In this how to article, we are going to tell you how to pronounce Pinot Noir. If you do it wrong, you will be quickly “outed” as an undignified, intellectual dupe. So, jump on in and learn how to pronounce Pinot Noir or else risk indignity on that first, crucial date.
So, there you are, seated at your first corporate dinner, or on a date with that special someone with whom you want to develop a lasting relationship, and you elect to order the wine to show the table that “you know wines”.
And when that moment arrives, you order the Pinot Noir; however you pronounced like it is written:
“PEE NOT NO EAR”
Now, you have done it. You may have just lost your job or your girlfriend. However, you need not fear if you have mispronounced Pinot Noir in front of your bowling team. On the off chance that they have ever ordered Pinot Noir, they probably pronounced Pinot Noir exactly that way (“pee not no ear”).
The entomology (arrghh! now you have to look up another word) of the word Pinot is French. In fact, though Pinot Noir is now grown around the world, the term is primarily associated with an area in France called Burgundy (isn’t that another drink?).
Anyway, since the French are lazy, they generally do not pronounce the consonants at the end of a word. Such is the case with Pinot. So, the proper way to pronounce the first part of the word may be the exact response you may give if someone asked, “Do you have to pee?”. And your response would be “Pee? No.”
The second part of the word–Noir (“no ear”) is a little more troubling to pronounce. Why? Well, once again, it’s French and therefore designed to be misleading and noncommittal. Don’t believe me? Well, take a look at the phonetically representation on the Pinot Noir Wiki Page:
An upside down “R”? Why do they do this to us? Nobody in my life has ever suggested a pronunciation for an upside down “R” (and I majored in literature!). However, if you do a Google Search for an upside down R, you find that people have written about it. In this Lignguistics 001 page, they tell of a linguistics chart with an upside down r which “assigns the upside-down r character (‘turned r’) to the particular kind of bunched-tongue r used by most speakers of American English, while reserving the ordinary r for the ‘trilled r’ as found in Spanish (and many other languages). Since the trilled r is not found in American English, it’s again easier to read and write if we use the standard r symbol”.
Yes, it’s easier to read and write if we use the standard “r” because the upside down one is not part of our language.
So, let’s forget about all that nonsense when we look at how to pronounce Pinot Noir and simply say that we pronounce the “Noir” like “Nwar” without the upside down “R”.
But, these are the multimedia days so why bother even writing about it. Let’s hear how to pronounce Pinot Noir.
Recordings of Pinot Noir
Ok, probably the best place to first hear this term pronounced is a dictionary page. So, let’s here how Merriam-Webster would pronounce Pinot Noir:
You have just heard the proper way to pronounce Pinot Noir. Still, even people who should know how to pronounce Pinot Noir often get it wrong. Watch this video called Types of Red Wine : Pinot Noir Wine Facts. Here, you will learn all that you need to know about Pinot Noir in a vibrant video. Thus, you will not only know how to pronounce Pinot Noir, you will be able to tell tall tales of the history of this great wine. This will surely impress co-workers or that first date–you might even be able to take her to…
Anyway, aside from learning a lot about Pinot Noir in this video, pay particular attention to her pronunciation of Pinot Noir. She says the word like 100 times and, each time, she pronounces it slightly differently.
So, even the experts are flummoxed!
In the end, as long as you do not pronounce the “t” at the end of Pinot, your culturally naivete will remain unexposed and you’ll know how to pronounce Pinot Noir without embarrassing yourself 😉
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