New world or old world:
who has the best wines?

The debate over whether new world or old world wines are better has been around for a long time. Some people swear by the old-world wines, while others prefer the new-world options. Is it possible to put the argument to bed by examining the qualities of each ‘world’? Let’s explore and find out.

Old world wines

Old-world wines are typically made in Europe and the Middle East (although this is sometimes referred to as Ancient World). They are known for their classic, earthy flavours and the traditions used in their production, such as ageing in oak barrels. 

Of course, there are always exceptions, and you can pick up a Western European wine made with modern practices, or that has a surprisingly fruity flavour and new-world wines with strong old-world influences.

Of course, one of the greatest joys of a wine is to enjoy a bottle with loved ones that has passed through generations – there’s something special about sharing a bottle with family history. As the name suggests, this practice is much more prevalent in old-world wines that have had the opportunity to rest for decades.

Traditionally, old-world wines have featured lower alcohol levels, more tannin, higher acidity, and a subtle flavour often lacking in new-world wines. In recent years, however, this has been changing as old-world winemakers experiment with new ways of production while still maintaining the classic styles for which they are known.

Some notable old-world wines include:
• French Burgundy
• Bordeaux wines from France
• Rioja wines from Spain
• Italian Chianti
• Rieslings from Germany


New world wines

The new world of wine includes everywhere else – Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United States (with a focus on California wines). New-world wines are generally fruitier and have less complex flavours than their old-world counterparts. This is due to the climate, soils, and grape varietals used.

Grapes were exported to the new world from the old world, so the new world continues old-world traditions in many ways. The wines produced here are often blends of these grapes – which is why you’ll find a lot of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon wines coming out of California, for example.
Again, there are always exceptions – you can find new-world wines aged in barrels that have developed more complex flavours over time.

Some notable new-world wines include:
• Californian Chardonnay
• Australian Shiraz
• New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc
• Argentine Malbec
• South African Pinotage
• Chilean Carmenere


So, who has the best wines?
New world or old world?


The answer, as with most things in life, is that it depends on your personal preference. You might lean more towards the new world if you prefer fruity, approachable wines. If you prefer complex, classic flavours, then the old world might be more up your alley. Ultimately, it’s all about trying different wines and finding the ones you enjoy the most. Drink responsibly, but experiment! Cheers!