Mapping The Differences Between Old World & New World Wines
Does Old World mean old wines? Is ‘old world wine’ a marketing trend? If you think so, the following article will help you understand the stark differences between Old World and New World wines including the definitions, regions, and elite terroirs to look out for.
For starters, one is about the old wine growing regions and the other about the newer entrants. Find out what’s more.
What Are Old World Wines?
Old World wines refer to wines made in ancient winemaking regions of the world. This includes many places such as the Caucasus in Eurasia where winemaking is believed to have been conceived and in the Mediterranean.
Keep reading to uncover the key characteristics of these wines that make them special.
When it comes to wines, terroir is a big part of the tasting notes and flavor profiles. The following are the 25 main Old World wine regions.
The soil and years of winemaking affect the terroir by making the wine light-bodied.
The low alcohol content is another characteristic of these wines due to their low grape sugar content.
These wines generally feature higher acidity when originating in these older wine growing regions.
The flavors of fruit aren’t concentrated, but instead mellow and light, just like the body in wines from the old regions.
While the vigneron and winemaker try to expose the terroir tastes more in these wines, New World winemakers strive to bring out the fruitiness more.
What Is The New World?
The New World doesn’t mean wine that’s made from new winemaking methods alone. It also involves the regions that weren’t in use by vignerons such as California or Chile. New World wines date back to the 15th century and are often distinguishable based on wine characteristics highlighted below.
- Regions: The popular new winemaking countries right now are Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, South Africa, and the United States.
- Winemaking style: The high sugar content is a feature to look out for if you’re venturing into wines from these regions because they use extra-ripe grapes.
- Full Body: New winemaking regions are so diverse with the harvest of post-ripe grapes that you will find full to medium-bodied wines in this category.
- Low acidity: Owing to low alcohol, tannins remain low and deliver a smoother wine.
- High fruitiness: You will taste more freshness and fruits like peaches and green apples or pears in these wine varieties.
How Do Different Regions Compare?
Now that you know what differentiates the more established from the newer regions, find out if one is better than the other below.
Old World Wine Growing Regions
As aforementioned, the 25 regions mainly in Europe and Mediterranean are recognized for having centuries of viticulture-history. Hence, the geography is customized for wine growing here.
With different classifications for wine growing regions in France, Italy, and Spain, further narrows down the ancient areas. Simply put, the centuries of nurturing the land for winemaking affects the body, taste, and acidity of the wine.
New World Growing Regions
Apart from region of origin, wine growing in these regions is a calculated task that starts with the identification of suitable or duplicate environments for wine growing just like the French, Italian, or Spanish wine growing climates.
On top of it, wines from the New World regions also produce wines that taste fresher with more acidity and high alcohol than their counterparts. Oaking further changes the tasting notes of these wines.
Which Region Is Better?
Want to find out if Old World wine growing regions are better than New World regions? The main differences depend on your palate and what’s available on your favorite wine club membership plans.
Take a look at it below.
- Tannins are low in Old World wines, just as acidity, which is in contrast with New World wines featuring high tannins and acidity.
- Fruitiness is noted higher in New World wines and if you like fruity wines, choose it over the alternatives.
- Body of an Old World wine is light and mellow, unlike the full body of a crisp wine from a New World wine growing region.
Thinking of giving elaborate wine gifts to your friends and family? Old world wines are easily-likable given they are accompanied by a light body and low acidity with less alcohol than most spirits. Why not surprise them with an Old World favorite such as a Sauvignon Blanc from Bordeaux AOC available at WSJWine for $18.99 per bottle.
New World wines by comparison are crisp, fresh, and quickly get you tipsy. The best Rose wine club from Winc features a fruity and crisp 2018 Rabble Rosé from the Central Coast in California for $15.99 a bottle.