While you can find sparkling wine almost anywhere around the world, you might not know how to ask for it. Whether the name is rooted in an ancient language or playing on a new trend, you’ll need to know how to say it properly before you can say glou-glou.
A lot of this has to do with the name of the wine itself. That name could be tied to the grape that’s used to make it, or it can refer to the region where it’s made. For example, “Champagne” always refers to sparkling wine made in the Champagne region in northern France. Here, Americans lend a little “pain” to the end of the word, but in France, it’s pronounced “shawn-pany” with stress on the “shawn.”
Similarly, Prosecco is always made with the Glera grape, but its strict name comes from the region it’s produced in. The sparkling wine can only be called “Prosecco” if it comes from a specific area in northeastern Italy, where it’s pronounced with a rolled r and sharp emphasis on the double cc.
Then there’s slang for “sparkling wine” in almost every language. Fans of Wine 101 know that VinePair tastings director Keith Beavers recently coined the term “American Sparkler” for all things bubbly in the United States. In Italy, locals say “perlage,” pronounced per-lah-jay with a long “lah” sound.
In France, shoppers might say “mousseux” in a pinch, which to Americans sounds like “moose-uh.”
Around the world, when it comes time to mix a Mimosa in Spanish you’ll need to find some “vino espumoso.” Here, the stress sits on the first syllable in vino, which sounds like “vee-no.” Espumoso is pronounced “es-poo-moh-so,” with speakers really dipping into the “pu.”
In Brazil, bubbly fans have a similar word, spelled “espumante.” That said, it’s pronounced completely differently as “is-pu-man-chee,” so practice before you order another round.
Finally, whether you’re taking a break from Oktoberfest or preparing for brunch in Berlin, you’ll need to say “schaumwein” to find sparkling wine in Germany. The word is pronounced “shawm-vine,” but if that isn’t enough to unlock the perfect sparkling Riesling, try requesting a “sekt.” Sekt is one of Germany’s most famous wine styles, and technically refers to any sparkling white wine. Pronounced “zekt,” the wine is often made with Chardonnay or Pinot Noir, but any version with fizzy Riesling will steal the show.
To find out how to pronounce sparkling wine around the world, check out the infographic below.
Published: December 4, 2020