WHAT’S OLD IS NEW: A Global Dining Experience

The world of wine has an imaginary dividing line. Wines are often described as Old World or New World. The term ‘New World’ originally was coined to describe the Americas during the period of discovery, but in wine vernacular it essentially includes all wine countries outside of the classic European, North African and Near East wine producing regions. But differences go beyond geography as there are more deep-rooted philosophical differences between Old World and New World wine producers.

Old World wines are often terroir driven, while New World counterparts have embraced technology to create fruit-forward wine styles. Of course, exceptions exist and the differences of Old World versus New World blur as the producers around the globe begin emulating the best qualities of each other.

The NSLC Festival of Wines, our annual celebration featuring the best wines from across the globe, is fast approaching. Get ready by inviting friends over for a dinner to discover the differences and celebrate the similarities between Old World and New World wine styles, with dishes to match each.

PINOT GRIGIO

Pinot Grigio is Northern Italy’s most popular white wine. The grapes are often picked early to retain their freshness. The reduced time on the vine also contributes to their subtle flavours. New World Pinot Grigio tends to be fruitier, gaining more orchard fruit flavours and even some floral notes. The wines tend to have less acid compared to their Italian cousins.

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Old World

Classic Growing Region(s): Northern Italian regions including Veneto, Friuli and Trentino-Alto Adige
Flavours: Lime, Apple Pear, Bitter Almond, Pea, Lemon & Pear Risotto
4 to 6 servings
Prep time: Less than 30 minutes
Total time: Less than 1 hour

  • 1 litre of vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 1/4 cups Arborio rice
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 cup fresh peas
  • 1 lemon, zest, juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 ripe pear, peeled, cored, diced
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan, grated
  • Knob butter

Directions: Place vegetable stock in a pot over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. In another pot, place olive oil. Set over medium low heat. Add onion and sauté until soft and translucent. Add Arborio rice. Sauté until rice is covered in oil and rice toasted. Add white wine and stir. When the wine has been fully absorbed by the rice, add a ladleful of stock. When the stock has been absorbed, add another ladle of stock. Repeat until all the stock has been used. About three quarters through the process, add peas, lemon zest and lemon juice. When all the stock has been absorbed, add pear, Parmesan and butter. Stir. Serve warm.

Pair with: Villa Sandi Pinot Grigio, Italy, $16.99

Did You Know?

Pinot Gris is the same grape as Pinot Grigio. Wines labelled as Pinot Gris tend to be riper, showcasing more floral and orchard fruit aromas. They sometimes have some residual sweetness and boast waxy fruit flavours on the palate.

New World

Classic Growing Region(s): New Zealand, Oregon
Flavours: Pear, Lemon, Apricot, Floral Saffron Risotto with Shrimp
4 to 6 servings
Prep time: Less than 30 minutes
Total time: Less than 1 hour

  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 1 large pinch of saffron
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 1/4 cups Arborio rice
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 orange, zest
  • 1/ 2 cup Parmesan, grated
  • Knob of butter

Directions: Place vegetable stock and saffron in pot over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer. In another pot, place olive oil. Set over medium-low heat. Add onion and sauté until soft and translucent. Add Arborio rice. Sauté until rice is covered in oil and rice toasted. Add white wine and stir. When the wine has been fully absorbed by the rice, add a ladleful of stock. When the stock has been absorbed, add another ladle of stock. Repeat until all the stock has been used. When all the stock has been absorbed add orange zest, Parmesan and butter. Stir. Serve warm.

Pair with: Oyster Bay Hawkes Bay Pinot Grigio, New Zealand, $21.99

CHARDONNAY

Chardonnay is a bit of a chameleon as it grows anywhere. Some winemakers go so far as to describe its willingness to grow as being like a weed. It is sometimes produced as an unoaked wine, often in cooler climates such as Chablis, where it showcases its green apple, citrus and mineral character. More often it is barrel aged, as is the tradition of Burgundy’s Cote de Beaune. Old World versions display a balance of oak character with mild fruit flavours while the ripest of New World versions have more apparent oak tones and riper tropical fruit flavours.

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Old World

Classic Growing Region(s): Burgundy (Cotes de Beaune, Chablis)
Flavours: Butter, Hazelnut, Citrus, Apple, Mineral, Stone Fruit, Pan-Roasted Chicken Thighs with Mustard, Tarragon Cream
4 Servings

Prep time: Less than 30 minutes

Total time: Less than 1 hour

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 small onion, diced.
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 cup of chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp fresh tarragon, finely chopped

Directions: Preheat oven to 450°F. Place olive oil in a large sauté pan set over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, place chicken thighs in the pan skin side down. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until skin is crispy. Flip the chicken and place on a baking sheet. Roast for 10 to 15 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through (periodically pierce the skin with a skewer, when juices run clear, the chicken is cooked). While the chicken is roasting make the sauce. Reduce heat of sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add olive oil, butter and onion. When the onion is soft and translucent, deglaze with white wine. Stir with a wooden spoon to release the brown bits (full of flavour) on the bottom of  the pan. Add chicken stock, 1/2 cup cream, Dijon mustard and reduce until thick and creamy (15 minutes). Finish with finely chopped fresh tarragon. Let chicken rest for 5 minutes before serving. Pour sauce over chicken. Serve with roasted potatoes and seasonal vegetables.

Pair with: Labouré-Roi Bourgogne Chardonnay, France, $21.99

New World

Classic Growing Region(s): Coastal California, Southeastern & Western Australia, Chile (Casablanca Valley), South Africa’s Western Cape, Ontario
Flavours: Butter, Vanilla, Caramel, Baking Spice, Citrus, Apple, Tropical Fruit, Pan-Roasted Chicken Thighs with Curry Sauce
4 Servings
Prep time: Less than 30 minutes
Total time: Less than 1 hour

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 small white onion, finely diced
  • 1 cob corn, kernels removed
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 can coconut milk

Directions: Preheat oven to 450°F. Place olive oil in a large sauté pan set over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, place chicken thighs in the pan skin side down. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until skin is crispy. Flip the chicken and place on a baking sheet. Roast for 10 to 15 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. While the chicken is roasting make the curry sauce. Place a sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add butter, white onion, corn kernels and curry powder. Sauté for 3 minutes. Add coconut milk. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and let cook for 15 to 20 minutes. Serve over chicken.

Pair with: Clos du Bois Chardonnay, USA, $18.99 

CABERNET BLENDS

Cabernet Sauvignon’s historic home is France’s Bordeaux region. Here, in the Medoc sub-region, it ripens on gravelly soils which reflect heat. These wines are blends of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and other grapes, which makes them rich and full-bodied but made in a dry, structured style. New World versions tend to be riper and fruitier, with ample tannins but typically less astringent.

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Old World

Classic Growing Region(s): Bordeaux, Tuscany, Penedes (Spain)
Flavours: Cassis, Violet, Mineral, Pepper, Tobacco, Cedar, Liquorice Entrecote (Rib Steak with Red Wine Sauce)
4 Servings
Prep time: Less than 30 minutes
Total time: More than 1 hour

  • 4 rib steaks
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • Pinch salt & pepper
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 shallots, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1/2 cup beef stock
  • Thyme sprig, leaves removed

Directions: Set grill to medium high. Rub steaks with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill for 6 to 8 minutes per side. Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. While the steak is cooking, place a sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add butter and shallots. Sauté until soft. Add red wine, beef stock and thyme leaves. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer. When the sauce has reduced by half its volume, finish with salt and pepper to taste.

Pair with: Les Charmes de Magnol, France, $23.99

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New World

Classic Growing Region(s): California, Western Australia, Southeastern Australia, Chile
Flavours: Blackberry, Cassis, Mint, Eucalyptus, Vanilla, Coconut, Rib Eye with Mint Sauce
4 Servings
Prep time: Less than 30 minutes
Total time: More than 1 hour

  • 4 rib steaks
  • 1/3 cup + 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Pinch salt & pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1 cup fresh parsley
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • Pinch dried chili flakes

Directions: Set grill to medium-high. Rub steaks with 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill for 6 to 8 minutes per side. Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. While the steak is cooking, place garlic, mint leaves, parsley, red wine vinegar, 1/3 cup olive oil, pinch salt, pinch pepper, and dried chili flakes in a food processor. Blend until well combined.

Pair with: Marques Casa Concha Cabernet Sauvignon, Chile, $23.99

SYRAH / SHIRAZ

While there are common links between Old World Syrah and New World Shiraz — Syrah and Shiraz are the same grapes — the most classic of these styles are divergent in character. Old World versions (often blended with other grapes such as Grenache, Mouvedre, Cinsault and others) are more savoury with herbal, pepper and olive tones mixing with black cherry-like flavours. The epitome of New World Shiraz, coming from Southeastern Australia, is much riper, more concentrated and often quite jammy in character.

Old World

Classic Growing Region(s): Languedoc-Roussillon (France), Rhone Valley (France)
Flavours: Liquorice, Olive, White Pepper, Bacon, Herb, Rosemary Skewered Lamb with Green Olive Tapenade

6 Servings
Prep time: Less than 30 minutes
Total time: Less than 30 minutes

  • Lamb
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 lemons, zest, juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 tbsp rosemary, finely chopped
  • 2 lbs lamb loin, chopped into cubes
  • Rosemary spears
  • Pinch salt
  • Pinch pepper
  • Green Olive Tapenade
  • 1 cup green olives,
  • pitted, chopped
  • 2 tsp fresh rosemary leaves
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/ 4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon, zest, juice

Directions: Prepare lamb by combining garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil and fresh rosemary in a large resealable plastic bag and shake to combine. Add lamb loin. Marinate lamb overnight. Remove lamb from bag and thread onto  rosemary skewers (all but top leaves removed). Season with salt and pepper. Grill lamb on barbeque preheated to medium-high for 8 to 10 minutes. Turn lamb a few times to make sure it cooks evenly. Meanwhile make a green olive tapenade by combining pitted green olives, fresh rosemary leaves, minced garlic, olive oil, lemon zest and lemon juice in a blender. Purée until smooth. Drizzle tapenade on a plate. Set skewers on top of tapenade.

Pair with: Fat Bastard Syrah, France, $15.99

New World

Classic Growing Region(s): Australia, Central Coast (California), Chile
Flavours: Jammy, Pepper, Blackberry, Liquorice, Vanilla, Coconut, Smoke, Charred Lamb Skewers with Blueberry, Mint Barbecue Sauce

6 Servings
Prep time: Less than 30 minutes
Total time: Less than 30 minutes

  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 oranges, zest, juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 tbsp mint, finely chopped
  • 2 lbs lamb loin, chopped into cubes
  • Wood skewers, soaked in water
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/ 2 small white onion, minced
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp cider vinegar

Directions: Combine garlic, orange juice, orange zest, olive oil and mint in a large resealable plastic bag, shake to combine. Add cubed lamb loin. Marinate lamb overnight. Thread lamb onto wooden skewers. Season with salt and pepper. Grill lamb on barbeque preheated to medium-high for 8 to 10 minutes. Turn lamb a few times to make sure it cooks evenly. Make the barbeque sauce. Place 1 tablespoon butter and onion in a pot over medium-low heat. Sauté until the onion is soft and translucent. Add smoked paprika, blueberries, brown sugar and cider vinegar. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Let simmer over medium-low heat for 15 minutes. Purée into a sauce. Brush a little sauce over lamb before serving. Drizzle sauce on a plate. Set skewers on top of tapenade.

Pair with: Novas Gran Reserva Syrah, Chile, $16.99

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