This month in WineCollective’s subscription packages, we are featuring a number of wines that would be considered “Old World”. Sound too snobby for you? Let’s break it down a bit.
What is “Old World” wine?
Wines that originate in countries that first started winemaking – including France and Italy, which both produced wines featured in this month’s subscription! Old World countries are mostly located in the Mediterranean, but also includes countries like Turkey, Armenia, And Moldova.
Is “Old World” wine better than “New World”?
This is fully dependant upon the wine drinker’s tastes. Old World wines are more heavily restricted in how they can be produced and favour tradition over experimentation. Similar to trends in clothing where vintage is cool – Old World wine vs New World can ebb and flow in popularity. Both kinds have a lot to offer and both have fantastic options to imbibe.
Some grape varietals can be found in both old and new world wines, but have very different taste profiles. An example of the this is Syrah (France) vs Shiraz (Australia). Syrah wines are known for deep, rich flavours whereas Shiraz is generally very fruit forward. Similarly, the two main regions for Sauvignon Blanc are France and New Zealand. Both countries grow the same grape, but produce very different wines – again with France offering a more earthy palate over New Zealand’s fruit-forward profile. These are of course generalizations and you will encounter the occasional wine that falls out of line with tradition.
Does it really matter which “world” wine is from?
That depends! Sick of hearing that answer? The thing is, wine preference is highly personal and as we just mentioned, the same grapes can have a different taste depending on where they are grown. A collector, for example, might care more about originating country than someone who is stocking their home to share wine with guests. What’s important is knowing the tenets of selecting wine and prioritizing what you favour: style, level of sweetness, and primary flavour. These factors are often way more important when choosing a wine than originating country – especially when you are learning and getting a feel for what you enjoy.
Want to learn even more about the different worlds of wine? Madeline Puckette of Wine Folly does a great taste and explains the differences between an old world and new world Pinot Noir:
While “Old World Wine” carries an air of sophistication in its name, it by no means overrides the great wine that can be produced in a “New World Wine” country. We encourage wine drinkers to experiment, be flexible, and have fun in the process of learning what wine works for you. One of the things that makes WineCollective so great is that we allow you to explore new wines without the hassle of guessing at the liquor store. Wine discovery should be fun and exciting! If you want to learn more about the different worlds of wine every month, we encourage you to take a look at our subscription offerings. Happy exploring!