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Friday, March 26, 2010

How to Pronounce Rhone Varietals (in English)

Posted By on Fri, Mar 26, 2010 at 1:09 PM

This week, SFoodie launches "Don't Sound Like a Tool," a series of audio pronunciation guides to sort-of-common-but-not-obvious words we keep encountering on wine lists and menus. No more shame, no more pointing, no more taking on the accent of a language you don't speak (though we're relieved our president shares this particular weakness).

This weekend, one of San Francisco's largest wine tasting events, the Rhone Rangers Grand Tasting, returns to Fort Mason. More than a hundred winemakers will be pouring American wines made with grapes that originated in the Rhone River Valley in France. Pretty much everyone has learned to pronounce "Syrah" and "Viognier," but those are the rock-star varietals. The indie camp is all about Picpoul, Cinsault, and Carignan.

Here's how to pronounce their names ... in English. If you're

worried about losing your cred by blathering on to a winemaker about the

coffee and spice in his cah-RIG-nan, before you go get all drunk and

purple-toothed, listen, repeat, and practice in front of the


White Wines



Grenache Blanc



Picpoul Blanc

Ugni Blanc

Red Wines






Petite Sirah



Picpoul Noir
Terret Noir

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Jonathan Kauffman


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