60 French Wine Terms

Author: Camille Chevalier-Karfis

Wine is an essential part of the French culture. Here’ a French wine vocabulary list with English translation to help you understand French wine terms.

If you know more French wine terms and would like me to add them to the list, please leave a comment below (French with English translation please!).

How to Say Wine in French?

Wine in French is “le vin”. It’s pronounced using a French nasal sound : un bon vin blanc (a good white wine).

There are many different kinds of French wine, often differentiated according to their region of production and grape. But the four more frequent wine types in French are:

  1. le (vin) rouge – red wine
  2. le (vin) blanc – white wine
  3. le (vin) rosé – rosé wine
  4. le (vin de) champagne – champagne

7 Synonyms For Wine in French

Surprisingly, there are few French synonyms for wine. Here are some words we use to replace the word wine in French!

  1. Le pinard – slang for wine
  2. La vinasse – pejorative synonym for wine, used to talk about bad wine
  3. La piquette – pejorative synonym for wine, used to talk about bad wine
  4. Le rouge, le rosé, le blanc – wine according to its color: red, rosé (pink), white
    Je vais prendre un verre de blanc
    I’ll have a glass of white wine
  5. Any wine producing region name could be used instead of the generic term wine, without repeating the word wine.
    J’adore le Bourgogne.
    I love Burgundy (wine).

And now let’s study some common French wine terms.

50 French Wine Terms

Some of these wine terms have to do with making wine and are rather specific, others are very common and have to do with wine bottles and wine tasting. Please make more suggestions!

  1. le raisin : grape (not to mistake with “une grape de raisin” – a grape cluster)
  2. une grappe : a bunch
  3. ramasser : to pick up
  4. une serpette : a pruning knife
  5. un sécateur : pruning shears
  6. un égrappoir – destemmer. (Separates the grapes from the stems)
  7. un cuvage : a vat room
  8. un seau : a bucket
  9. un porteur / un jarlot : a porter, a carrier
  10. une benne : a dumpster
  11. une cuve : a vat
  12. un vigneron. une vigneronne : a winemaker
  13. le vignoble : vineyard
  14. une vigne : a vine
  15. un cep de vigne : a vine stock
  16. une feuille : a leaf
  17. un bourgeon : a bud
  18. une hotte : a pannier
  19. la vendange : the harvest
  20. le ban des vendanges : start date of harvest
  21. un vendangeur : a (grape) picker
  22. la main d’oeuvre : labor force
  23. une région viticole : a winegrowing region
  24. une bouteille – a bottle
  25. le cul de la bouteille – the bottom of the bottle
  26. le goulot – the neck of the bottle
  27. une étiquette – a label
  28. un bouchon – a cork
  29. un tire-bouchon – a corkscrew
  30. un verre à pied – a wine glass
  31. une coupe / une flûte à champagne – champagne glass
  32. une carafe – a wine carafe
  33. un décanteur – wine decanter
  34. décanter – to decanter
  35. le cépage – grape variety : it can be grenache, syrah, mourvèdre, etc.
  36. le millésime – the vintage
  37. un sommelier, une sommelière – a wine waiter
  38. un / une œnologue – an oenologist
  39. un / une caviste – a wine cellar employee
  40. un amateur / une amatrice de vin – a wine lover
  41. Faire une dégustation de vin – To take a wine tasting.
  42. Aller boire un verre / aller prendre un verre / aller boire un coup – To go get a drink
  43. Un bar à vin – A wine bar
  44. Une cave à vin – A wine cellar
  45. Faire tourner le vin dans son verre – To swirl the wine in your glass
  46. prendre une gorgée – To take a sip
  47. Les arômes – describe the aromas…
  48. Des notes fruitées, florales, torréfiées – Fruity, floral, or roasted hints…
  49. Des arômes frais, fruités, végétaux, épicés – Fresh, fruity, vegetal, spicy aromas
  50. La couleur/ la robe – The color
  51. La limpidity – The clarity
  52. La brillance – The brightness (used mostly for white wines)
  53. Cracher – To spit the wine out
  54. Avaler – to swallow
  55. Apprécier un bon vin – to enjoy a good wine

I hope all this vocabulary will come in handy during your next trip to France. Follow this link should you like to know how to drink wine like the French, and avoir faux pas, this link for a list of French wine sentences, and raise a glass to me!

Author: Camille Chevalier-Karfis

Camille Chevalier-Karfis

Born and raised in Paris, I have been teaching today's French to adults for 25+ years in the US and France. Based on my students' goals and needs, I've created unique downloadable French audiobooks focussing on French like it's spoken today, for all levels. Come to Paimpol and enjoy an exclusive French immersion homestay with me in Brittany.

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