How do you pronounce foreign wine names?

Monday, 19 November, 2012
David Yellen,
In the past year, I've noticed an odd thing bubble up in pop music: artists talking about drinking wine they know nothing about. It happens in Frank Ocean's "Super Rich Kids" ("too many bottles of this wine we can't pronounce") and in André 3000's guest verse on Rick Ross's "Sixteen" ("we eat until our belly aches and then go and grab the finest wine and drink it like we know which grape and region it came from.
Maybe two isn't quite an official phenomenon, but it does make a strange blip in an otherwise strong current of wine name-dropping fashionability in pop music (see: Cristal, Santa Margherita, Ace of Spades). The songs involve too many layers of role playing to know how Ocean or André 3000 personally feel about wine, but Ocean—or Ocean's character—got one thing right: Wine names can be maddeningly tricky to pronounce.

Evidence suggests that wineries would do well to not make it any easier: A recent study from Brock University found that people were more likely to pay a higher price for wines with harder-to-pronounce names.

Even though we apparently enjoy paying for the privilege of not being able to pronounce a brand, I have to say that, on the consumer end, having to say an unknown wine name out loud can be a humbling experience.