Wine may come from all over the world, but did you know that it technically only falls into two worldly categories? That’s right! All wine can be classified as either old world or new world. Keep reading to learn all about old world wine, including the countries it is made in, naming conventions, taste characteristics, and the delicious old world wine varieties we have on hand at Land O Lakes Winery.
What Is Old World Wine?
Wine Folly defines old world wine as wines that are from any country or region where “winemaking (with Vitis vinifera grapes) first originated.”
While some wines do get better with age, 99% of all the wine produced in the world actually doesn’t. So, which wines are age worthy and which ones should you drink right away? Keep reading as we explore what makes wine age worthy as well as five popular wines that are meant for cellaring and five types of vino you should enjoy sooner rather than later.
What Makes Wine Age Worthy?
The 1% of age worthy wines on the market lend themselves to cellaring because they have specific characteristics that allow them to become better with time. These traits include:
- High acidity levels
- Moderate to high tannins
- Either low, balanced or high alcohol levels depending on the type of wine
- Higher residual sugar levels
- Low VA (volatile acidity)
All About Sweet Wines
Curious about sweet wine? You’ve come to the right place! Keep reading to learn all about sweet wine, including the different ways winemakers craft it, the different levels of sweetness, and the different types of sweet wine available in the wine world.
How Do Winemakers Make Sweet Wine?
What exactly makes sweet wines…well, sweet? The short answer? The amount of residual sugar that did not convert into alcohol during the fermentation process determines how sweet a wine will be. The long answer? It’s not a matter of just adding sugar to make wine sweet. Actually, the process of making wine sweet will vary by the type of wine being made.
For example, winemakers of Sauternes or sweet Rieslings will use grapes affected with noble rot (Botrytis). Someone making an Italian Passito will use grapes that have been dried on straw to create a raisin-like quality. When making a Champagne Doux, which is the sweetest type of Champagne you can get, the winemaker will engage in a process known as dosage, which is adding sugar to Champagne right before corking. Another popular method of making sweet wines is using late harvest grapes because the longer grapes are left on the vine, the sweeter they become. Winemakers in Germany and France’s Alsace region often use late harvest grapes when crafting Pinot Gris and Riesling.