New World vs. Old World Comparative Tasting

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

This past Tuesday we welcomed back our wonderful and ever-smiling Food & Wine Magazine Guide to Wine author Mary Burnham to lead one of her favorite classes, a blind comparative tasting of New World vs. Old World wines.  Those who joined us for this exciting class varied from veterans of the wine business all the way to budding wine enthusiasts.

Mary began the class by presenting some useful information in order to detect what might be from the New World or what is clearly from the Old World.  After setting the class up with these helpful hints we dove right into wines.  Blindly tasting the wines in pairs, each couple represented the same grape varietal, the same vintage, but one presenting the New World and one for Old World.  Without knowing which was which, we had to follow our noses, eyes, and palates to help us uncover these mysteries.  After discussing our observations of each wine and just before Mary would unveil what the wines were, we conducted a vote to see who preferred which.  And the winner?  A very close match at 3-2 and the winner was….Old World!

Out of all of our paired wines, here was the comparison that I found most intriguing.  Knowing that both are from the 2011 vintage, you guess the varietal and which is the New World and Old World!    (Answer at the bottom)

  1. 1. Yellow hued, off-dry, medium body, medium (+) acid, complex with hints of key lime, passionfruit, lychee, orange blossom, honeysuckle, jasmine, apparent yet subtle minerality, and a long white pepper finish.
  1. 2. Pale gold, just slightly effervescent, light body, medium acid, fruity and herbal with notes of ripe peach, apricot, cinnamon, lime leaf, tarragon, light hint of earthy rubber, and a delicate citrus finish.

Thanks to Mary and Brian for an excellent comparative tasting with superb examples of both New World and Old World!

-Julie Albin

Wine List

  1. Villia Maria Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 Cellar Selection – New Zealand
  2. La Poussie Sancerre 2010 – Sauvignon Blanc from Loire Valley, FR
  3. Josef Hogl Riesling Federspiel 2011 – Wachau, Austria
  4. Dr. Konstantin Frank Finger Lakes Dry Riesling 2011 – New York State
  5. Bernard Moreau Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Vergers 2009 – Chard from Cote de Beaune
  6. Rochioli Russian River Valley Chardonnay 2009 – Sonoma, California
  7. Domaine de la Vougeraie Vougeot Clos du Prieure 2009 – Pinot Noir from Cote de Nuits
  8. Bethel Heights Casteel Reserve Eola-Amity Pinot Noir 2009 – Oregon
  9. Bernard Baudry Chinon Les Grezeaux 2002 – Cabernet Franc from Loire Valley, FR
  10. Del Dotto Napa Valley Cabernet Franc 2002 – California


#1   OLD WORLD  –   Josef Hogl Riesling Federspiel 2011 – Wachau, Austria

#2   NEW WORLD –   Dr. Konstantin Frank Finger Lakes Dry Riesling 2011 – New York State

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