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Dec 30, 2008 09:49 PM

Do you pronounce the "t" in moet?

I had an argument with my brother and I won't back down until i am proven right. I'm not going to influence the answers by revealing what I think!

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  1. The "t" is pronounced. If I remember correctly, the name is German.

    2 Replies
    1. re: mengathon

      Thank you, even though it's french the "T" is there even if it sounds wrong!

        1. re: soypower

          Soypower- Thanks for putting the nail in the coffin. Interesting bit of trivia at the same time.

          1. re: showthyme

            IF the name were spelled M-O-E-T, it would be pronounced "mow-AY." But it isn't. It is spelled M-O-Ë-T, with an umlaut over the "e" -- and "Moët" (and, for that matter, "Perrier-Jouët") are "mow-ETTE" and "zhew-ETTE," respectively . . . the "t" is pronounced.

            As has been pointed out, the name "Moët" is not French, but rather of Dutch origins.

            1. re: zin1953

              Don't forget Huët, yet another "ette"

              1. re: zin1953

                In French, a diaeresis* is placed over the vowels I, E and U to indicate that the preceding vowel is pronounced separately. The OE in *Moet* (without the diaeresis) would be pronounced as a single vowel, like the OE in *œdepien* or *œnologue*. Unless there's some rule I've not encountered in several decades of studying the language, the diaeresis plays no role in determining whether or not the following letter -- the T in this case -- is pronounced.

                *Not an umlaut, which indicates that the vowel over which it is placed is to be articulated more to the front or centre of the mouth.

                1. re: carswell

                  I speak French . . . BADLY. And I haven't formally studied it in some 40 years (French in elementary school; Russian in high school), so I'll bow to anyone (and everyone) else when it comes to French grammar.

                  All I know is that every wine name with an "-ët" is pronounced "ETTE"

                  1. re: zin1953


                    You are correct. In this particular case, the oddity is because of the Dutch derivation of the name, not French. The "t" is there, but is soft, about as you type, "ette." Almost a whisper.


                    1. re: zin1953

                      Well, I am French and went to school in Reims,
                      and you are absolutely right: Moet is pronouced

              2. re: soypower

                Minor point.

                >>> Upon receiving my first free glass of bubbles I enthusiastically declared the ‘Mo-aye was fabulous,’ only to be shot down by an acid-tongued fashion editor who said, ‘It’s Mo-wett darling.’ <<<

                Wouldn't "mo-aye" be pronounced "mo," as in "mow the lawn"; and "aye," as in "Aye, aye, Sir!" ??? ;^)

              3. Yes you do.

                This is a perennial question and when it came up some years ago on another board I contacted M&C in Champagne fo a definitive answer. And the answer is yes, Say the 'T'

                1 Reply
                1. re: Gussie Finknottle

                  Right on. There IS a "t," and it is pronounced, though softly.


                2. I hate feeling stupid...I look forward to the "pity" looks as I correctly pronounce "Moe-wett" from here on out. Thank you for setting me staight, it still makes me laugh, it sounds completely unFrench for something that is ONLY French!

                  2 Replies
                    1. re: bnemes3343

                      Oops, you beat me to it.

                      Note to self, do not hesitate and drink wine, as others will beat you to a post!

                      Happy New Year!


                  1. If Freddie Mercury did not pronounce the 'T', neither will I.

                    10 Replies
                    1. re: chris in illinois


                      Few if any francophone wine lovers of my acquaintance, including sommeliers, pronounce the final T in Moët, Jouët or Huët. Am pretty sure I've never heard a T at the end of former Canadien's goalie Cristobal Huet's name, either, though Wikipedia (English and French editions) says it should be there. This afternoon when I asked my French French butcher, a rabid fan of fellow Frenchman Huet, how he pronounced the goalie's family name, he said it without the T.

                      1. re: carswell

                        >>> Few if any francophone wine lovers of my acquaintance, including sommeliers, pronounce the final T in Moët, Jouët or Huët. <<<

                        Hmmmm . . . EVERYONE that i know in the wine trade -- on both sides of the Atlantic -- DOES pronounce the "T".

                        1. re: zin1953

                          Jason, like you I have NEVER heard anyone in the wine trade not pronounce the T in Moet or Huet either... HOWEVER, Perrier-Jouet I have heard as zhou-ay.

                        2. re: carswell

                          Many wine lovers/writers say "varietal" when they mean "variety". Many food writers/bloggers use "gourmand" when the mean "gourmet". Common occurance doesn't make it correct although online dictionaries that adapt with phrase usage may make one thing so.

                          And as with Jason, everyone that I know that has visited the domaine pronounces with the "t".

                          1. re: BillB656

                            And, wait for it... the "t" gets the vote! The crowd explodes and it's all for the "t." I figure that if the gentleman founder's name was Moët, he was Dutch and the folk at the house pronounce the "t," then we should pronounce it too.

                            Now, if your mother-in-law calls it Mow-AY, or simiar, do not correct her. Let it lie, or you will be cursed forever - or as long as you are married to her daughter.


                            1. re: Bill Hunt

                              *Now, if your mother-in-law calls it Mow-AY, or simiar, do not correct her. Let it lie, or you will be cursed forever - or as long as you are married to her daughter.*

                              Oh, you'll probably still be cursed even after you divorce, too.

                              1. re: Frodnesor

                                Yeah, that could well happen too!

                                Luckily, I'm still on my "training wife," so I have no first-hand knowledge, just innuendo and the like.


                            2. re: BillB656

                              Nowhere have I claimed the T in Moët is silent. When it comes to pronunciation, French proper names are rules unto themselves; if you're curious about how a name is pronounced, you're best off asking someone who knows. In response to chris in illinois's jocular post, I merely pointed out that he and Freddy Mercury are in good company. There are many native French speakers who don't pronounce the final Ts in any of the above-mentioned names, including Cristobal Huet's, which is (or was until he was traded) on every Quebecer's lips, not just wine lovers'.

                              And, yes, Wikipedia is always to be taken with a large grain of salt. Unfortunately Cristobal hasn't made it into the *Le Petit Robert des noms propres* and anyway that tome regrettably doesn't give pronunciations. While I've generally found the French Wikipedia to be good about pronunciations and it is in the "pronounce the T" camp, feel free to ignore it.

                          2. re: chris in illinois

                            Well, Freddie had a horrible underbite. However, he was afraid that a correction to that would spoil his voice. Little did he realize that it was moot, or would soon be.

                            Pronounce the "t," and let others struggle with their personal impressions.


                            1. re: chris in illinois

                              But Freddie Mercury DID pronounce the 'T'! It's subtle, connecting with the "and" it sounds like "moeh tan chandon, in a pretty cabinet"