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French Vocabulary

French Wine Vocabulary

Julie By Julie on November 18, 2019

I love wine, don’t you? Let’s study the French vocabulary to talk about wine, describe it, and enjoy some fun French wine expressions.

Bonjour! I’m Julie, your French immersion teacher in Provence. I’m lucky to live near Châteauneuf-du-Pape and I enjoy a glass of wine from time to time.

If you come to my house to learn French, I’ll take you for wine tastings in the area – maybe to try the Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines – and you’ll be able to practice what you’ve leaned today! See you soon in Provence 🍷🌞

Attention, l’abus d’alcool est dangereux pour la santé ! (Literally: careful, drinking too much alcohol is detrimental to your health = drink responsibly)

1 – Vocabulary of Objects Used Around Wine

  1. une bouteille – a bottle
  2. un bouchon – a cork
  3. un tire-bouchon – a corkscrew
  4. une étiquette – a label
  5. le cul de la bouteille – the bottom of the bottle (one of the only serious ways you can use the word « cul » – which means “ass” in colloquial French)
  6. un verre à pied – a wine glass
  7. une carafe – a wine carafe

2 – People in the Wine Industry French Vocabulary

Wine Harvest French Vocabulary
  1. un vigneron, une vigneronne – a wine grower
  2. un sommelier, une sommelière – a wine waiter
  3. un / une œnologue – an oenologist
  4. un / une caviste – a cellarman
  5. un amateur / une amatrice de vin – a wine lover

3 – Growing Wine French Vocabulary

  1. une vigne – a vine
  2. un vignoble – a vineyard
  3. un raisin – grape 🍇
  4. le vin – the wine
  5. une région viticole – a winegrowing region
  6. la vendange – the harvest

L1 To L8

À Moi Paris French Method – All Levels

4 – French Wine Vocabulary

  1. slang for wine – le pinard
  2. le vin rouge – red wine
  3. le vin blanc – white wine
  4. le rosé – rosé wine
  5. un vin sec (dry)
  6. un vin doux (sweet)
  7. un vin corsé (full-bodied)
  8. le cépage – grape variety : it can be grenache, syrah, mourvèdre, etc.
  9. le millésime – the vintage

⚠ Note that you don’t have to say « vin », you can just say the colour. For example, while you order wine at the restaurant, you should say : « vous avez du rouge ? OR « je vais prendre du blanc » OR « Moi j’adore le rosé en été»

5 – French Vocabulary – Giving Your Opinion About Wine

A – C’est un bon vin – it’s a good wine 😁

++ Pas mal ! (rising intonation + optional : smiling + rising eyebrows) Literal meaning ‘not bad’ → but which translates in American English as « Oh my Gosh ! It’s amazing ! »

+++ Ça se laisse boire !
Lit. it’s very drinkable (ironic)

++++ C’est un grand vin
It’s a great wine

B – Ce n’est pas un bon vin – it’s not a good wine 🥺

Je n’aime pas trop ce vin… il est trop sec / sucré / doux / aigre !
I don’t like it so much.. it’s to dry / sweet / sweet / sharp !

– – Pas mal… (falling intonation)
Not bad, meaning ‘kind of bad’ or just say « Bof ! », which is a French onomatopoeia to say you don’t think it’s anything special.

– – – C’est du jus de raisin ! C’est de la vinasse ! C’est de la piquette
It’s a cheap wine !

– – – – Ce vin est bouchonné.
This wine is corked

6 – Wine Tasting Vocabulary

  1. faire une dégustation de vin – make a wine tasting
  2. aller boire un verre / aller prendre un verre / aller boire un coup – go get a drink
  3. un bar à vin – a wine bar
  4. une cave – a cellar
  5. je bois du vin – I drink wine
  6. je ne bois pas de vin à midi – I don’t drink wine at lunch
  7. faire tourner le vin dans son verre – swirl the wine in your glass
  8. prendre une gorgée – take a sip
  9. les arômes – the aromas
  10. cracher – spit the wine out (always if your driving, of course :)

7 – French Wine Expressions

🍷 je suis un peu pompette (colloquial)
I’m a little tipsy

🍷 🍷 il a un peu trop bu
He drank a little too much

🍷 🍷 🍷 il est soûl (formal – pronounce it “sou”)
Il est bourré (slang)
He’s drunk

Il a la descente facile
Lit. easy descent (from mouth to stomach) → he’s a jolly good drinker!

Boire comme un trou
Lit. drink like a hole → drink like a fish

8 – Useful Wine Vocabulary At a Restaurant

  1. demander la carte des vins – ask for the wine list
  2. Vous pouvez me suggérer un vin, s’il vous plaît ?
    Could you suggest a wine please?
  3. Qu’est-ce que vous me conseillez de prendre ?
    What would you recommend?
  4. Je vais prendre du vin, est-ce que je pourrais avoir la carte ?
    I’m going to have wine, may I have the wine list?
  5. Est-ce que c’est possible de prendre un vin au verre ?
    Is it possible to have wine by the glass 
  6. J’aimerais avoir un verre de rosé s’il vous plaît.
    I would like a glass of rosé wine, please.

9 – How to order something in French

Avoid « je veux », which is quite agressive when asking for something.
However you can say :

  1. je vais prendre…s’il vous plaît – I’ll have…
  2. je voudrais / j’aimerais / je prendrais ….s’il vous plaît (using the conditional) – I would like/take

Here you go, I hope all this will spark your desire to come for a French immersion at my apartment and discover all these wonderful wines.

In my next article, I’ll teach you how the different steps to taste a wine like a pro. See you soon!

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