Old World and New World are undoubtedly terms you have heard a lot if you have been around wine for a long. However, these expressions represent much more than just the local emphasis they convey. The experience of tasting wine in these two regions is different. Here are a few distinctive features of New World wine tasting that set it apart from Old World wine tasting.
1. Differences in flavor profiles
Old World wines typically have lighter bodies, lower alcohol content, brighter acidity, and more earthy flavors. On the contrary, New World wines have a fuller body, more alcohol, less acidity, and a much riper taste. Climate change is one of the causes of this situation. Globally, both Old World and New World wine regions are experiencing major changes due to global temperatures rise. Due to increasing temperatures and increased ripeness, it is not unusual to find Old World wines with rather high ABVs (14%+) nowadays.
The other reason is that with the continued evolution of consumer and winemaker preferences, it is equally typical to encounter New World wines with lower ABVs and brighter acidity. Higher-elevation growing locations are still being sought after by New World vintners, which inevitably results in more acidic fruit.
2. Winemaking techniques employed in the two worlds
The Old World vs. New World wine-tasting experience comparison is heavily influenced by winemaking techniques, particularly how wood is used. In the New World, new oak is more frequently used, while in the Old World, neutral wood is more frequently employed.
Did you know that in the Old World, neutral wood is more frequently in wine-making compared to the use of new oak in the New World?
Wine-tasting tourism is more exciting when one is taken through the winemaking process while tasting each of the varieties. It becomes more educating and involving thus creating a wonderful experience. Comparing the differences in tastes as a result of the techniques used in the New World and Old World helps is a great experience.
3. Differences in wine labeling
New world wine labels are often simple to read and require little prior expertise compared to Old World labels that require one to have prior knowledge. The New Zealand wine label for Matua is shown here, and it is simple to understand.
To easily interpret an Old World wine label, you must have a lot more presumptive knowledge. For instance, the label omits to mention the grape types that were used. In Italy, people rely on the fact that they are aware that Chianti contains at least 80% Sangiovese. You probably already know that Tuscany is where Chianti is from.
4. Differences in winemaking culture and heritage
The primary characteristic shared by all Old World wine-producing nations is the tight regulations that all wineries must adhere to when producing their wines. Old World nations and regions have a long tradition of producing wine in a certain style, and contemporary winemakers are expected to uphold those traditions.
Did you know that wine in the Old World has been made the same way for centuries?
A person frequently cites their preference for Old World wine as being due to the wine’s historical significance. Realizing that the wine in our glass has been created in the same way for generations is romantic for those of us who enjoy drinking it.
On the contrary, the entrepreneurial spirit you would anticipate from the descendants of emigrants who set out in pursuit of a new and better life elsewhere is embodied by the wines and the winemakers in the New World. There is a great deal of innovation and wide variation in winemaking techniques in these areas. Traditional wine-making methods are often less valued in the New World than are winemaking techniques that make use of contemporary innovations.
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1. Nan McCreary, ‘OLD WORLD VS. NEW WORLD WINES: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?’ Nov. 10th 2020, https://www.rodeohouston.com/News/ArtMID/488/ArticleID/2725/Old-World-vs-New-World-Wines-Whats-the-difference
2. Mark O’Neill, ‘Do you know how Oak affects wine?’ 12th, April 2022, https://markoneill.es/en/do-you-know-how-oak-affects-wine
4. VinePair Inc., ‘The Guide To Old World Wine Vs. New World Wines, 2022, https://vinepair.com/wine-101/guide-old-world-vs-new-world-wines/