Old World vs New World Wines

old world vs new world wines

There has always been a lot of discussion about Old World vs New World wines. Many wine lovers have strong opinions on which one is better.

So, what are the differences between these two types of wines? And, more importantly, which one will you prefer?

Table of Contents

What's The Difference Between Old World and New World Wines?


Old World vs New World Wine Regions

  • Old world wines are typically produced in traditional winemaking regions such as France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Austria, and Greece. These regions have centuries-old winemaking traditions that emphasize terroir (the combination of soil type, climate & geography) over grape variety. 
  • New World wines on the other hand are typically produced in newer viticultural regions such as California, Australia, South Africa, NZ, or Chile that focus more on producing varietal-driven wines with distinct fruit flavors.

Taste Profile

old world vs new world wines Differences

Old World Taste Profile

  • Old World wines tend to be more subtle in their flavor profiles with complex layers of EARTHY tones. And they often have a tannic structure that adds complexity but also requires some aging before they can reach their peak.
  • Additionally, they are typically lighter bodied with lower alcohol levels.
  • And they also tend to have higher acidity which makes them perfect for pairing with food because they can cut through fat without overpowering delicate flavors.
  • Finally in terms of style, old world wines often feature classic blends such as Bordeaux or Côtes du Rhône.

New World Taste Profile

  • New World wines are bigger and bolder than their old-world counterparts, they tend to be richer in flavor with bolder FRUIT notes.
  • Also, they’re normally fuller bodied wines with higher alcohol levels and less acidity.
  • And New World producers tend towards single varietal expressions such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Zinfandel. 


  • Many wine-producing regions of the Old World prefer to identify their wines by where they come from (region).
  • While New World wines are typically done by identifying the grape varietal used.

Wine Making Techniques

Lastly, there is a difference in the winemaking techniques used by old world vs new world producers.

  • Old World wineries tend to adhere strictly to traditional techniques (that are regulated) such as using natural yeasts for fermentation or minimum aging in oak barrels for complex flavor development.
  • While New World wineries may embrace modern techniques such as temperature-controlled fermentation tanks or stainless-steel tanks for faster production times. 

Climate Change

With temperatures on the rise globally, wine regions are growing progressively warmer in both Old World and New World vintages. 

Nowadays, it’s quite usual to come across Old World wines with a higher alcoholic content due to increased ripeness of the grapes caused by heightened temperature levels.


Old World vs New World – which is better? The answer is subjective; it all comes down to personal preference!

A good way to determine which type of wine suits your palate best is by trying both styles side-by-side – you might be surprised at what you find!

Here are some options for you to try and get a better understanding of both worlds:

Ultimately whether you prefer an old school Barolo or a modern-day Malbec it all comes down to discovering what tastes best for you! So, grab a glass (or two or three!) and start exploring today!  


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