An article I read was saying that perceptions of aroma could have more to do with genetics than training or experience. But I particularly liked the end of the article:
[ QUOTE ]
The Telegraph's wine buff, Jonathan Ray, commented: "Shock horror! So there is scientific proof that wine lovers talk rubbish. Doesn't everyone after a glass or two?
"How does one describe what scrambled eggs tastes like, or smoke smells like, without comparing them to something else? So it is that we wine lovers might describe a wine as tasting of truffles, leather, game and rotting veg. Well, dammit, that's what old red burgundy often resembles. It certainly doesn't taste of grapes."
I remember reading once (I think it was in New Scientist, but I'm far too lazy to search for references) that wine tasters shouldn't eat cheese before/during their tasting as it blocks up and overpowers smell/taste receptors.
So a cheese and wine tasting evening is something to be avoided if you actually want to taste the wine.
That's why I bring out the blue veined cheeses when I have a BBQ at my place. It disguises the taste of the chateau cardboard I normally serve up to the non-beer drinkers. [img]/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
I've actually been trained as a waiter in a high end restaurant, and not all of what they say is BS. You have to be trained to recognize certain flavors, but once you do, they are unmistakable.
I don't drink a ton of wine, but I do know that if you hand me a Sauvignon Blanc, I can tell you whether it came from New Zealand or not, because of the distinct flavor of pepper (to my palate, at least) that all Sauvignon Blancs from this area have.
Wine drinkers sound funny until you can actually identify the flavor of oak in a wine, for example. Once you do, it is really helpful to find what you like (I hate oaks).