How to Pronounce Rhone Varietals (in English)

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This week, SFoodie launches "Don't Sound Like a Tool," a series of audio pronunciation guides to sort-of-common-but-not-obvious words we keep encountering on wine lists and menus. No more shame, no more pointing, no more taking on the accent of a language you don't speak (though we're relieved our president shares this particular weakness).

This weekend, one of San Francisco's largest wine tasting events, the Rhone Rangers Grand Tasting, returns to Fort Mason. More than a hundred winemakers will be pouring American wines made with grapes that originated in the Rhone River Valley in France. Pretty much everyone has learned to pronounce "Syrah" and "Viognier," but those are the rock-star varietals. The indie camp is all about Picpoul, Cinsault, and Carignan.

Here's how to pronounce their names ... in English. If you're worried about losing your cred by blathering on to a winemaker about the coffee and spice in his cah-RIG-nan, before you go get all drunk and purple-toothed, listen, repeat, and practice in front of the mirror:

White Wines
Viognier
Roussanne
Marsanne
Grenache Blanc
Bourboulenc
Picardin
Picpoul Blanc
Ugni Blanc

Red Wines

Syrah
Grenache
Mourvedre
Cinsault
Carignan
Petite Sirah
Counoise
Muscardin
Picpoul Noir
Vaccarese
Terret Noir

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