Eastern Wine Language Guide

We here at Wine Awesomeness had a blast putting together February’s Eastern Bloc Party Box for our beloved members. Exploring new wines and new regions never ceases to get us fired up about mankind’s favorite beverage, and Eastern Europe is no exception. But aside from getting to scratch our perpetual discovery itch, we ended up finding wines we really love, wines that we could drink everyday and night, far too easily!

What isn’t quite as easy, we found out, is actually pronouncing the names of these wines, the regions in which they were made annndd pretty much everything on the label except for the word ‘wine.’ Not all of us are familiar with the Cyrillic alphabet, and despite our best efforts we fell a little short learning how to read accent markings we had never seen before.

So, we asked the folks over at Blue Danube Wine Co. (the importers who have been bringing amazing Eastern European juice west for over ten years) to help us whip up a little phrasebook for you. We know you’ll love to drink these wines… now we know you’ll be able to speak a bit about them in their native tongues, at least… sort of.



Croatian:    Živjeli   (“Zhee-ve-lee”)

German:     Prost    (“Prohst”)

Slovenian:    Na zdravje  (  “Naz-drah-vee”)

Georgian:     გაუმარჯოს   (“Gaumarjos”)

Hungarian:   Egészségedre   (“Egg-esh ay-ged-reh”)

Hungarian winespeak:

sparkling =  pezsgő    (“pezh-go”)

sweet = édes     (“e-desh”)

dry =  száraz    (“tsar-az”)

Croatian winespeak:

dry =  suho   (“soo-hoe”)

red =  crvena   (“chur-vina”)

scent of the sea =   freškina  (“frezh-kena”)

Slovenian winespeak:

white = bela  (“bell-ah”)

refreshing – osvežilna   (“oss-vezh-il-na”)

What do all those accent markings do?

Š  =  “sh” as in “shush!”

Č  =  “ch” as in “chives”

Ö =  “uh” as in “up”

Ž  =   “juh” as in the French “je suis un sommelier


Will you be able to fluently and easily pronounce all of the names of the grapes, wines and regions you have now fallen in love with? Maybe not. Will you be able to pronounce them way better than your neighbors and pretty much everyone else you know? Oh hell yeah!

Practice up for your next wine and cheese party and as always… Živjeli!


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