When it comes down to it, wine is produced in two major areas of the world. The old world and the new world. These two places have their similarities, but they also have many differences. Once you get to know these differences, blind-tasting a flight of wine can become much easier. Here, I’m going to talk a little bit about the New World. The countries considered as “New World” wine countries are: the United States, Canada, Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, and many more.
When blind-tasting wines, there are a few key factors to look for that will hint it comes from the new world. In my opinion, the main factor to look for is the alcohol level. Wine produced in the new world tends to have a higher alcohol level which, can usually, become apparent in the wine. A lot of new world wines also tend to be sweeter. It makes sense though because more sugar usually equals more alcohol.
There are so many countries, regions, and subregions within the new world, but let’s take a look at a few of them to get a bit more familiar with regional wines:
- California- California is a major player in the wine making business. Mondavi, one of the world’s finest wineries, is located in the heart of Napa Valley, California. Not only is California well known for Napa Valley, but it also has other subregions such as Sonoma County, Lake County, Mendocino County, the Central Coast, and the Central Valley. The one varietal most people associate California with is Chardonnay.
- Australia- Although Australia is massive in size, most of the country has terrain that is unsuitable for viticulture. However, it still doesn’t stop this country for producing some great wines. Some major regions of winemaking in Australia are the Limestone Coast, Big Rivers, South West Australia, Queensland, Central Victoria, and Port Phillip. Many regions in Australia are known to produce a lot of Syrah, otherwise known as Hermitage.
- New Zealand- New Zealand, although smaller in size in comparison to Australia, still make quality bottles of wine. Because of the country’s size and limited production, wine from New Zealand tend to be priced higher than those of wines from Australia. In some situations, they may even be priced twice as much. A few of the regions in New Zealand are Auckland known for Merlot, Gisborne known for Chardonnay, Marlborough known for Sauvignon Blanc, and many more.