31st July - Old World vs. New World - which is better?
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- We pit wines from different continents against one another!
- Tasting Tickets
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If you've been in a wine shop you've probably heard the terms 'Old World' and 'New World' used to describe the origin of some of the bottles. Typically the Old World refers to countries where wine making has been going on since ancient times. In fact the spread of the Roman Empire closely maps a lot of Europe's oldest wine producing countries. In general then, European and Mediterranean countries are the Old World.
The New World, on the other hand, we can generally think of as being wine growing countries that were settled by colonists from the old world. Often these settlers would bring vines from home with them helping to spread traditionally European varieties all over the globe. Roman Catholics were particularly central to the spread of wine production to the New World, driven as they were by the need for communion wine! Australia, New Zealand, Argentina and Chile are all examples of wine producing countries in the New World
Because of their long history it could be broadly argued that Old World wines tend too be produced in a more traditional way than their New World counterparts. Often this is because the long standing techniques and practices of the area have become enshrined in local appellation law. New World wines meanwhile often have more flexibility in how they are grown, made and labelled leaving more room for innovation and individuality.
There are also climatic differences between the Old and New World. Generally New World countries are warmer and sunner than the Old World. This has a huge impact on the grapes in the vineyard and can result in the same variety taking on a very different profile depending on where it is grown. Generally the New World will produce grapes with a higher level of ripeness than the Old World.
Because of these production and climate differences, Old World and New World has also come to mean something about the style of a particular wine, rather than solely about the location. Old World wines, are typically lighter wines with lower alcohol levels, while New World wines are often bigger and bolder, with a higher alcohol content and sweeter, fruitier flavours.
Join us from 7pm as we pit the two worlds head to head - using the same grape varieties - in order to explore the differences between them.
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