For most of us, drinking wine is a matter of habit rather than connoisseurship. Yet we often fall into standard habits of wine selection and drinking without really understanding why. First of all, what’s the difference between New and Old World wines? According to Julien Drevon, sommelier at the Sarment Group in Singapore, it’s not simply a matter of location, but right down to the philosophies involved in winemaking.
Drevon, an expert in the business, tells us about a few habits we often observe in winemaking, from smelling the cork to our preferences in wines, and breaks it down for us why we adhere to these habits even if we don’t really understand it ourselves. Here’s a few quick pointers for you.
1. Old World versus New World
The older winemaking regions are defined by the more traditional methods employed in wine making, from the maturation of grapes to their processing, while New World winemakers often experiment with innovative techniques for extraction and ageing.
2. Screw caps or corks
The former is ideal if you have a bottle of wine that doesn’t really need to age further in the bottle. It ensures the wine doesn’t oxidise and keeps it in good condition. The latter is better for sophisticated reds, for example, that could do with a few more years in the bottle.
3. Smelling the cork
You’re not going to be able to clearly decipher the character of the wine, so the next time someone does that and claims to be able to experience the complex bouquet of the wine, you can go ahead and roll your eyes. But it does show if the wine has oxidised, or has been kept in less than ideal conditions.
Check out the video to find out more gems from Drevon.