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Do you pronounce the "t" in moet?

showthyme Dec 30, 2008 09:49 PM

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. m
    mengathon RE: showthyme Dec 30, 2008 09:58 PM

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

    2 Replies
    1. re: mengathon
      showthyme RE: mengathon Dec 30, 2008 10:24 PM

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

      1. re: mengathon
        Bill Hunt RE: mengathon Dec 31, 2008 05:31 PM

        Close, Dutch.

        Hunt

      2. soypower RE: showthyme Dec 30, 2008 10:40 PM

        http://www.lucire.com/2002/0530ll0.shtml

        8 Replies
        1. re: soypower
          showthyme RE: soypower Dec 30, 2008 10:52 PM

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

          1. re: showthyme
            z
            zin1953 RE: showthyme Dec 31, 2008 06:00 AM

            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
              BillB656 RE: zin1953 Dec 31, 2008 06:04 AM

              Don't forget Huët, yet another "ette"

              1. re: zin1953
                carswell RE: zin1953 Dec 31, 2008 06:35 AM

                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
                  z
                  zin1953 RE: carswell Dec 31, 2008 06:48 AM

                  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
                    Bill Hunt RE: zin1953 Dec 31, 2008 05:34 PM

                    Jason,

                    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.

                    Hunt

                    1. re: zin1953
                      b
                      bclevy RE: zin1953 Jan 2, 2009 09:56 PM

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

              2. re: soypower
                z
                zin1953 RE: soypower Dec 31, 2008 06:06 AM

                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. Gussie Finknottle RE: showthyme Dec 31, 2008 12:38 AM

                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
                  Bill Hunt RE: Gussie Finknottle Dec 31, 2008 05:35 PM

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

                  Hunt

                2. c
                  coffeebarbabe RE: showthyme Dec 31, 2008 04:14 AM

                  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: coffeebarbabe
                    b
                    bnemes3343 RE: coffeebarbabe Dec 31, 2008 04:32 AM

                    The name is Dutch

                    1. re: bnemes3343
                      Bill Hunt RE: bnemes3343 Dec 31, 2008 05:36 PM

                      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!

                      Hunt

                  2. c
                    chris in illinois RE: showthyme Dec 31, 2008 11:30 AM

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

                    10 Replies
                    1. re: chris in illinois
                      carswell RE: chris in illinois Dec 31, 2008 12:24 PM

                      Ha!

                      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
                        z
                        zin1953 RE: carswell Dec 31, 2008 01:48 PM

                        >>> 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
                          w
                          whiner RE: zin1953 Jan 1, 2009 10:35 AM

                          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
                          BillB656 RE: carswell Dec 31, 2008 02:03 PM

                          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
                            Bill Hunt RE: BillB656 Dec 31, 2008 06:07 PM

                            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.

                            Hunt

                            1. re: Bill Hunt
                              Frodnesor RE: Bill Hunt Jan 1, 2009 02:52 PM

                              *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
                                Bill Hunt RE: Frodnesor Jan 1, 2009 06:45 PM

                                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.

                                Hunt

                            2. re: BillB656
                              carswell RE: BillB656 Dec 31, 2008 10:48 PM

                              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
                            Bill Hunt RE: chris in illinois Dec 31, 2008 05:37 PM

                            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.

                            Hunt

                            1. re: chris in illinois
                              j
                              Jeri L RE: chris in illinois Jan 1, 2009 10:53 AM

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

                            2. Bill Hunt RE: showthyme Dec 31, 2008 05:30 PM

                              Yes. It is a soft "t." Mr Moët was Dutch, so the "ë" doesn't hold true for the French. If it did, it would be "Mo-A". If you listen to the folk from the winery say it, the "t" definitely comes out, albeit softly.

                              Hunt

                              10 Replies
                              1. re: Bill Hunt
                                carswell RE: Bill Hunt Dec 31, 2008 10:58 PM

                                There is no soft T in French. And the ë most certainly holds true for the French (was the original Moët even spelled with a diaeresis in Dutch?), since it signals that the word is to be pronounced as two syllables (mo-ette), not one (meuht, or something similar). To get the A sound in "Mo-A", the word would probably have to be written with an acute e (é) or a homophone like *-ez*, *-er* or, yes, *-et* (but where the T is silent, such as in *filet*).

                                1. re: carswell
                                  Bill Hunt RE: carswell Jan 1, 2009 01:58 PM

                                  "was the original Moët even spelled with a diaeresis in Dutch?"

                                  That is a good question. According to a representative of the winery (however in the United States and of US origin, I believe), it has not been altered. I do not know how true that statement was, or how inclusive it was, as not being altered in, say the last hundred years, is not the same as not having been altered ever.

                                  Now, am I incorrect, or did you not state earlier in this thread that with the ë, the "t" would be silent? Maybe I am confusing posts and posters, as the "t" is not silent in this particular case.

                                  Hunt

                                  1. re: Bill Hunt
                                    carswell RE: Bill Hunt Jan 1, 2009 05:07 PM

                                    Re the diaeresis in Dutch, googling MOET CHANDON and restricting the results to Dutch websites turns up at least as many MOETs as MOËTs. Googling MOET -CHANDON turns up tens of thousands of instances of MOET and, in the first ten or 20 pages of results I looked at, no instances of MOËT. That said, *moet* appears to be a common verb (maybe the Dutch equivalent of *must*?), which probably prevents any conclusions from being drawn.

                                    However, the Wikipedia entry (pace, BillB656) for Charles Moët includes the following paragraph with a reference to Don and Petie Kladstrup's *Champagne: How the World's Most Glamorous Wine Triumphed Over War and Hard Times* (Harpercollins, 2005): "The Moët family can trace its origins to a Dutch soldier named LeClerc who fought alongside Joan of Arc in fending off English attempts at preventing the crowning of Charles VII. As a reward for his service, the King changed his name to Moët."
                                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claude_M...

                                    «Now, am I incorrect, or did you not state earlier in this thread that with the ë, the "t" would be silent?»

                                    Nope. The only point I made is that the diaeresis affects the vowel that precedes the vowel it marks, not the consonant that follows, i.e. the fact that the e is marked with a diaeresis has no bearing on whether the T in Moët is pronounced, a point reinforced by the number of native speakers of French who, rightly or wrongly, do not pronounce the T in such contexts.

                                    1. re: carswell
                                      BillB656 RE: carswell Jan 1, 2009 06:44 PM

                                      I guess all that really matters is how the family pronounces the name. Cristobal Huet prefers the no T approach (according to a Washington Caps broadcaster that interviewed him). Domaine Huët prefers the "ette".

                                      I had a French teach in high school named Mr. Benoit. You would think he'd pronounce his name as Ben-wha, but no, he wanted us to call him Mr. Ben-oyt.

                                      My last name is of Dutch origin but when my grandfather came over in 1911 the pronounciation has changed from how a Dutchman would say it to something rather different.

                                      1. re: BillB656
                                        Bill Hunt RE: BillB656 Jan 1, 2009 07:02 PM

                                        Though probably off topic, I find it interesting how the same family in even close proximity, but different cultures, pronounce their family/last name. Growing up on the MS Gulf Coast, and quite near the strongly French-founded cities of Biloxi and New Orleans, I knew the Grimillons. In Gulfport (near Biloxi and only 70 miles from New Orleans), this branch pronounced the name Grah-million. Just a few miles away, in either direction, the pronunciation was Grim-e-Yawhn. Now, there are some phonetic aspects, that I have not bothered to add in (too lazy to fire up WordPerfect and the "Phonetic" fonts), but I think that you get the picture.

                                        Maybe we need to all get into the "way back machine," and set the dial to the beginning of the house of Moët. Perhaps we could listen to some of the conversations, just to see how it was pronounced then.

                                        All of my data comes directly from employees of the house, not from distributors. However, each has been of US origin, and though they spend a good amount of time in FR, are, afterall, from the US. Still, 3 out of 3 is not bad, US citizens, or not. Each has told the same story. Maybe an urban myth. Since I had the same discussion, as the OP way back when, this was something that I listened to carefully, though maybe not carefully enough.

                                        Maybe the house of Moët likes to play a trick on unsuspecting US persons? How would we know? I'm sure that no one in power would ever divulge this trick.

                                        Hunt

                                        1. re: Bill Hunt
                                          w
                                          Wine GurrrrL RE: Bill Hunt Jun 20, 2010 08:33 AM

                                          I am a French citizen. I can assure you that the T is pronounced. Any French person who does not pronounce the T, is in fact, just misinformed/ignorant or staunch in their ways regarding how *think* it should be pronounced...in any case, they are incorrect. The letter T is most definitely pronounced. People just assume the surname is French since it is a French company, and pronounce it "Moe-ay" because of that. You know what you get when you assume...

                                        2. re: BillB656
                                          lynnlato RE: BillB656 Jan 4, 2009 10:58 AM

                                          We have a restaurant supply store here in town with "Benoit" in the name. My first experience with them I referred to them as "Ben-wah" but was corrected to pronounce it as you described "Ben-oyt". I can only assume, like so many others, it has become Americanized.

                                        3. re: carswell
                                          Bill Hunt RE: carswell Jan 1, 2009 06:48 PM

                                          My abject apologies. I must have referenced another's post to you, and am sorry. I guess that I need to Expand All more often, when many comments have been made.

                                          As the younger set says, "my bad."

                                          Thanks for the clarification,

                                          Hunt

                                          1. re: carswell
                                            w
                                            Winewerm RE: carswell Sep 24, 2011 08:38 AM

                                            I thought it would be a good point to bring up that although(Jean and Nicolas i think ) LeClerc were Dutch, they were renamed Moёt by King Charles VII, a Frenchman.
                                            if you go on to www.forvo.com you can see the variances between Dutch and French pronunciations of Moёt.

                                            by the way... hello everyone my name is Stephen, im from Australia and i have been working in a fine wine store for nearly four years. love wine.
                                            P.S really enjoyed this reading this highly intellectual conversation.

                                        4. re: carswell
                                          Bill Hunt RE: carswell Jan 1, 2009 02:25 PM

                                          "There is no soft T in French." Is this statement not rendered moot, as the founder was Dutch?

                                          Maybe I'm not paying attention in this thread, but I though that the Dutch origin had been established earlier on. I think that I need to go back and start from the first post.

                                          Hunt

                                      2. m
                                        momdgp RE: showthyme Jan 4, 2009 06:00 PM

                                        This will probably show my age, but years ago Marcel Marceau did a Moët TV commercial, where he stated "Mo-et, with the T". Although he spoke aloud, I remember that he mimed the champagne glass.

                                        1. Caralien RE: showthyme Jan 4, 2009 06:09 PM

                                          At at Moet food pairing/tasting event, we were informed by the company's rep, that yes, the T is pronounced.

                                          1. shane RE: showthyme Jan 12, 2009 01:44 PM

                                            How about the "t" in Gruet, the (really quite good) sparkling wine from New Mexico?

                                            23 Replies
                                            1. re: shane
                                              5
                                              53latour RE: shane Jun 21, 2010 02:08 PM

                                              According to the explanation I heard regarding the pronunciation of Moët...it's both. The sticking point is the conjunction 'et' in the full name, Moët et Chandon. Apparently, you cannot have 'ët' 'et' (both with hard Ts) together. So, when you say the entire name it's Moe-ay et Chandon, but if you are just saying Moët, it's Moe-ette.

                                              I know Laurent Gruet, co-owner and winemaker at Gruet. It's pronounced Groo-AY. And yes, it is very good sparkling wine!!

                                              1. re: 53latour
                                                maria lorraine RE: 53latour Jun 21, 2010 04:41 PM

                                                What the heck?

                                                The "t" in et (meaning "and") is never pronounced in French, so that conjunction rule you've heard is bogus and kinda strange.

                                                But Moët is Dutch, so the "t" is always pronounced.

                                                Even if Moet was a French word (it's not), the "t" would still be pronounced in the example you give. That's because the liaison rule would apply: a normally silent final "t" is pronounced when followed by a word beginning with a vowel. So Moet even then would be Mo-ET when saying Moet et Chandon. Likewise, the "t" in Gruet -- normally not pronounced -- would be pronounced when saying "Gruet et Fils," the name of the mother winery in Bethon, France.

                                                So, it's Mo-ET any way you slice it.

                                                1. re: maria lorraine
                                                  Bill Hunt RE: maria lorraine Jun 21, 2010 07:56 PM

                                                  ML,

                                                  Thanks for pointing out the Dutch aspect, though I really, really thought that I, and others had done that up-thread. Too many French linguists have weighed in on how it should be, were the founder French, but we'll never know, as he was Dutch.

                                                  The "T" is pronounced, though somewhat softly.

                                                  Hunt

                                                  1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                    maria lorraine RE: Bill Hunt Jun 21, 2010 11:34 PM

                                                    Yes, you did point out the Dutch origin. You really, really did. As did others. And you're also right about not correcting your mother-in-law.

                                                    1. re: maria lorraine
                                                      k
                                                      kill_the_wabbit RE: maria lorraine Oct 26, 2011 11:36 AM

                                                      Also, I know everyone keeps saying the name Moët is Dutch. It's not. It's French. The family was Dutch in the time of Joan of Arc, but that's not a Dutch name.

                                                      The Dutch didn't really have a system of surnames until Napoleon made them adopt them. Up until then (and certainly at the time of the name Moët's genesis), Dutch last names were mostly patronyms like "Janszoon" and the like. Even Moët's Dutch ancestor had a French last name, another very popular option in the Low Countries to this day. And even after that, the "oë" combination would be extraordinarily rare in Dutch. A more Dutchified version—especially taking the spelling conventions at the time—would be, like, "Meeuws" or "Moeet" or "Moeit" or something along those lines.

                                                      It comes down to this: The T is pronounced as a slight but predictable variant in French orthography, kind of like the R in "fier." Every language has exceptions. This is one of them.

                                                      But it's not because of Dutch influence.

                                                      Really.

                                                      1. re: kill_the_wabbit
                                                        ChefJune RE: kill_the_wabbit Oct 26, 2011 01:09 PM

                                                        Interesting. So, what about Jouët?

                                                        1. re: ChefJune
                                                          k
                                                          kill_the_wabbit RE: ChefJune Oct 26, 2011 02:39 PM

                                                          Probably the same, pronounced with the T at the end.

                                                          It occurs to me: This name is old enough and not from Île-de-France, so it could be simply a dialect or old spelling.

                                                          Final Ts may have been pronounced in the region at the time of the name's inception (indeed, most final letters *were* pronounced in French until relatively recently). The "oët" spelling could simply be a reflection of the pronunciation of the local Langue d'Oïl. Langues d'Oïl are the continuum of languages that eventually gave us what we call "French"—and French, in turn, is just the dominant (i.e., Parisian) dialect within that linguistic continuum.

                                                          Since all these wines must by definition come from the same region (Champagne), it would stand to reason they'd all reflect names in that local dialect and with local spelling idiosynchronicities.

                                                          After all, spellings of last names tend to change at a much slower rate than spellings of standard vocabulary (which change REALLY slowly) to begin with. That French surnames like Moët and Jouët would retain a flavor of the middle ages is the far more likely reason for their spellings and pronunciations.

                                                          1. re: kill_the_wabbit
                                                            maria lorraine RE: kill_the_wabbit Oct 27, 2011 01:43 AM

                                                            Wow. Thanks for the elucidation. Though I have read something slightly different about Moët. Will check into that. Meantime, so glad you radioed in. Great handle.

                                                            1. re: maria lorraine
                                                              Bill Hunt RE: maria lorraine Oct 29, 2011 05:29 PM

                                                              And, the House of Moët tells a different story. Maybe they need to be educated, as well?

                                                              Perhaps you should tell them that they have it all wrong.

                                                              Hunt

                                                              1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                k
                                                                kill_the_wabbit RE: Bill Hunt Oct 30, 2011 12:39 AM

                                                                Maybe. It's often the case that the subjects of a story are the worst sources for their historical accuracy.

                                                                1. re: kill_the_wabbit
                                                                  Bill Hunt RE: kill_the_wabbit Oct 30, 2011 06:33 PM

                                                                  Could be, but then I would think that the house would have things down rather pat. Still, who knows?

                                                                  Hunt

                                                                2. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                  maria lorraine RE: Bill Hunt Oct 30, 2011 06:33 PM

                                                                  Bill,
                                                                  It's difficult to uncover the real story, since there seem to be conflicting stories and the incident in question happened nearly 600 years ago (1429). See below. I have contacts at Moet in Champagne, from my visits there. I can chase those down, although Moet (the company) may have an interest in perpetuating a legend that involves Joan of Arc, if it is indeed a legend. I did read a little more about Charles VII changing the names of people, and inserting tremas at will. Also found another scholarly citation of the LeClerc "moet" rallying cry. But who knows? Perhaps all the book citations I've found that repeat the LeClerc story come from the same (unconfirmed) source. Then again, all the information related to the name Moet may be unconfirmed, since, again, we're talking 600 years ago and there is no video/digital archive. There may be no definitive answer. Thanks for the citation, DD

                                                                  Best,
                                                                  Maria

                                                              2. re: kill_the_wabbit
                                                                d
                                                                DeppityDawg RE: kill_the_wabbit Oct 27, 2011 02:13 PM

                                                                Great info, k_t_w. It's never too late to set the Internet straight.

                                                            2. re: kill_the_wabbit
                                                              maria lorraine RE: kill_the_wabbit Oct 27, 2011 05:26 PM

                                                              Below is the reference I read earlier.

                                                              I'm not trying to argue, KTW and DD, merely to understand.

                                                              The information I have read from the sources below says that LeClerc was renamed Moet by Charles VII after LeClerc's rallying cry, "Het moet zoo zijn" . . . " ["It must be so," in Dutch] was successfully used to keep Charles VII in power as King of France. As a thank you to LeClerc, Charles VII renamed him Moet.

                                                              I don't know when the ë (with the trema) became part of the spelling, as the word "moet" in Dutch, meaning "must," is spelled without the trema.

                                                              Please tell me if the recounting of history from the sources below is somehow incorrect.

                                                              Info sources:
                                                              Christie's World Encyclopedia of Champagne & Sparkling Wine, by Tom Stevenson.
                                                              Robert Lawrence Balzer's Private Guide to Food & Wine, Volume 6.

                                                              1. re: maria lorraine
                                                                k
                                                                kill_the_wabbit RE: maria lorraine Oct 27, 2011 06:09 PM

                                                                That could totally be the right answer — and it would be quite the story if it's true! The trema would be absent in Dutch for the word "must" but to achieve a Dutch-ish pronunciation of "moet" using French spelling, you could do "moët" though "moutte" would be closer. (In English, we'd spell it "moot," but have other options available, too.)

                                                                The story has a bit of an air of myth to me (which is why the language scientist-y person in me remains so skeptical), but that's okay. Sometimes it's best if words and names have a bit of mythos and mystery about them!

                                                                Language isn't language if it doesn't have a bit of story to it, after all.

                                                                1. re: kill_the_wabbit
                                                                  d
                                                                  DeppityDawg RE: kill_the_wabbit Oct 27, 2011 09:34 PM

                                                                  Sounds like a legend to me, too. I've heard a less glorious etymology, based on the French word "moue" (older spelling "moe"; the word is incidentally also of Germanic origin) and the ordinary French diminutive suffix "-et". The idea is that one of Moët's ancestors was known for always scowling or pouting. I can understand why writers of wine encyclopedias or the family itself might prefer the other story, although as you've both noticed, it explains neither the spelling nor the current pronunciation.

                                                                  1. re: DeppityDawg
                                                                    maria lorraine RE: DeppityDawg Oct 28, 2011 11:20 AM

                                                                    <<I've heard a less glorious etymology...The idea is that one of Moët's ancestors was known for always scowling or pouting.>>

                                                                    Please provide a source for this info, DD.

                                                                    1. re: maria lorraine
                                                                      d
                                                                      DeppityDawg RE: maria lorraine Oct 30, 2011 10:47 AM

                                                                      Michel Refait (1998) "Moët & Chandon: De Claude Moët à Bernard Arnault". Langres: Dominique Guéniot. page 18.

                                                        2. re: maria lorraine
                                                          d
                                                          DeppityDawg RE: maria lorraine Sep 28, 2011 10:10 AM

                                                          That is not how liaison works in French, at least not in modern French. I don't know this Gruet, but if the ‹t› is silent as you say it is, then it remains silent in "Gruet et Fils".

                                                          Note that I am NOT disagreeing with you or the other posters about the pronunciation of "Moët". I know the ‹t› is pronounced, although the only valid reason has nothing to do with Dutch or Charles VII or anything that happened 600 years ago. It's simply because the owners of the champagne house and the members of the family say it's pronounced that way, today.

                                                          Even if it were a Dutch name (I don't care if it is or not), the family could say "We prefer a slient ‹t›", and the correct pronunciation would be a with a silent ‹t›. Even if it were a French name (I don't care if it is or not), the family could say "The ‹t› is pronounced", and the correct pronunciation would be [and as it happens, is] with a pronounced ‹t›.

                                                          1. re: DeppityDawg
                                                            maria lorraine RE: DeppityDawg Sep 28, 2011 11:17 AM

                                                            Total agreement that the holder of the name has the final say on pronunciation.

                                                            I've most often heard Gruet, the winery in New Mexico in the US, pronounced with a final "t".

                                                            I've mostly heard the Gruet, as in the Champagne winery Gruet et Fils, pronounced without a final "t" or "Groo-ay,"

                                                            Moet has always been pronounced with the "t" and it is pronounced that way by
                                                            the winery in Champagne.

                                                            Just read up on the types of liaisons (forbidden, impossible, erratic). "Et" in French
                                                            is its own animal, and proper names (Gruet) can add to the confusion.

                                                            1. re: maria lorraine
                                                              d
                                                              DeppityDawg RE: maria lorraine Sep 28, 2011 04:55 PM

                                                              You're completely correct about the conjunction "et". I was just saying that liaison after proper names is forbidden/impossible/erratic. Believe me, I've read up on this, up to here.

                                                              1. re: DeppityDawg
                                                                c
                                                                cactusette RE: DeppityDawg Oct 14, 2011 07:15 AM

                                                                Agree with DeppityDawg.My language is french, although from Quebec so a slightly different one. Still, some words are supposed to have liaisons (though in Quebec we pronounce almost none of them), however proper names are untouched and remain the same, with no liaisons "applied". Pronounciation of proper names varies but normally the people who have them get to decide how they want it. Like this girl I knew who's last name was Cochon which translates to "pig" so she insisted on a different pronounciation of it.

                                                        3. re: 53latour
                                                          danna RE: 53latour Jun 24, 2010 09:49 AM

                                                          I'm happy to hear that i've been saying Gruet correctly, It's one of my faves.

                                                          Whoever gave you the Moet explanation had it just about backwards, as ML explains.

                                                      2. b
                                                        bclevy RE: showthyme Jun 22, 2010 11:24 PM

                                                        Beyond Moet being pronounced Moette, I think most English speakers would
                                                        be horrified by the French pronounciation of Piper Heidsieck (pee-pehr
                                                        hide-seek) .

                                                        1. Akitist RE: showthyme Sep 24, 2011 09:19 AM

                                                          Disregarding the T, the diaresis over the E might be necessary, or in Dutch the name would be pronounced "Moot", rhyming roughly with boot.

                                                          1. c
                                                            calliope_nh RE: showthyme Sep 28, 2011 05:15 PM

                                                            Slightly OT, but does anyone know how to say Freixenet?

                                                            9 Replies
                                                            1. re: calliope_nh
                                                              d
                                                              DeppityDawg RE: calliope_nh Sep 28, 2011 05:40 PM

                                                              Catalan: fruh-shuh-NET
                                                              Spanish: fray-shay-NET

                                                              I believe it is a Dutch name and is properly spelled with two little dots over the "x", which were a gift from the King of France.

                                                              1. re: DeppityDawg
                                                                ChefJune RE: DeppityDawg Sep 30, 2011 11:12 AM

                                                                Most Americans I know (and have heard) say Fresh-uh-NAY. I don't say anything because I don't care for their cava.

                                                                1. re: DeppityDawg
                                                                  SnackHappy RE: DeppityDawg Oct 3, 2011 08:18 AM

                                                                  Freixenet is not Dutch it's Catalan. The name comes from the word Freixeneda which is the name of the property from which Freixenet orginiates and, I believe, means ash (freixe) forest in Catalan.

                                                                  1. re: SnackHappy
                                                                    PolarBear RE: SnackHappy Oct 3, 2011 10:33 AM

                                                                    Makes sense seeing that Fresno is Spanish for ash tree.

                                                                    1. re: SnackHappy
                                                                      SnackHappy RE: SnackHappy Oct 3, 2011 07:44 PM

                                                                      Here's, most likely, a lot more than you ever wanted to know about the history of Freixenet.

                                                                      http://www.fundinguniverse.com/compan...

                                                                      1. re: SnackHappy
                                                                        Akitist RE: SnackHappy Oct 4, 2011 10:53 AM

                                                                        I read Deppity Dawg's post as a riff on the Moët discussion, the clincher being the dots over the X, which doesn't happen in the real world. Joke, in other words.

                                                                        1. re: Akitist
                                                                          SnackHappy RE: Akitist Oct 4, 2011 11:11 AM

                                                                          Well, I guess I didn't gauge very well which parts of DeppityDawg's post were sarcasm and which weren't. That'll teach me.

                                                                        2. re: SnackHappy
                                                                          ChefJune RE: SnackHappy Oct 5, 2011 10:39 AM

                                                                          <Freixenet is not Dutch it's Catalan.> ????

                                                                          In any case, their Cordon Negro is something I would decline to drink. Ugh.

                                                                          1. re: ChefJune
                                                                            SnackHappy RE: ChefJune Oct 5, 2011 10:41 AM

                                                                            No need to rub it in.

                                                                    2. CindyJ RE: showthyme Oct 4, 2011 12:57 PM

                                                                      Is my face red!!!! I've been mispronouncing "Moet" for at least 40 years. And I really should have known better; my husband and I visited the Moet et Chandon cellars waaaaay back in 1972. Oh, well -- I guess we're never too old to learn something new.

                                                                      1. c
                                                                        cactusette RE: showthyme Oct 14, 2011 07:21 AM

                                                                        I have been saying it moay because I'M used to pronouncing words that end with et as ay and words that end with ette as ette. Personally though, if the makers say it's ette than I'M changing my ways. I am very happy to have learned this and this thread was really interesting

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: cactusette
                                                                          h
                                                                          hto44 RE: cactusette Dec 28, 2011 07:48 AM

                                                                          I know this is a very old thread but I watched an interview with the Moet family years ago and they said there name is often mispronounced especially by Americans. And as many have a already stated, the "t" is not silent.

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