Revealed: How to pronounce 10 of the most popular types of wine

Revealed: How to pronounce 10 common wine-related words – including Crianza, Sémillon and Riesling (so how many have YOU been saying wrong?)

  • Experts have revealed how to pronounce 10 common wine-related words
  • Survey shows 25% of Britons are too self-conscious to order wine at a restaurant
  • Here, we break down some of the complicated names so you can order with ease

If you get tongue-tied over Tempranillo or find yourself stumbling over Sauvignon, this wine pronunciation guide is for you.  

Experts have revealed how to correctly say 10 common wine-related words so that you never need to feel self-conscious again.

It comes after a recent survey revealed one in four Britons shy away from asking for their favourite bottle in shops or restaurants because they are unsure of how to say the name.

Meanwhile more than half of us (56 per cent) don’t pronounce Chianti correctly, while a staggering 75 per cent struggle with saying Riesling. 

Experts have revealed how to correctly say 10 common wine-related words so that you never need to feel self-conscious again. Stock image

Cristina Forner, President of Spanish wine brand Marqués de Cáceres, which conducted the survey, said: ‘People should not be afraid of asking the name on a bottle of wine, nor of getting it wrong. You’ll only get it wrong once. 

‘It’s what is the liquid inside the bottle that matters and by trying new things, people can educate themselves on what they like when it comes to wine.

‘When I’m not sure of a wine I’ll simply take a photo of the label on my phone and then I always have it to show at bars or shops.’

So whether you long to unwind with a Spanish red or sip on a French white, scroll down for a handy breakdown of some well-known names – and never go wrong again…

More than half of us (56 per cent) don’t pronounce Chianti correctly, while a staggering 75 per cent struggle with saying Riesling. Stock image

Rioja – REE-OK-HAH  

The Rioja region in northern Spain produces an astonishing range of wines from an amazing array of grapes, soils and climates.

However it is perhaps best known for the type of mellow, easy-drinking red wine that matches roast lamb superbly.   

Crianza – CREE-AN-ZA

A wine labeled crianza has spent one year in oak barrels. 

What’s on the menu? The wine list in full 

Rioja – REE-OK-HAH

Crianza – CREE-AN-ZA

Tempranillo – TEM-PRA-NIL-OH

Riesling – REE-ZLING 

Chianti – KEY-ANTEE 

Sémillon – SEH-MEE-YHON 

Châteauneuf-du-Pape – SHAH-TOE-NUF-DEW-PAHP 

Viognier – VEE-OH-NYAY 

Viognier – VEE-OH-NYAY 

Pinotage – PEE-NOH-TAHJ 

This is different to reserva – aged for two years, with one of these spent in oak – and Gran Reserva, which are aged for two years in oak and three years in the bottle. 

Tempranillo – TEM-PRA-NIL-OH

Tempranillo is the business red wine grape of Spain – it makes Rioja, which tastes so headily of strawberries and vanilla.

When young, it can be surprisingly fresh and fruity. However, with oak and age, you’ll find more of the dust, tobacco, and leather flavors serious wine fans crave. 

Riesling – REE-ZLING

Riesling from Germany is the wine world’s answer to sherbet lemons: it has an initial sweetness, similar to that of the citrus sweets, and ends with a flourishing, zippy burst.

Chianti – KEY-ANTEE

A Chianti wine is any wine produced in the Chianti region, in central Tuscany, Italy.

The headline grape is Sangiovese, which at its best produces wine with a savoury resonance and cherry-like thrill.

When aged for decades these bottles can turn a meal into a banquet. 

From wine regions, to types of grape and ageing jargon, the guide covers a range of topics

Sémillon – SEH-MEE-YHON

The Semillon grape features in Bordeaux’s dry white blends and famously in its sweet wines. 

But Semillon embraces the dark side and the light and after a few years in the bottle, even unoaked Semillon turns into a golden, nutty savoury delight that’s a dream with roast chicken, smoky recipes or dishes with creamy sauces.

Châteauneuf-du-Pape – SHAH-TOE-NUF-DEW-PAHP

Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a famous red from the southern Rhône that often costs upwards of £20 a bottle. 

Meaning ‘new castle of the Pope’, the wine’s name dates back to the 14th century, when the papacy relocated to Avignon, close by the River Rhône. 

Viognier – VEE-OH-NYAY

Viognier is a white wine grape variety. 

Just a few decades ago Viognier was on the verge of extinction. Its spiritual home is Condrieu in France’s northern Rhône, and Condrieu is still a wine that often offers good value on restaurant wine lists. 

Cabernet Sauvignon – CAB-ER-NAY-SAW-VEE-NYON

Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the world’s most widely recognized red wine grape varieties.

It is grown in nearly every major wine producing country and is suitable to a diverse spectrum of climates.

Pinotage – PEE-NOH-TAHJ 

Pinotage is a red wine grape that is South Africa’s signature variety. It was bred there in 1925 as a cross between Pinot noir and Cinsaut.

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