What does earth smell like? Think dirt, potting soil, mushrooms, and if your garden happens to be in the middle of the woods, then forest floor.
Along with gardening, there’s no better way to get a sense for earthiness than by drinking Red Burgundy. Burgundian pinot noir is famous for giving you the impression of riding a Slip and Slide into a leaf pile after a rainstorm. Other savory red wines with plenty of earthiness include Brunello, Bordeaux, Northern Rhône syrah, and Rioja. Or if your idea of being ‘one with nature’ is less about dirt and leaves than it is roses and truffles, then look no further than Barolo.
You may notice that all of the wines we just mentioned are from the Old World. That’s not a coincidence. Because of its winemaking styles and moderate climate, Old World wines tend to have earthy, vegetal characteristics. No matter where the grapes are grown, wines can also develop earthiness with age. A wine that’s rich and fruity when young can smell like leather, mushrooms, cured meat, and tobacco after a decade in the cellar.