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David Bird started his working life as an analytical chemist, working for Colmans of Norwich analysing mustard, soft drinks and baby food. He was promoted to Quality Control Manager of their new wine department in 1973, which sparked a huge interest in wine leading to the achievement of Master of Wine with the Tim Derouet Award in 1981. He also became a Chartered Chemist in the same year. He was head-hunted for the position of Quality Assurance Manager for Stowells of Chelsea in 1984, working at their centre of bag-in-box production at Worksop in Nottinghamshire. In 1994 he set up his own consultancy business providing a service of quality management to ISO9001 and wine production audits around Europe. "Understanding Wine Technology" was first published in 2000.