Selecting a wine can be confusing! Deciding between a red wine, white wine, and rosé can make it complicated enough. On top of that, throwing in growing regions adds an extra element. Believe it or not, there is actually another dimension to growing regions, which is the classification between Old World and New World wine. 

How-to Differentiate Old World and New World Wine: Know the Differences


One thing that helps to categorize Old World and New World wine is where it comes from. Old World wines include the wines made in France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Germany. These are the oldest, most traditional wine-growing regions in Europe. Therefore, at one time, all of the wine for the world would have come from these particular countries. 

New World wines refer to everything else. The most popular New World regions include Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, New Zealand, South Africa, and the U.S. (especially California). 

Taste Characteristics

Another difference between New World and Old World wine is how they vary in taste. The New World wines often grow in warmer climates. This climate grows grapes that are usually riper, and turn into a more alcoholic, fruit-centered, full-bodied wine. While this is not always the case, these wines are more likely to be aged in new oak. This gives the wine a stronger, vanilla-caramel like flavor to the wine. 

Old World wines tend to be lighter-bodied wine. They usually exhibit more herb, earth, mineral and floral components. Additionally, the grapes grown in this area have a shorter growing season, and end up being less ripe. They will be less alcoholic and less acidic. 


If you are trying to decide between buying an Old World and New World wine, the decision is really up to your personal preference. For example, there will be both high-quality and low-quality variations for each type of wine. In the same way, each type will have low-priced and high-priced versions as well. Everyone will have their own taste palate that they prefer, so it is best for you to just try each kind for yourself. 

One suggestion would be to compare a varietal from both worlds. A wine varietal is a wine that is made out of one single type of grape. For example, try a Riesling from New Zealand and also one from Germany and see which one you prefer. See if you can pick up the differences between the wines from the different worlds, and determine which style you like best.