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.
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.
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