The days when French or Italian wines were consider the only top drawer choices are long gone. What remains is learning how to assess the merits of wine produced in other countries. Two contenders who have avid fans are wines made in North America versus wines made in Australia. Here are some points to consider when making a decision between the two.
The Vintage of the Vines
While there are wineries in both areas of the world with vines imported from Europe, it’s hard to match the pedigree that Australian vines have to offer. Some of the vines in use today date back to before the formation of the United States or Canada. This lays the groundwork for vineyards that have a degree of diversity and history that’s hard to beat.
How About Wine Regions?
Many people are surprised to learn there are over 60 distinct wine regions in Australia. The range of climates found in the nation make it possible to produce a wide variety of wines that are suitable for just about any occasion. From a friendly glass during a visit with a friend to something special to serve at an anniversary party, finding the right wine is not a problem.
North America also has diverse regions that provide the opportunity to cultivate grapes and produce excellent results. What remains at issue is whether that area of the world has enough wine regions to offer the wide range of choices that come with Australian wine.
One area where North American wine producers tend to have the upper hand is when it comes to reputation. The wine press gives much more attention to producers in the United States and Canada. Other than one or two well-known brands, Australian wine tends to get short shrift in many parts of the world. Some would say that the wine is among the world’s best kept open secrets, thanks to the lack of enthusiasm by the press.
Fortunately, this state of events seems to be changing. Wineries in Australia are filling more orders internationally, in part due to the ability to order wine and other forms of alcohol online legally. Many of the orders are placed by customers living in areas that already have a reputation for producing excellent wines.
Both areas have wines that are modestly priced and other options that are more costly. The thing to remember is that price is not always the determining factor when it comes to taste, clarity, and other essentials. In this area, both North American and Australian vintages have a lot to offer. From regional wines that rarely make it out of the immediate area to selections that can be found in the finest restaurants, both parts of the world should be proud of what they supply.
One of the best ways to learn more about the differences and similarities between Australian and North American wines is to become more acquainted with each. Move beyond some of the brands that have become popular and explore offerings that are not given the same level of attention. Doing so could lead to some pleasant surprises and a few welcome additions to the holiday table.