When giving our customers suggestions on wine, we may sometimes ask them do you like an old world or new world style of wine. What exactly does that mean?
The simplest answer is that Old World Wines come from countries where winemaking first began, many, many generations ago, and the style is more traditional for the wine type or style. Think France, Italy, Spain, Germany, etc. New World Wines come from the “New World”, the United States, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, etc. Does this affect the taste? Absolutely, the winemaking practices differ and while you can find new world fruit made in an Old World style, the land and climate obviously have an impact. According to Wine Folly, New World Wines come from countries where grapes were imported during and after the age of exploration.
While somewhat generalizations, a few other points of difference, Old World Wines tend to be more influenced by the terroir or the land from where they are from, steeped in local winemaking rules and traditions and may be higher in acidity and tannin. Old World Wines also tend to be lower in alcohol and are usually a bit lighter. New world wines, on the other hand, tend to focus more on the grape itself, giving them a more fruit-forward presentation. These wines tend to utilize advancements in winemaking and blending which makes for a rounder more generally pleasing mouthfeel and flavor.
Is one better than the other? Not really, just different, only you can decide which you prefer. There are great wines in both styles, so come in and compare for yourself!