Old world and new world wine regions blend

Georges DuBoeuf 2011 Beaujolais-Villages (left) and Nederburg 2011 Winemaster's Reserve Cabernet...

Georges DuBoeuf 2011 Beaujolais-Villages (left) and Nederburg 2011 Winemaster's Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. (Handout)

Christopher Waters, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:15 PM ET

Gearing up for this semester’s wine classes, it became clear just how irrelevant distinctions between so-called Old World and New World regions have become. Pouring over old lecture notes that contrasted the tradition of classic European wine producing countries versus the technology and innovation of, well, virtually every other place actively fermenting grape juice seemed like talking points from a Flat Earth Society textbook.

British wine writer Hugh Johnson first noted the divide between the historic keepers of the vine and the newcomers from the sticks when he wrote the first edition of The World Atlas of Wine in 1971. Johnson explained that he needed a way of classifying the world’s wine regions.

He settled on documenting the cradle of wine, which, for most anyone drinking wine in 1971, meant France, Italy, Spain, Germany and spots around the Mediterranean basin. That scope seems impossibly small compared to the ground covered in the newly released seventh edition of The World Atlas of Wine, a mammoth tome by comparison which includes detailed maps of regions in Australia, South Africa and North America.

Such old notions die hard, however. Thoughts that culture and tradition profoundly shape the wine made by producers in France, Italy and the rest of the old guard fly in the face of news reports, such as that of a prominent Bordeaux wine producer monitoring his vineyards using remote controlled drones.

The worlds of wine are constantly in collaboration and cross-pollination. The term old-fashioned wine might be more apt, helping to single out the winemakers working diligently in vineyards around the world to make wines that showcase the place, the people and the growing season responsible for the flavour that ends up in the glass.

Those old souls could well be working in Piedmont or Tuscany, Burgundy or Bordeaux, but they could just as easily be working a patch of dirt in Prince Edward County or the Similkameen, Mornington Peninsula or Maipo. They’re no longer defined solely by their mailing address.

Wines of the Week:

*** Georges DuBoeuf 2011 Beaujolais-Villages, Burgundy, France, MB $13.99 (255810) | AB $13 | ON $12.95 (122077)

Light and fruity Gamay makes for one of the most aromatically pleasing and refreshing red wines on offer. DuBoeuf’s affordable version is a benchmark for the style. Gentle berry notes, subtle floral aromas and bright acidity make this a winning match for most poultry and pork dishes.

*** Nederburg 2011 Winemaster’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Western Cape, South Africa BC $12.99 (111526)| AB $13 | MB $13.49 (111526) | ON $11.45 (111526)

This affordable red strikes a good balance between ripeness and complexity. There’s appealing fruit and a soft texture with spice, chocolate and smoke notes to add interest. It’s a friendly style of Cabernet that will work nicely with hearty winter stews or baked pasta dishes.


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