oe·​no·​phile | \ ˈē-nə-ˌfī(-ə)l How to pronounce oenophile (audio) \

Definition of oenophile

: a lover or connoisseur of wine

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"It has become quite a common proverb that in wine there is truth," wrote the 1st-century A.D. Roman scholar, Pliny the Elder. The truth about the word wine is that it goes back to Latin vinum, but it is also a distant relative of the Greek word for wine, which is oinos. Indeed, Latin borrowed from the Greek to create a combining form that means "wine," oeno-. Modern French speakers combined oeno- with -phile (Greek for "lover of") to create oenophile before we adopted it from them in the mid-1800s. Oenophiles are sure to know oenology (now more often spelled enology) as the science of wine making and oenologist (now more often enologist) for one versed in oenology.

Examples of oenophile in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web For the oenophile, meanwhile, the wine cellar can hold a whopping 4,000 bottles of vino, which should be enough space for most collections. Helena Madden, Robb Report, 21 Jan. 2022 For the oenophile who has it all, Coravin’s Model Two tool is the ultimate Wine Preservation System. Nicolas Stecher, Robb Report, 26 Nov. 2021 For the francophile oenophile Château Lassègue is enviably nestled on the Côte de Saint Émilion in Bordeaux. Aleksandra Crapanzano, Bon Appétit, 22 Nov. 2021 For the oenophile—or the novice— the chateau offers monthly tasting events in their cellars with the sommeliers followed by a gastronomic dinner and wine pairings. Roxanne Adamiyatt, Town & Country, 4 Aug. 2021 The Lerners were departing Friday—were combining their stay with a weekend in Napa, though Leo had not inquired too closely about their itinerary, not wishing to bear the conversational tax of being mistaken for an oenophile. Ew Staff, EW.com, 11 May 2021 The valley’s warm sunny days (216 a year on average) and cool nights are coveted by many winemakers, especially those specializing in Alsatian-style whites like Gewürztraminer and Riesling, which put Anderson Valley on the oenophile’s map. Adam H. Graham, WSJ, 19 Mar. 2021 Today, more than 40 tasting rooms are clustered around a half-dozen blocks, providing either an oenophile’s Disneyland or a monocultural oversaturation that’s taxing septic systems and locals’ nerves, depending on your point of view. Matt Kettmann, SFChronicle.com, 30 July 2019 Nowadays, the Black Sea coast is an oenophile’s dreamland, attracting people from across the country who want to try making their own wine in its rocky soil. Anton Troianovski, New York Times, 1 Nov. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'oenophile.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of oenophile

1865, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for oenophile

French œnophile, from œno- (from Greek oinos wine) + -phile -phile — more at wine

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The first known use of oenophile was in 1865

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Last Updated

24 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Oenophile.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oenophile. Accessed 27 Jan. 2022.

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