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Old World Wine Vs New World Wine – What’s The Difference?


After a long day at work, here you are, prepared to pour yourself a glass of your preferred wine. Is that an Old World wine or a New World wine? Is there a difference? Does it even matter? 

The response is straightforward: the ancient wine-producing regions of Europe, the Middle East, and Northern Africa are referred to as the “Old World”. The “New World” refers to all other wine-producing regions, including Australia, New Zealand, the Americas, and several Asian nations.

These distinctions can also be used to describe variations in the style of wines. New World wine regions tend to experience warmer climates, which tend to produce riper, more alcoholic, full-bodied wines with a focus on fruit.

New World wines are frequently produced in an oak-influenced, more heavily extracted manner. On the contrary, Old World wines typically have a lighter body and more herb, earth, mineral, and floral flavors. Even though these are sweeping generalizations, this is the best way to describe their differences.

So let’s further examine how these wines differ from one another. 

How To Tell The Difference Between Old World Wine And New World Wine?

Following are some of the differences between Old world wine vs New world wine. Let’s get into it.

Taste of the Wines

Old World wines typically have a lighter body, less alcohol, more acidity, and a less fruity, more mineral-forward flavor. It also contains more acidity and tannins and is leaner. On the other hand, New World wines typically have a larger body, higher alcohol content, lower acidity, and more noticeable fruit characteristics. It tastes more polished and has a stronger fruity flavor.

Of course, this is similar to the distinction between wines from warm and temperate climates.

Wine Regions

Old World wines are produced in the places where the winemaking traditions emerged. The key word when discussing the old world is “impact.” France, Italy, Portugal, Germany, Hungary, England, Croatia, and other locations are in the region of the old world wines.

“New World” refers to nations and winemakers who started their own traditions by incorporating those of other nations and mixing up their techniques. This occurred with colonization were Europeans (the colonizers) took these wine-making concepts and made them their own. These people gradually abandoned numerous outdated practices and adopted new ones due to situations or inventiveness. The birth of new global wine!

North America, South America, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and China are just some of the New World wine regions.

Winemaking Practices

Consider rigid versus relaxed when comparing New and Old World winemaking methods. In the Old World, nearly every aspect of winemaking is subject to tight regulations. 

The distance between the irrigation methods, vines, styles of trellising, and harvesting techniques are all governed by law from the soil to the grape. 

The amount of oak ageing, the length of the ageing process, the types of fermentation and vessel styles, and the techniques for bottling and labeling, are all governed by additional laws once the grapes are off the vine.

In contrast, there are fewer restrictions on New World winemaking, giving winemakers more latitude to develop new styles and methods that depart from those used in the Old World. However, one cannot be deemed superior to the other. They both do well.

The Popularity Of Old World Wine Vs New World Wine

Many wine drinkers like to assert that they favor one category of wine over the other, but in our humble opinion, both Old and New World wines have a lot to offer. This is true of anything that is put into a category.

Old Market wines are currently all the rage in the wine world, with drinkers adoring the tradition and nostalgia these wines represent. However, if you’re one of those who love to be informed of what is currently in vogue and follow the crowd, you may want to avoid them.

If you enjoy New World wine, don’t panic; since fashion tends to shift every ten years, it won’t be long until New World wine is back in style.

Although there are some noticeable distinctions between New World and Old World wines, neither is inherently better than the other. You must discover your unique preferences and sample wines from various nations and areas. You might learn that you prefer the acidic Chianti Classico when you always assumed you preferred the Malbec.

When choosing which type of wine most closely resembles your taste, knowing what to expect from these Old World and New World wines will help you make the appropriate choice.

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