Sam Caporn – Master of Wine

Name Sam Caporn MW

Job within the wine trade Freelance wine expert at The Mistress of Wine

How long have you been in this role/wine trade? I’ve been in the wine trade since 1996 and working freelance since 2011.

What made you want to get in to this area of work and what drives you to stay in it? I went into the wine trade straight from University and it is a great industry to work in because it is so varied; whatever your skill set there is something in the trade from winemaking, selling, marketing, buying, writing and so on. I did an English degree and wanted to write so actually went into the trade with that in mind but ultimately became more interested in the commercial side which led to a buying role and then finally, education, hosting and events. The important thing though is to learn as much as you can as soon as you can so I got straight onto a WSET course and then ultimately did the MW exam too.

One of the things I really love about the wine trade is the opportunity to travel and see the world and its different wine cultures, that embrace wine but also food, geography, history and so on. There is always so much to learn and so many people are generous with their time and knowledge and it’s a large but warm global community.

Now, I really love educating consumers about wine, especially novices and helping them understand enough about wine so they can understand what they like and why. That is deeply satisfying and a lot of fun! 

What is your wine career highlight? Passing the Master of Wine and being awarded the Madame Bollinger medal for Excellence in the Practical exam.

If someone wanted to get in to the wine industry, what would your advice be? Learn! Get on with your exams, get qualified and have a think about the areas that interest you as if you can enjoy your job it is such a privilege and you don’t actually feel like you are working! What do you like doing – are you creative, enjoy talking to people or are you more technical for example.

5 quick fire questions – Up close and Personal!

1. Favourite food and wine match? I have two stand out memories both of which involve the wonderful, late Gerard Basset, when my husband and I were visiting Hotel TerraVina. The first was a pie (rabbit I think) with a New Zealand Viognier and the second was a mushroom and truffle risotto with Pieropan Soave. Both were incredible matches and really opened my eyes to the fact that a good food and wine match is quite something!

2. Have you got tattoos if so, how many.. if not, are you tempted? Ha! No tattoos but VERY tempted…….contemplating a tiny triangle somewhere…….

3. What did you want to be when you were growing up? An author – something I still wish to achieve one day!

4. What is your favourite season? Summer; I love all the seasons but summer is so vibrant, cheerful and sunny.

5. If you had 3 wishes, what would they be? That’s a tricky one! I’d say for my family to stay healthy and happy, I’d love to publish a book one day both wine and fiction and I guess who doesn’t want to win the lottery and then dedicate their life to good works!