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Blind student bests 99.9% of winemakers

By Lia Sanders on 26/02/15 11:00 AM

A US chemistry student who has been blind since birth is using his sense of smell to make a name for himself in the wine trade, according to The Sacramento Bee.

Hoby Wedler, a student at the University of California, leads the monthly “Tasting in the Dark” series at Francis Ford Coppola Winery.

Participants are blindfolded before being led through the wine tasting process by Wedler.

Corey Beck, president at the winery, said: “He’s bringing a new dimension to our field and getting people to look at wine in a different way. It’s breaking down barriers.

“Here’s somebody who’s blind, and he’s better at describing the wine than 99.9 percent of the winemakers out there.”

Wedler used taste and smell from a very young age to navigate the world around him. His sense of smell is so acute that he was able to tell a letter had been delivered by a neighbour rather than by the postman.

In a video, Wedler explains to those at the blind tasting: “I love seeing you guys in this scenario enjoying the wine. Enjoying it and realising you don’t need to see to enjoy every aspect of life.”