Old World vs. New World...

Large 'bolte' barrels in Italy Why do French and Italian wines tend to be more subtle, and California wines tend to be more bold and fruit-forward? The following tip has helped me tremendously in learning about the wines of the world. When Deanna and I traveled to Italy for our honeymoon, we found that European red wines tended to be softer and more refined than the bolder and fruit-forward California wines. The big reds of Italy (Barolo and Barbera might be exceptions). We expected BIG reds, but repeatedly found softer reds. Hmmmm. Why is this? A book by Master Sommelier Andrea Immer (Great Wine Made Simple) helped me understand the difference, thus helping me choose wines at the market or wine shop. Here is her tip, plagiarized and paraphrased. She calls it the "Secret Weapon of Sommeliers". She states that this tip is her #1 tip in her wine server training courses. It is her #1 tip to help the restaurant guest find the right bottle of wine. The tip? know the difference between OLD WORLD and NEW WORLD styles.

This is a way to predict the style and flavor of the wine just by reading the label to determine the country of origin. This is over-simplification, but simply divide the wine world into two parts, the Old World, and the New World. "Old World,", means wines of subtlety and grace, balanced and elegant wines that show the earthy nature of the soil in which they grow (a character that the experts call "terroir"). "New World," in contrast, means big, aggressive wines. In short...

Old World vs. New World Old World New World
Wine Types subtler-style wines bolder-style wines
Countries France, Italy, Spain, and Germany United States, Chile, Argentina, Australia, and South Africa

Details...

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