We love WINE, whether it’s paired with a fabulous meal or simply enjoyed by the glass. We have tried to get smarter about wine over the past 10 years. Last Fall, we organized a blind French wine tasting lesson with our friend, Nico and his father, Eric. Last week, we attended an Old World vs. New World wine tasting competition, hosted by our friends, Yuyu and Leila. We are excited to share our evening with you.
The primary difference between Old World and New World wines is geographic:
- Old World: Countries or regions where winemaking first originated such as France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain. These countries have been producing wine for thousands of years.
- New World: Countries or regions where winemaking was imported during and after the age of exploration such as Argentina, Australia, Chile, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States.
|Source: Wine Folly|
Winemaking practices and regional climate affect the taste of wine:
- Old World wines tend to be lighter, have less alcohol, higher acidity and less fruity
- New World wines are usually riper, have higher alcohol, less acidity and more fruity
There are plenty of exceptions to the rules above as winemakers have some control over how a wine ages and will ultimately taste.
Twinspirational wine tasting tips:
- Set up glassware before guests arrive
- Have one glass per person per flight of wine
- Use markers to label glasses. You can either write guest’s names or get creative use different wine making regions. The hosts marked our glasses with a wine producing country and #1 or #2 for the flight number
- Create tasting notes for your guests
Yuyu and Archana poured the wines for the group. One bottle can be sufficient for a group of 12. The wine pours for our Blind Wine Tasting were rather large (we had 2 bottles for a group of 13). We sampled white and red wines from both Old World and New World regions. The guests, including ourselves, were determined to figure out the varietal and wine making region. We sipped on four flights of wine and each tasting consisted of 2-3 wines, including:
- Pinot Gris Willamette Valley: Oregon | Pinot Grigio: Italy
- Sancerre: France | Chenin Blanc Viognier: South Africa | Sauvignon Blanc: New Zealand
- Bourgogne: France | Pinotage: South Africa | Brouilly: France
- Cabernet Sauvignon: Napa | Cabernet Sauvignon: Italy
Every wine tasting needs a cheese plate! Cheese enhances the flavor of wine. Crackers cleanse the palette in between wine pours. The key to a wine and cheese buffet is a variety of color, texture and flavor. Leila and Yuyu served crackers with hummus and tapenade dip. Cheeses included: Purple Haze goat cheese, Tête de Moine, Drunken Goat and Gouda. Olives and grapes are also great accompaniments. Archana made some red, yellow and white chocolate truffles.
We also played a few games – Apples to Apples and Jenga.
Thanks Yuyu and Leila for organizing a wonderful Old World vs. New World wine tasting.
“Life is too short to drink bad wine.”― Anonymous