sites that posted audio clips of wine names but many of them are poor quality. Either the recording quality is low or the words are pronounced too quickly for a non-French speaker to grasp. Your work is excellent, as is your voice, if you are the one speaking on your site.

        I believe it may be helpful in some cases to say the word, then say it slower by syllable, and then say it again. A man I know works in retail wine sales and was also born and raised in France. I’ve considered using him to record a list of names but you are actually better. Your voice is very clear and articulate and of course your French is beyond reproach.

        I understand the labor of love thing, which why I write about wine. I also understand if you want to stick with just Champagne but I think your site would develop major traffic if you wanted to expand into more of the French wine world. Something to think about, yes?

        Anyhow, sorry for taking so long to reply to you. Keep up the great and very needed work!

        Best wishes,

        David Boyer
        classof1855.com

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        • Marie-Ora  January 24, 2013

          David, please do send them through. I will add whatever you suggest with the greatest of pleasure!!!!

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          • David Boyer  January 24, 2013

            Fantastic Marie-Ora! I’ll get the lists put together and email them to you, hopefully soon. I’m very happy you are interested in this. I hope we can make your site a destination for proper wine related pronunciations! The world’s wine lovers need you!

            Many thanks,

            David

          • Marie-Ora  January 24, 2013

            David, it would be my honor! And I have linked my site to yours, which is great, by the way!

  6. Chili Miss  January 22, 2013

    Great piece!

    How would you pronounce Ruinart and how would you pronounce Perrier-Jouet Belle Epoque? I’m not sure if it’s jou-ay or jou-et.

    And what would you recommend as a more affordable alternative to Rothschild Blanc de Blancs (my favorite!) I don’t like yeasty or ‘brioche’ tasting champagnes but I like a clean, fresh taste. I’m planning our wedding soon and want to get a nice champagne without the price tag of the Rothschild Blanc de Blancs!

    Thanks! Love your writing.

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    • Marie-Ora  January 22, 2013

      Thank-you! If you search click on the Ruinart link, you will get to the audio so you can hear how it is said. And I shall add a link for the Perrier-Jouet Belle Epoque (I’ll email you as soon as it’s up). Oh my, you do have excellent taste. Rothschild Blanc de Blancs is certainly top-notch! :) A reasonably priced substitute – are you prepared to consider a crémant? Sparkling wine made in France by the same method, but not in the actual Appellation for Champagne. There are some top-notch wines in that bracket, with considerably more reasonable price-tags. Often they are an improvement on many of the champagnes. BTW – love your recipes. They look absolutely fab. Any suggestions for wine with chili?

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  7. Jonathan  February 24, 2013

    Thank you. I’m here after embarrassing myself at a fancy restaurant by not knowing how to pronounce “Roederer”. The waitress was polite enough not to laugh.

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    • Marie-Ora  February 24, 2013

      Jonathan, this is precisely where I aim to be of help. French is tricky enough as it is – but many of the wine and champagne names are a law unto themselves. If you have any queries, don’t hesitate to ask!

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  8. susan daniels  May 27, 2013

    Hello Marie-Ora
    Well I have enjoyed reading this site! I have a “special” request… I need a dog name, reflecting the color of the champagne, as she is that color, a light, light yellow lab. I thought perhaps one of the houses of champagne would be a good, not overused name..any suggestions??? But not too hard to say! Bet this is a “first” for you! Merci.

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    • Marie-Ora  May 27, 2013

      Hi Susan. Yes, this is first – and I love the idea! What about “Moët” – short for ‘Moët et Chandon’? It’s quick and easy to say – it has no special sounds. The other one that may work is “Cliquot” short for ‘Veuve Cliquot’ (means the ‘Widow Cliquot’). It’s easy to say – klee/koh and easy for the dog to learn. A special pat to her, and let me know what you decide on – I’m a huge animal lover :)

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  9. Danny Davis  February 16, 2014

    Bonjour Marie-Ora, I had a wonderful time visiting Reims last year, and have been enjoying the wines of several producers ever since. Can you please assist me with the pronunciation of the following names: Billecart Salmon, Nicolas Feuillatte and Mailly? Merci

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    • Marie-Ora  February 17, 2014

      Hi Danny – Reims is so beautiful – long time since I’ve been, so I’m quite envious :D There two are in the database so you have the links. I’m adding in Mailly, but while I wait for my ‘French Connection’ to get back to me, I suggest Mailly sounds like either ‘meh/yee’ or ‘my/ee. I’m using lait (French for milk as the most obvious guide to the ai sound – which is pronounced ‘leh’. There is any off chance Mailly is pronounced more like my/yee, but the first option sounds more correct to me. Will update as soon as I know for sure. THank-you for stopping by – if you have any other names added, don’t hesitate to ask. Have a lovely day/

      http://www.howdoyousaythatword.com/word/billecart-salmon/
      http://www.howdoyousaythatword.com/word/nicolas-feuillatte/

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  10. tafa  April 12, 2014

    It’s going to be end of mine day, however before ending I
    am reading this great post to increase my knowledge.

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  11. Marie-Ora  May 24, 2014

    For a truly outstanding article on champage, do check out this link http://thewillbureau.wordpress.com/2014/05/24/champagne/#comment-563 – by far one of the best articles on the subject to be found on the web.

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