ask dr. vinny

Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, or "Vinny" for short. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the technical aspects of winemaking to the fine points of etiquette. I hope you find my answers educational and even amusing. Looking for a particular answer? Check my archive and my FAQs. You can also follow me on Twitter: @AskDrVinny.


Dear Dr. Vinny,

What is the correct pronunciation of Pinot Noir? I have always heard it pronounced "pee no nwahr." I have most recently been corrected that it should be pronounced "pee-NO," with the "no" being very strong and emphasized, almost like a French accent. Which is correct?

—Barbara W., Plainfield, Ill.

Dear Barbara,

The correct way to pronounce "Pinot" is "Pee-no," with equal emphasis on both short syllables, although many people put a little extra oomph on the first syllable, making it more like "PEE-no." I hear more variations of "Noir." "N'war" is standard, but some like to say it with a little more flair, turning it into "Na-whar" or "No-aaaaaaaargh." Zee fake French accent will only get you so far.

—Dr. Vinny


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