Birding and wine tasting

Carmine Bee-eater

Understanding wine calls for various skills and practise.   So too with birding .

A beginner birder is quick to announce the species based on first sighting, whilst  an experienced birder cautiously weighs up all options.  He will consider the colour of plumage and barring, the colour, size and shape of beak; the claws and overall size of the bird.  And just when  you think he is about to reveal the bird’s identity, he pauses and announces that quite possibly it is a juvenile, which literally throws the cats amongst the pigeons!

So too with analysing wine.  What is required is sound theoretical knowlege with lots of practical experience.  Just as with birding, it is human nature to want to identify the cultivar, blend, producer and vintage in as short a time as possible.  However, there are so many pointers to consider from appearance to nose and palate that with careful interpretation of the clues, the correct answer will be found. 

Grape cultivars, like humans, thankfully have differing personalities and respond to varying environments.  Knowing the personality traits of cultivars is a starting point, followed by climatic influences that shape and possible alter the final outcome.  What is required is steadfast patience, observation and interpretation to reach a logical conclusion. 

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