Wine is truly a global product these days. There is hardly a country were wine is not made, although its origins remain in the Middle East (Georgia, Turkey) and wine culture was first fully developed later in Greece, Italy and France. Therefore, Europe is often referred to as the Old World, while the wine regions in countries like Chile, Argentina, USA, Australia and New Zealand are called the New World.
While there used to be differences especially in the wine styles from both areas, in the 21st century these are becoming less and less pronounced. For example, the New World was once known for its innovative techniques, as opposed to antiquated methods of winemaking in Europe. But these distinctions are disappearing fast, and regions like the Languedoc in France are as innovative nowadays as Australia.
Wine regions all over the world have a lot in common: you can eat and drink as well in Stellenbosch in South Africa as you can in Tuscany; driving through the Australian Barossa Valley is as exciting as cycling past the big estates in Bordeaux!
It's time to test your knowledge of the Old World and the New World with our short quiz - how well do you know the wine world?
1. Grape varieties have travelled around the world quite a bit. In what New World country is Loire-grape Chenin known as Steen?
2. The screw cap is used the world over, both in the Old and the New World. But in what country was the screw cap first used commercially?
3. Really old vines are a rarity in the world, since the large grape louse epidemic in the second half of the 19th century. But some countries luckily have remarkably old ones. For example, in Australia the oldest vines date from 1843. True or False?
4. Several countries claim signature grapes. What is THE red grape Argentina is known for?
5. Ice wine is a special wine from Germany and Austria, made from grapes that are left hanging till the first frosts freeze them. Several New World countries have started to make ice wine too, even Canada and China. True or False?
6. Which three countries together have the world largest amount of organic and biodynamic vineyards (in hectares)?
7. The Old World has welcomed the Australian winemakers to learn New World techniques from them and make use of their knowledge. By what name are those Australian winemakers known?
8. Winemaking in the New World is not so young as you think. When were the first vines planted in a New World wine country?
9. The grape variety Riesling is found in...
10. Wines which have heavy oak flavours are a characteristic of the New World. Therefore the use of wooden containers to age wine is a typically New World invention. True of False?
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Photo Credits: Question 1 - bubblyprofessor.com. Question 2 - www.tangentwines.com. Question 4 - Wikipedia.org. Question 5 - theupperdecklx.com. Question 6 - patianna.com. Question 7 - www.thetower.org.