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Jan 11, 2011 07:43 PM

What IS "Old World" Wine?

Perhaps not European after all?

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  1. Generally "old world" refers to the entire Eastern Hemisphere, not limited to Europe.

    8 Replies
    1. re: Akitist

      Akitist: The Australians and Kiwis will be surprised.

      1. re: kaleokahu

        I've never heard the Antipodes called "new world", just the Americas. Never seen Aus. or NZ wine called new world, either.

        1. re: Akitist

          Akitist: Neither have I, but Aussies and Kiwis live in the Eastern Hemisphere. Are Israeli and Lebanese wines new or old world?

          The tongue-in-cheek point of my OP is that what passes for old world in most people's minds is largely a creature of their imagination or when they start counting when "old" is.

          1. re: kaleokahu

            From a British perspective the Americas, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa are always referred to as "New World" in terms of wine. We would consider the Near and Middle East to be old world for wine simply due to history and the development of civilisation. At the blind tasting dinners I attend one of the first issues is whether the wine is new or old world. Needless to say, we get as many wrong as we do right.

            1. re: Al Toon

              New World/Old World classification traditionally refers to the region or origin, but these days it is a term typically used to describe the wines style. Australian wine is text book new world (both origin and style)... In fact, the Australian wine industry (specifically the AWBC), fully embraces the concept of "new world" within their global positioning strategy.

              1. re: redips

                Al Toon & redips: redips says: "New World/Old World...these days it is a term typically used to describe the wines style." Al Toon says: "...whether the wine is new or old world...we get as many wrong as we do right."

                Thank you both. That was my point so far above in this thread--geographical distinctions have become virtually irrelevant. Given good grapes, it's a matter of style.

                1. re: kaleokahu

                  Yes, it does get confusing, especially if you use the noun "style" after New World or Old World. Many reds from the Margaret River in Australia are much more in the European style than, say, a Barossa wine. Similarly, I once took a Sonoma Cutrer chardonnay to a blind tasting where the first observaton was "it's definitely not Californian".

                  1. re: Al Toon

                    How funny. I just posted in the Buttery Chardonnay thread about Sonoma Cutrer and aging...tastes like a white Burg. I must not be the only one that thinks so!

    2. I don't believe anyone actually read the article, kaleokahu!

      3 Replies
        1. re: Ricardo Malocchio

          The Los Angeles Times ran the story a few days ago. I read it thinking it was an interesting archeological find, not so much from a wine viewpoint. Preserved by a layer of cement-like sheep dung indeed.

          Since the thread is trending toward style rather than geography, would anyone care to hazard a guess as to whether the wine produced there was Old or New World style?

          1. re: Akitist

            Akitist: Neither. No chemical testing, no mechanical crush, no cultured yeasts, no extraction enzymes, no sulfites, no chalk, no fining, no filters, no inert gas, no maturation in wood, no glass or cork, no pumps, probably no viticulture at all. All but pumps and gas are historically present, and all are still prevalent, in both Old and New World "styles".

            On the other hand, if an experienced, primitive winemaker were to have wanted--and learned by experience--to preserve his/her wine longer, s/he would have preferred a higher ABV and extended maceration, which others here equate with New World "style" and which would also mean darker, fruitier, more tannic and less acidic by dint of waiting longer to harvest and skins/fines in the wine.

            Interestingly, more to come was promised in this article concerning copper tools used in the process. Historically, copper casse has been an Old World problem.

        2. The oldest continuously producing wine region is the Republic of Georgia
          (from the Back Sea, not the USA) which has been making wine for 7000

          5 Replies
          1. re: bclevy

            bclevy: Can you recommend a Georgian wine?

            1. re: kaleokahu

              Mukuzani (dry), Kindzmarauli (semi-sweet) or Khvanchkara (semi sweet), all
              red wines. To be clear, I think these wines are interesting to try and drink from
              from time to time, but not regularly. I was introduced to them by
              an Ukranian friend (he paired Kindzmarauli with borscht). They are very
              popular with former residents of the USSR, and can often be found in places
              that sell East European foods.

                1. re: kaleokahu

                  I was given a bottle of Kindzmarauli by a Russian friend. Not to my taste but definitely drinkable. The borscht would make sense.