Meet the Wine Experts



At our events, we rely on wine experts and aficionados to extend their knowledge and expand your tasting skills, guiding you through the evening of your Chief Wine Officer tasting experience. In our Meet the Wine Experts series, we’ll be talking to various wine experts and sought-after Masters of Wine to learn more about the wonderful world of wine, how to master the art of wine tasting, and how you can impress with some avid wine facts you won’t hear anywhere else.

About Masters of Wine: 

A Master of Wine (MW) is the highest qualification one can achieve in the wine industry. It is someone who has demonstrated, by way of rigorous examination, a thorough understanding of all aspects of wine including the art, science and business of wine. There are currently 409 Masters of Wine, living in 30 different countries across five continents -check the rising count here.


Sam Caporn is a freelance wine consultant who became a Master of Wine in 2011, winning the Madame Bollinger Medal for Excellence in Tasting, which is awarded to the candidate who excelled in the rigorous tasting papers. Having travelled the world buying and blending wine for the UK market for a number of years for large commercial companies, she started her own consultancy on becoming a Master of Wine, and a mere couple of months later, a mother. She now consults for one of the country’s largest discount supermarkets, works as a wine judge and hosts corporate and private wine events.

I had my fortune told years ago and the lady said she saw a blackboard in my future! Even though I don’t have an actual blackboard, I feel like I have a symbolic one as I really love teaching people about wine.


Julian is a highly experienced Chief Wine Officer host, and nothing gives him greater pleasure than sharing his extensive wine experience with our guests. He is a partner in Farthinghoe fine wine, a former Sales Director at Goedhuis, and previously at Layton’s, Bibendum and Veuve Clicquot. A passionate and committed disciple of the grape, Julian has spent 30+ years picking vines, making wine, studying to diploma-level, and travelling to countless European and Australian vineyards.

Each and every day is so different and such a privilege; after all, this wonderful wine we deal in has been in existence for many hundreds of years.


In 2013 Amy became one of thirteen US women to achieve the title of Master of Wine. She also works for Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant, with her husband, co-owner of Black Sheep Finds selling their wines in southern California. Amy is a partner at Wine Ring, the leader in personalization software in the wine and spirits industry.

That bag of dried apricots you have in your cabinet is likely to have more sulfites than a whole bottle of wine.


May has had her finger on the pulse of the wine and spirits scene in New York City for almost twenty years. She represents wine and spirits regions and brands as their primary educator and ambassador, has taught countless seminars to industry professionals and has presented at high visibility conferences. May is also a long time instructor at the prestigious International Wine Center, where she has been teaching the classes of the Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET) and served as an adjunct professor at the City Tech, CUNY.

Some of the best and most expensive sweet wines in the world achieve their sweetness through grapes that are harvested when they are ravaged by a fungal rot that shrivels each berry.
May Matta Aliah


Peter is a New Zealand-born, English resident Master of Wine, based in London. Awarded his Master of Wine qualification in 1994, while working for Italian specialist merchant Wine-cellars. His expert wine knowledge and long experience in the wine industry provides a unique perspective. Well sought-after for global wine competitions, Peter Co-chairs and judges the world’s most rigorous wine competition, the International Wine Challenge.

The Champagne method of getting bubbles in wine was not ‘invented’ by the French, but probably discovered by an English cider maker called Christopher Merrett.


Jane Parkinson frequently appears BBC1’s Saturday Kitchen Live. Crowned International Wine & Spirit Competition’s Communicator of the Year back in 2014, Jane has gone on to win many awards, which also include the Chairman’s Award at the Louis Roederer International Wine Writers’ Awards.

I go weak at the knees for exquisite Champagne, especially Blanc de Blancs, and Salon is probably my most coveted house


Cees van Casteren is a Master of Wine, working as a consultant, wine writer and freelance journalist – with a weekly column in newspaper De Gelderlander. Cees has won the Dutch wine tasting championships ‘Prix Pommery’ twice, and received Southcorp’s Writer’s Bursary in 2003. He became Ambassadeur du Champagne in 2008 and won the Torres Wine Course in 2007.

When you pour a glass of champagne, about 80% of the carbon dioxide escapes invisibly through the liquid’s surface. The rest forms the about one million bubbles in a champagne flute.


Eugene Mlynczyk is one of the Canadian wine industry’s most celebrated professionals. He has held the hard-earned Master of Wine qualification since 2015 and is a Diploma Instructor at the Independent Wine Education Guild, where he was Diploma Program Coordinator for 5 years. He has won several prestigious awards, including the Robert Mondavi Winery award issued by the Institute of Masters of Wine. Eugene also heads up national sales at Principle Fine Wines, selling a global range of the finest wines across the country.

The next time you’re tasting wine with your friends, think about how the wine feels in your mouth texturally. Is it super crisp, is it mouth-filling or is it really soft and silky?