Wine has increasing become a popular interest for many and there are so many facets to learn. Our Guest Contributor, Douglas Trapasso, does a super job explaining Old World Wine versus New World Wine so you can continue to build rapport and convert your prospects. – Theresa
Wine aficionados pay close attention to where the grapes from their wine were grown. The shorthand they often use is Old World versus New World.
Knowing the differences between the two will help you appreciate both styles even more.
Old World Wine vs New World Wine Regions
The Old World Wine initially refers to where on the planet grapes have been cultivated for the longest period of time. Countries such as France, Italy, Germany and Austria are examples, along with the area we now refer to as the Middle East.
The New World Wine includes the United States, Canada, Australia, and much of South America, due to the fact that by comparison, they have not been producing wine or even maintained plantings of grapes, for nearly as long a time.
It’s not simply geography and experience that distinguishes Old World and New World wines. Although there are exceptions, there are general stylistic differences between the two worlds as well.
Old World Wine Style
In most Old World countries, the land the grapes come from is the star. The French have a word – terroir – that refers to the land and all the natural forces that affect a vine’s development, such as type of soil, the amount of sunlight it receives (and from what angle), and the expected climate in a particular region.
Many experienced wine tasters believe the final quality of a wine is affected by Mother Nature much more than the work of an individual winemaker. Emphasizing the land more than winemaking technique, will result in more complex, longer lasting wines, they believe.
In fact, many Old World wines print the region name on their label in much larger type than the name of the person who actually picked the grapes and made the wine! Old World winemakers usually work from a long sense of tradition and legal requirements that ensure that wines from a particular region maintain specific characteristics across generations. They generally don’t pressure themselves to try to sculpt their winemaking to appeal to a particular audience.
New World Wine Style
In the New World, there’s a much looser approach towards winemaking. These countries place fewer restrictions on what grapes can be grown where. These winemakers allow themselves the freedom to experiment more with when to pick their grapes, aging vessels, types of yeasts used and other considerations that are more about science than tradition.
The result is often more “user-friendly” wines that promote the fruit more than the land that the fruit came from. To some critics, the downside of this approach is that these wines have higher rates of alcohol, do not age as long, and are not as compatible with food.
Final Thoughts Old World Wine vs New World Wine
The history of wine has always been about give and take, traditional rules versus rebellious upstarts. You may have a preference for wines from one part of the world, but keep your palate open to different grapes from different countries. The lines between Old World Wine and New World Wine are blurring a little more each year!
Which style do you prefer old world wine or new world wine? Share in the comments section below?