You’d be surprised how often this comes up, you see, nobody wants to look uneducated or worse, *poor*, when trying to impress. Contrary to what you’ve probably heard your whole life, it is not pronounced – ‘Mo-Way’. Although, even if you did call it that, only someone incredibly uncouth would point it out to you.
Those in favour of ‘Mo-Way’ argue that it is French champagne and therefore the ‘t’ is soft, while those in favour of ‘Mo-wett’ conclude that the name originated in Germany and therefore the ‘t’ was pronounced.
However, none of these theories are correct, because the correct way to pronounce it is ‘Mo-Wett’. Moët is indeed French champagne and was founded in 1743 by Claude Moët. This is where it can get confusing. Moët was born in France in 1683; however, his name is Dutch, which is why it is pronounced differently.
It is also generally accepted that almost all French words drop the ‘t’ but when the word is followed by a word starting with a vowel the ‘t’ is usually pronounced, which is another theory people tout as the reason for it being ‘Mo’Wett’.
So if anyone should mention it as you offer them a glass of Moët with a hard ‘t’, you can cordially correct them – indeed, the very founder Claude Moët who was of Dutch heritage, pronounced the name ‘Mo-Wett’, and not ‘mo-way’
Although, you’ll find in most parts of the world the wrong pronunciation has taken a very firm grip. When I say it the right way sometimes people look slightly embarrassed and think, “She doesn’t know how to pronounce it, poor dear.”