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

Burgundy’s grand cru terroirs were recognized by UNESCO in 2015, and Dijon is the perfect pied-à-terre for oenophiles who can drive the Route des Grands Crus, or test out the city’s cozy wine bars such as Le Caveau de la Chouette. Kimberley Lovato, National Geographic, "5 beautiful cities in France for avoiding the Paris crowds," 24 July 2019 World's Best Chef Slovenia’s Soča Valley in an ideal destination for oenophiles looking to diversify their cellars. Alena Hadley, National Geographic, "Taste What's Cooking Across the Globe: 10 Edible Trips," 8 Apr. 2019 At the 2019 Fine Waters tasting competition, which will be held in Stockholm, Sweden, this April, Riese and other water educators judge natural waters from around the world on a number system similar to an oenophile’s 100-point scale. National Geographic, "https://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/features/food-and-drink/water-sommelier-martin-riese.html," 12 Mar. 2019 Preconceptions die hard, especially with a wine like Harlan Estate, which most oenophiles will never taste. Jay Mcinerney, Town & Country, "Harlan Estate, Napa's Most Talked About Winery, Reveals Its Next Cult Red," 17 Jan. 2017 Named one of the world's best wine hotels by Wine Enthusiast, Bellhurst Castle and Winery is the ultimate getaway for the oenophile in all of us. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "This Castle Is the World's Best Place to Stay for Wine Lovers," 13 Mar. 2019 Some oenophiles, however, live in states where the government controls wine distribution, and thus access to certain brands. Lettie Teague, WSJ, "The Surprising Truth Behind Wine Pricing," 1 Feb. 2019 Even die-hard oenophiles in the room will usually give an approving nod. Isaiah Freeman-schub, WSJ, "Senior Market Editor Isaiah Freeman-Schub’s Holiday Gift Guide: Man of the World," 12 Dec. 2018 Monticello, Virginia History buffs and oenophiles alike can do double duty at this southern AVA where colonial, Revolutionary, and Civil War-era histories intersect with unique viticulture. Todd Plummer, Vogue, "Beyond Napa: 7 Emerging American Wine Regions to Visit Now," 29 Aug. 2018

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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Last Updated

6 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for oenophile

The first known use of oenophile was in 1865

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