Event: Blind Tasting! Hmmm, is it Old World or New World…?
Date: Wednesday, December 6, 2006
Location: Legal Beans, 86 Garden St (Newark & Garden), Hoboken, NJ
Time: 7:00 PM
December will be, once again, another new experience for the WV. With the expert guidance from our good friends at Sparrow Wines, we’ll be conducting our first blind wine tasting event — what a way to close out our first full year of the WV, eh? Come join us on Wednesday, December 6th at Legal Beans, and learn how to identify the distinct characteristics between Old World wines and a New World wines. Read on for some Old World/New World basics so we can attempt to impress our Sparrow Wine guest with our wine savvy.
The first and most striking observation one can make about how wine growing affects style and flavor is that there are basically two schools of thought on the subject: how the old world views the process, and how the new world views it. The old world is largely defined as the European continent including wine stalwarts France, Italy and Spain, as well as smaller central and eastern European producers. The new world includes the United States, South America, Australia and New Zealand.
The difference between the two can be summed up succinctly:
- The Old World growing style imparts more subtle flavors and qualities
- The New World growing style imparts bolder flavors and qualities
The old world places a heightened emphasis on the land imparting that distinct quality to a wine. This is also known as terrior. The vineyard itself is sacred ground as the subtleties of its soil, climate and geography impart complex and often unexpected flavors and scents to a wine. Often these wines are described as more earthy, that is, having more of an organic component to them.
In contrast, new world wines are often created by mixing and matching grapes from different vineyards (even as they stick to one grape style like Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah etc), relying on a new science of wine growing and wine making that sprung out of California’s U.C. Davis in the 1950’s to impart bolder flavors and scents.
So, when tasting your first sips of wine, the most simple and straightforward question you can ask yourself is “Is this a more subtle, old world wine, or a bolder, new world wine?” Once you know the answer to that question, you’re well on your way to understanding exactly what you are tasting!
As this will be our first blind tasting, to ensure we have a nice mix of both Old World/New World wine, there will be one or two extra “rules” to keep in mind when purchasing and bringing your bottle to this months event. Please review the OTHER category below to determine if you will be bringing an Old World or New World wine, and, whatever wine you bring, PLEASE remember to bring it in a bag.
Janelle Marté, Co-founder
Wine: Red (see Other)
Bottle Price: $25 and under per bottle
Challenge: Being that it will officially be the holiday season, decorate your wine bag in whatever holiday you celebrate during this festive time. If you do not celebrate any holiday, decorate your bag in whichever way you’d like. Whoever has the best bag, will win a surprise prize. (It’s a good one, too!)
Other: Members with last name beginning in letters:
A-M: Bring a bottle of Old World wine
N-Z: Bring a bottle of New World wine