August 6, 2009

Daily Beeswax: New World vs. Old World

What better way to kick off our "Daily Beeswax" series than going back to the age-old question (literally) of New World vs. Old World wines. Rather than simply nodding your head next time your oeno-friend describes the attributes of the wine you're tasting as either/or, gear up to chime back in by using the following simple equation:

NEW WORLD WINES = Bold + High Alcohol + Full Body + Ripe Character
  • Where do they come from? These wines hail from warmer climates, and tend to be produced outside the wine-growing regions in Europe, in places such as Argentina, California, Chile, Australia, and New Zealand.
  • Example wine: Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc

OLD WORLD WINES = Less Fruit + Moderate Alcohol + Notes of Earthiness
  • Where do they come from? These wines learn toward elegance and subtlety and are primarily made in Europe, but also some places in North Africa and the Near East.
  • Example wine: Castello Banfi Brunello di Moltacino

Cliff Notes for Wine: While wines in the New World are often based on the varietal (like Chardonnay and Tempranillo), wines in the Old World are generally labeled by the region or place they come from (like Riber del Deuro or Mosel)