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Okay folks, there was enough response to a recent thread that I though I'd make it official Wink

Lets define our terms first.

NEW WORLD - US, S. America, Australia, NZ obviously, anywhere else. S. Africa?

OLD WORLD - Europe, Eastern Europe, North Africa

Alta posted the following and I can't honestly say I've had enough French, Italian, Spanish and other Old World wines to dispute it. I certainly can dispute with what I've tasted from the US. But the following quote is a compare and contrast and its the relativity of Old to New that seems to matter.

Originally posted by Alta Skier:
I tend to view the old world wines as more fruit driven because there is not as much reliance on oak. I am even of the opinion that oak slathered on too heavily is a flaw in wine. I really enjoy the old world style of wine because I like the fruit to be what is more discernable in my wines. I am hopeful that this style of winemaking does not go by the wayside.

As I mentioned before, IMO this is opposite of everything I know, but then again, I don't know much.... but I know I love wine.
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Originally posted by Purple Teeth:
Exceptions abound, but below is how I generally differentiate between old and new world wines:


subtle oak / heavy oak
low alcohol / high alcohol
dry / off dry
subtle fruit / overt fruit
high acid / low acid
earthy / clean
elegant / exuberant
food friendly / food ambivalent
light – med. bodied / heavy bodied
complex / less complex
This, like all generalities and stereotypes isn't true in all or even most cases. So I agree and disagree. Cool
I totally understand what Alta was saying. You can taste the fruit in old world style wines, it is not masked by excessive oak or so much alcohol that the wine is so hot that you really don't taste anything. Being fruity and having good fruit taste are two differnt things. Personally I want wine to taste like wine not oak koolaid with vodka.

Yesterday was the first that I’ve been here in about 3 weeks so therefore I just came across this thread. I probably worded my defense of old-world wines inappropriately when I said that they are more fruit driven. What I notice in many new world wines is that while there is a good, sometimes excessive, amount of fruit, I often find that that fruit is obscured by excessive oak and alcohol. Often I find myself thinking that I am drinking a mélange of who-knows-what. In general, I find the old world style to be better balanced, multi-dimensional, and nuanced to a degree that is often not found with new world wine. That being said, there are many new world wines that I do appreciate when I am in the mood for them. Also, to clarify, I consider wines from new world producers that are crafted in the old world style to be old world wines.
I think Purple Teeth gave a superb, albeit generalized explanation of the differences. Have you taken your exams with the Court of Master Sommeliers? This is very similar to the generalized explanation for the old/new discussion.

As GA stated, however, there clearly are exceptions, as the Old World is starting to lose its identity and the world of wine gets smaller and more homogenized.

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