I’m taking a cue from my clients and giving a few pointers on some of the differences between Old World and New World wines this week. It’s a class that I teach a lot, and it’s a lot of fun to see people who “hate [insert wine variety]” realize they don’t in fact hate ALL of it!
To start, it’s helpful to know what we’re even talking about here. “Old World” is Europe (Turkey, Lebanon and others are also generally included in this category). “New World” is….everything else! America, South America, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa- they’re all New World.
Obviously there is quite a bit of variation in these regions, so take these generalizations with a grain of salt.
- New World wines are typically more fruit forward, whereas Old World wines typically exhibit more earthy elements respective of their terroir.
- New World wines are more typically aged in American oak, which imparts more flavor than French or Hungarian oak.
- New World wine also tend to be a bit higher in alcohol than Old World wines.
- Some find the flavors in New World wines to be a bit more accessible, whereas Old World Wines are typically described as subtle or nuanced.
- It’s possible to find Old World style wines in the New World, and vice versa!
There’s no right or wrong preference- just as in art, wine is highly subjective and you should drink what you like. Just remember to branch out sometimes- you just may discover that that wine you thought you hated is more about the region than the grape!
Do you prefer one style over the other?