kelly magyarics

washington, d.c.-based wine, spirits, travel & lifestyle writer / wine educator


Old World vs. New World

Yesterday I reviewed a White Bordeaux, and touched a bit upon the differences between OW and NW Sauvignon Blancs. Here are some reasons for the differences in style between wines from the Old World (i.e. Europe) and the New World (i.e. everywhere else!)

Keep in mind, though, that there are exceptions, of course, to the following:

Why the Differences between Old World and New World?

Different growing conditions:

  • OW—typically temperate, cool to mild, leads to lighter body and intensity
  • NW—warmer, sunnier spots (in general), leads to fuller-bodied, bolder wines

Differences in tastes and traditions:

  • OW—wine shares the stage with food—compliments, not overshadows it; food has deep, rich flavor, tradition is respected. "Wine is in the background, cuisine is the star."
  • NW—wine is bold, like the food (think of American BBQ, hot wings, Australian food (shrimp on the Barbie, Asian Fusion cooking), South American bold, spicy food)