• Three French wines top the list as the most commonly mispronounced.
  • Cabernet Sauvignon is the most commonly mispronounced wine with 45,270 searches seeking for its correct pronunciation each month.
  • Language expert says following the phonetic rules of the language of origin is key to getting them right.

With so many different kinds of wines out there, lots of people are probably saying the names wrong without even realizing it.

Chardonnay is easy enough for most to say, but what about the sweet Gewurztraminer or the earthy Sangiovese?

Turns out, it’s not just a few people mispronouncing certain wines – thousands go online to check if they’re saying their favorite wines right.

In celebration of National Drink Wine Day which occurs on February 18th every year, the research team at language learning website Anna Spanish, dug through google data to find which wine names prompt the most searches for pronunciation help.

The top contenders for the most mispronounced title are, perhaps unsurprisingly, French. Cabernet Sauvignon is the most commonly mispronounced wine in the world with an average of 45,270 people searching for pronunciation guidance on Google each month.

It’s closely followed by Pinot Noir in second place with 43,580 average monthly searches and Cabernet Sauvignon in third place with 29,520 searches.

Data also revealed that Pinot Grigio and Merlot followed closely in fourth and fifth place, with 17,150 and 13,530 searches each month by wine lovers searching for the correct pronunciation each month.

Other commonly mispronounced wines include Malbec (mal-bek), Prosecco (proh-SEHK-koh), Sangiovese (SAN-joe-veh-see) and Riesling (rees-ling).

Language expert Anna Latorre from Anna Spanish says the key to approaching tricky wine pronunciations is familiarizing yourself with the common phonetic practices of the language of origin.

Sauvignon Blanc, pronounced ‘soh-VIN-yohn blan’, has a few letters which should be silent when said aloud, as does Cabernet Sauvignon: ‘kab-er-nay soh-VIN-yohn’.

For Tempranillo, Spanish pronunciation rules apply, with “ll” sounding as a “y.”

Same goes for Albariño “ahl-bah-REE-nyoh” where ñ” represents a palatal nasal sound, which is like the “ni” in “onion.

In the Italian wine “Sangiovese,” the “gio” is pronounced as “joe,” not with a hard “g” or silent “i,” as might be tempting for English speakers.

The 25 most commonly mispronounced names, along with with a handy cheat sheet of how you can say them.

RankWineSearch volumeCorrect pronunication
1Cabernet Sauvignon45,270kab-er-nay soh-VIN-Yohn
2Pinot Noir43,580PEE-noh nwar
3Sauvignon Blanc29,520soh-VIN-yohn blan
4Pinot Grigio17,150PEE-noh GREE-jo
5Merlot13,530mer-loh
6Malbec12,570mal-bek
7Prosecco10,130proh-SEHK-koh
8Sangiovese9,690SAN-joe-veh-see
9Riesling9,340rees-ling
10Viognier9,190vee-ON-yay
11Rosé8,380Roe-zay
12Chardonnay8,130shar-dah-nay
13Shiraz7,620schuh-RAAZ
14Syrah3,950see-rah
15Pinot Gris2,960pee-noh gree
16Tempranillo1,240tem-pruh-NEE-yo
17Zinfandel843zin-fan-del
18Gewürztraminer640ga-VERTZ-trah-mee-ner
19Carménère528kar-may-NEHR
20Sémillon520SAY-mee-yon
21Grüner Veltliner490grew-ner velt-LEE-ner
22Chenin Blanc440shu-nan blon
23Grenache320gruh-nahsh
24Nebbiolo290neh-bee-ow-low
25Albariño150ahl-bah-REE-nyoh

Methodology

The research team at Anna Spanish analyzed Google data to find out which wine names have got people people seeking pronunciation guidance online the most.

To do this, researchers compiled a list of over 80 popular wines and analyzed the number of searches for each wine combined with terms like “how to pronounce Wine”, Wine pronunciation” and  “how to say Wine”.