Without one possessing an in-depth knowledge of the distinctions between the two types of wine or what distinguishes an Old World or New World, I wish to make their terminology more understandable and approachable and increase people's curiosity about the world of wine. Simplifying the Old and New Worlds makes the discussion of their meanings easier to comprehend. Old World and New World refer to the regions where the wine is produced; in other words, the difference between the two is geographic.

Traditional Old World

Old World traditional wine growing is mostly in Europe, the Mediterranean, North Africa, and some of the Middle Eastern countries. The phrase "Old World" refers to wines produced in regions often thought of as the birthplaces of wine and where winemaking originated. Key countries: France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Austria, Hungary, Switzerland, Georgia, Lebanon, Germany, Greece, Croatia, and more.

Innovative New World

The New World is the rest of the countries outside the traditional wine-growing region. Key countries: Chile, Argentina, Australia, South Africa, California, New Zealand—the list goes on. The New World’s wine and winemakers demonstrate the drive to succeed. These areas are known for their innovative thinking and diversity of winemaking methods. The New World generally places more focus on making wine that embraces modern innovations than on making wine the way it has been made for generations.

Wine Characteristics Old World wine is likely to be lighter in body, high in acidity, and less fruity, with more characteristics of minerality, earthy notes, and terroir. “Terroir” is the place and its surroundings where it originates. This is due to a cooler climate. In general, New World wines tend to be fuller-bodied and have riper fruit flavours because they are produced in hotter areas and come from former colonies like the United States. They frequently include more alcohol as well. From a style viewpoint, this has meant that the Old World is linked to more “elegant” wine styles that reflect ancient methods, while the New World is known for its “fruit-forward” wines, which often develop into jammy, ripe fruit, fuller-bodied reds.

Although the aforementioned is very much a generalization and not always accurate. Variations in climate due to geographic location can lead to variations in taste. For instance, the warm Mediterranean environment of Southern Italy, although being an Old World location, influences the grapes, which tend to have a fuller body, medium to high alcohol content, and are riper with fruity aromas and earthy components (referred to as New World style). That being said, the modern New World is also advancing in cooler climates by cultivating Old World grape types, which produce wines with higher acidity and lower alcohol content (referred to as Old World style). In addition, the type of wine, grape variety, harvesting period, and winemaking methods will all affect how the final wine tastes.

Wine Making

Old-world winemaking is heavily restricted by guidelines that must be followed. The regulations are vast, from soil to bottling and release, such as grape varieties permitted, the quantity of yield, labelling terms, choice of glass bottles, winemaking traditions, and techniques. These are only a few examples. Many other laws and regulations are to be followed. Most European AOPs (PDO-Protected Designation of Origin) are strictly monitored and regulated to ensure the tradition, style, and identity of their origin and to defend old practices. New World winemaking is modernized, experimental, and evolving with fewer restrictions and regulations. New World is free to decide on any grape variety to grow in regions, also referred to as zones or wards. Using any technique and experimenting with new styles of wine, embrace modern innovations such as stainless-steel tanks. Stainless steel tanks do not add any additional flavours to the wine, in contrast to wood barrels. The fruit consequently expresses itself even more fully, developing fruit-forward wines.

Both cultures can showcase their classic wines as well as newly developed, experimental wines. Over my ongoing educational journey, I have sampled a wide range of wines from around the globe in various styles. Isn't it time to try new varietals and uncover wines you have never seen or tasted? Perhaps something unexpectedly delicious that you identify will emerge; you may discover something delightful while learning something new.