What’s the Difference Between Old World and New World Wine?

Today, we’re making Bright Cellars survey history. In all our time asking survey questions, we’ve never had a poll this close. We asked our audience whether they prefer Old World wines or New World wines, and the results were split almost directly down the middle. 

  • 49.2% responded New World, I like my wines more fruit-forward.
  • 50.8% said Old World, I like mine more savory with notes of herbs or florals.

It came down to three votes, and Old World wine squeaked by as our winner.

We also asked our Bright Cellars Instagram community, and the audience was also split 50/50 with a few friends admitting they’re really not sure… what’s the difference? 

Reading these responses, we can see that you guys have the right idea – one isn’t necessarily across-the-board better than the other, they’re just different. 

The difference between Old World and New World 

When it comes to Old World versus New World wines, what’s the difference? The primary differentiator is the region in which the wine was produced, but we also see a difference in wine characteristics based on that growing climate. 


Old World regions are France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany, and others such as Hungary, Croatia, England, etc. 

The New World includes North America, South America, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and China.

Wine Characteristics 

Old World wines tend to have lighter body, lower alcohol, higher acidity, and less fruity, more mineral flavors. 

New World wines tend to have fuller body, higher alcohol content, lower acidity, and more pronounced fruit flavors. 

It’s not black and white. For example, there are many Old World regions that make fruity wines and vice versa, many New World regions that product more herbaceous, earthy wines.

At the end of the day, it’s up to personal preference whether you should opt for an Old World or New World. Many people are drawn to the allure of wine from Europe, but there’s also so much worth exploring in the New World.

When discussing the “world’s best wines,” that includes both worlds. For instance, the world’s best Pinot Noir comes from the Old World in Burgundy, France. 


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Bright Cellars

Our staff is full of passionate wine lovers. With our amazing sommeliers at the helm, we’ve been schooled on all things wine. We came together to write this article, in hopes of spreading a little wine-ducation with you.

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