Play with your Wine: and get a little dirty

Last week’s focus on Earth Day brought awareness to how we as its human inhabitants can improve and protect our Earth. But we here at WG HQ think it’s grand to celebrate Earth Day everyday: some of our favorite wines are those that literally taste earthy.  

So just what is earthy wine? The word earthy often describes aromas and flavors that remind us of earth and can be considered good or bad depending on your palette. Some people love a mineral white wine or dusty red wine – others view “earthy” as a euphemism for dirty or funky (and not in a good way).  Specific flavors or aromas can include: dirt, dusty, herbaceous, leaves, mushrooms, stony (granite, mineral). 

Tasting hint: Some regions excel at creating earthy wines. These are often those in moderate climates where the grapes don’t ripen enough to create sweet fruit notes. Some regions that regularly provide earthy wines include Burgundy and the Loire in France. 

Ready to play in the dirt with us? Try this tasting of our favorite earthy wines. 

  • Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand: Grassy, herbaceous, vegetal, gooseberries.  

  • Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France: Crisp, mineral, green apples, white flowers, high acidity with a natural tension. Avoid a Grand Cru which may be aged in new oak. 

  • Pinot Noir from Burgundy: Fragrant, floral, currants and raspberry, gamey, vegetal especially mushrooms with age.   

  • Cabernet Franc from Loire (Bourgueil, Chinon, Anjou):  Aromatic, green pepper, cherry, blackcurrant and pencil shavings. 

  • Carménère from Chile: Plush and soft with green tobacco, coffee and leather. 

  • Sangiovese (and other grapes) in Chianti Classico from Italy: Plum and dried cherry with many savory notes including cedar, dried orange dirt, smoke, saddle leather, minerals, salt. High in acidity.

  • Grenache from Southern France (Chateâuneuf-de-Pape): Gamey, strawberry, cherry, peppery.  Can be high alcohol but only moderate tannin. Known for purity and richness.   





gary mendel