No I’m not refering to your age. The next A to Z is N.
For New world/Old world
These are probably terms that you’ve come across before, but what exactly do they mean?
First off: the term Old World refers to the countries where the grape vine (latin name: vitis vinifera) used to make all the wines we know and love originates from. Very simply this includes most of Europe and countries around the eastern Mediterranean. In these countries they have been making wine for hundreds if not thousands of years and as a result they have lots of laws and legislation to protect the tradition that has grown up around the regions. For example, can you make Champagne anywhere in world? No, you can only make it in the delimited region in northern France, and it must be made sparkling by the traditional method and you can only use certain grape varieties to make it (amongst lots of other things)…
The New World countries are ones where the vitis vinifera grape vine was exported out to, these principally being the Americas, South Africa, New Zealand and OZ. These countries have fewer laws, and as a result are much more open to experimentation.
There are lots of generalisations and preconceptions that people have about old world wines vs new world wines, but the main difference of importance is the styles of wine that they are aiming to make are different.
In the old world on the whole their wines are made to be consumed with food, therefore what they value is the structure of the wine. These things are not exactly something a novice would appreciate about a wine. New world wines are generally made to be very fruit-driven in style and therefore are generally more easy-drinking, approachable and can be drunk alone.
So if you’re only just starting to get into wine chances are you’ll prefer the fruitier, easy-drinking styles that the new world has to offer. Whereas if you’ve been around the (wine) block a bit then you’re more likely to appreciate the structured styles of the old world.
What’s your preference? Are you old or new?