Old world wines and new world wines are often mentioned but few actually know the distinctions between the two.
Old world wines are made in countries considered the birthplaces of wine, mainly European nations like France, Italy, Spain and Portugal. New world wines refer to wines produced in once colonised countries including the U.S., Australia, New Zealand and Chile.
Wine production in the old world focuses on the grape variety that are indigenous to the region and thrive in the specific terroir whereas the new world wines are made of an international grape variety with suitable soil, topography and weather.
Winemaking in Europe are strictly bound by the guides and restrictions and proven local techniques that have been established over many centuries. For example, there is a heavy emphasis on the balance of phenolic maturity and acidity and the usage of native yeast for fermentation to ensure drier wine. In new world winemaking, the slight over ripeness of the fruit and the use of manufactured yeast result in sweeter and easier to drink wines.
The labels of old world wines proudly display origin of the wine while new world wines spot modern looking labels with the main grape varietal as the focus.
The way a European wine is designed makes it naturally more suited to enjoyment at the dining table. It is a natural and refreshing food complement. Therefore, consumed on its own, it is less likely to be such a crowd pleaser.
On the opposite, the lush style and low acidity of a new world wine makes it more readily pleasant as a drink on its own. It can be enjoyed almost anytime, without being supplemented by food.