This Is The Most Mispronounced Wine

Try as we might, Americans just aren't very good at ordering French wines.

To the casual observer, the world of wine comes with a whole lot of rules. You have to hold your glass a certain way, there's a whole lexicon of tasting terms to learn, and the "best" option changes depending on what you eat. According to Google search data, we even struggle with what these wines are called, exactly, and there are some varieties whose pronunciation seems to trip us up constantly.

Language learning platform Anna Spanish has looked over Google searches for "how to pronounce" various types of wine and found that the most common search is for Cabernet Sauvignon, with more than 45,000 queries every month. Following closely behind is Pinot Noir, with more than 43,000 monthly searches, and in third place is Sauvignon Blanc with 29,000+ searches.

All of these varieties are French, a notoriously tricky language for Americans to get right. Indeed, nearly every style in the top 10 most mispronounced wines are French, with a few originating in Italy (Prosecco, Sangiovese). But it should be noted that these wines are also some of the most popular among U.S. drinkers, period, and so consumers are presumably ordering them more often and thus wondering how to pronounce them. There's a reason that the less widely consumed Gewürztraminer, for example, only ranks 18th in the list, while another German varietal, Riesling, ranks ninth.

By the same token, there's one beloved wine consumed widely in the United States that apparently needs no pronunciation guidance at all: Champagne, whose ever-present effervescence at any and all celebratory occasions has made its name easy to remember. It might not be easy for people to spell from memory, but you'll never catch anyone mispronouncing it. (Or at least not the Americanized pronunciation. If you really want to be French about it, you'll say something closer to shomp-ahn-yeh than sham-pane.)

Luckily, for anyone struggling with how to pronounce "Cabernet Sauvignon," you usually only have to say the first word, pronounced kab-er-nay, and virtually any server will know which wine you're talking about. It gets trickier if you want the Sauvignon Blanc, as both elements of the name will be necessary to convey what you want. Then again, if you're at a restaurant you could always just say the name of the winery and point to it on the menu for maximum clarification.