How to Pronounce Pinot Noir like a Pro – What Does it Mean?

Bottle of wine

Pinot Noir is famous for its difficulty to grow, yet it is grown in many wine regions all around the world, and the taste of the wine it produces makes it worth all the effort.

As a Pinot lover, you must be aware that there are different sorts of Pinot wines, and most of them have French names whose meaning is unknown to the majority of us. Knowing the etymology of their names and how they got them in the first place, can help every wine lover appreciate wine even more.

Let’s dive into the matter, and try to explain it in the most entertaining way:

How to pronounce Pinot Noir?

The correct pronunciation of Pinot Noir is “Pee-Noh-Nwar”. Let’s break it down and learn how to pronounce Pinot Noir like a real wine sommelier:

As we mentioned earlier, there are two words, “Pinot” is pronounced “pee-noh” and “Noir” is pronounced “nwahr”.

Practicing by saying each word of Pinot Noir separately will make things much easier. Once you feel confident about it, start combining the two words together.

The accent comes on the first syllable of “pinot” and the second syllable of “noir”.

Recommended read: 5 Differences Between Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon

What Does Pinot Noir Mean?

There is a story behind the meaning of all Pinot wines, and while all of them are pronounced differently around the world, we are still talking about the same grape varieties.

The translation of Pinot Noir in french is “black pine cone”.


Pinot Meaning

The word “Pinot” is derived from the French term for “pine cone”, which depicts the shape of the grape clusters.

Unlike other varieties, when growing on the vines the Pinot grapes form tight clusters, making a pine cone-like shape.

Noir Meaning

The word “Noir” is another French word that means “black”, referring to the dark color of the Pinot Noir grapes.

Pinot Noir grapes are small, with a dark color and thin skin..

Meaning and pronounciation of other Pinot wines

Getting a little further into enology, we’ll learn that all of the Pinot grapes are somehow connected, and come from the same family.

Pinot Noir is the only grape from the “Pinot family” that produces red wine, while the rest of the varieties are typically used to make white wine.

white wine and a glass

Pinot Gris

The name Pinot Gris translates as “gray pine cone” in french. It is thought that the name comes from the grayish color of the grapes when they are fully ripe.

The french way to pronounce it is: “pee-noh gree”

Pinot Blanc

The name Pinot Blanc is derived from the light color of the grapes, with Blanc meaning white in French.

The correct pronounciation of Pinot Blanc is: “pee-noh blongk“.

Pinot Grigio

Pinot Grigio is the Italian version of the French Pinot Gris, with the adjective “Grigio” meaning gray in Italian.

The proper pronounciation of Pinot Grigio is: “pee-noh gri-jee-ow”.


Pinot Noir wine can be found under different names in many countries, but it is actually the same wine.

For example, in Italy, it is called “Pinot Nero”, while in Germany it is known under the name of Spatburgunder owing its name to the region of Burgundy a.k.a the home of Pinot Noir.(1)

Stan Kushkin

Similar Posts