Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, or "Vinny" for short. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the technical aspects of winemaking to the fine points of etiquette. I hope you find my answers educational and even amusing. Looking for a particular answer? Check my archive and my FAQs. You can also follow me on Twitter: @AskDrVinny.
Do you have a question for Dr. Vinny? Ask it here...
Dear Dr. Vinny,
When a taster describes a wine as "loamy," what does it taste like?
—Charles, Burnaby, British Columbia
Loam is a type of soil, and when the term "loamy" is used to describe a wine, it refers to a pleasant earthy note (which is not the same thing as saying a wine smells dirty). It might help to have a green thumb to really appreciate the earthy distinctions. In particular, loam is a sweet, dark earth odor, but less pungent than potting soil and not as aromatic as truffles.
Learn from the experts and get the most out of each sip. Take one of our online courses or take them all—from the ABCs of Tasting to in-depth seminars on Food Pairing, California Cabernet, Bordeaux, Tuscany, Sensory Evaluation and more.