Old World refers to wines that come from European countries such as France, Italy, Greece, and Spain, and from regions in North Africa and the Middle East. Winemaking began in the Old World, so these regions have a much longer history of viticulture and viniculture than other parts of the world, not to mention they’ve been producing wine for thousands of years.
New World refers to wines that come from places such as the United States, South America, Australia, and South Africa. New World regions have only been making wine since about the sixteenth century and have done so using vine cuttings and winemaking techniques brought over from the Old World.
For your next wine tasting party try comparing Old World wines with similar varietal from the New World.
For example, here are just a few wines from both categories to compare tastes.
Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon vs. Bordeaux from France.
Northern Rhone Valley Syrah vs.Australian Shiraz.
Oregon Pinot Noir vs. Red Burgundy.
California Chardonnay vs. White Burgundy from France.
In very general, you will likely notice that Old World wines tend to be more subtle in flavor and more reserved in profile than the bolder, expressive counterparts found in the New World wines. Old World wines pride themselves on the grapes’ soil location and New World wines may mix grapes from a few locations to build the best bottle of wine.
Quick notes: Old World vs. New World
Great Food Wines
More fruit driven,
Often bigger body,
Higher Alcohol content