Wine and grape types here have been organized according to the color of the wine, with dessert and refreshment wines finishing up the list. Many grapes, though originally grown in one region of the world, are now harvested globally. Though these wines will share many of the same characteristics, the grapes' origin (thanks to differences in soil, sun, and climate) means that wines with the same name, but from different countries, can be very a far cry from one another.|
Sometimes, you will come across terms like "Old World" and "New World". This is an easy way for people to differentiate between European wines and wines from places like the United States, Canada, South Africa, Argentina, Chile, Australia and New Zealand. It's a figurative term — we all share the same world, of the same age. Old World countries are those that have been making wines for hundreds, even thousands, of years. They have practiced and refined techniques, and often have strict regulations as to what grapes can be grown in what regions, what type of barrels can be used, and how high or low alcohol levels can be. Old World wines are steeped in tradition, and often reflect the specific area where the grapes are grown.
New World countries are relatively young in the wine making world; grapes for wine (called "Vitis vinifera") were brought to countries like the United States, Argentina, and Australia with European colonizers. As such, tradition has played less of a role in these wines than experimentation, and you will find a wide variety of grape varieties and wine styles in New World countries. New World wines are often described as fruit-forward and bold, and usually feature higher alcohol levels than their Old World counterparts; this is due in part to nature, and in part to nurture. Whether you prefer Old World wines or New World wines is simply up to your palate — and perhaps what is on your plate.
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The original document is available at http://www.vintnerscircle.com/uncorked/WineTypes