Sam has been in the wine trade for over twenty years and travelled the world extensively, buying and blending wines. In 2011 she became a Master of Wine and was delighted to win the prestigious Madame Bollinger Medal for Outstanding Achievement in the Practical Paper. She has her own wine consultancy business; The Mistress of Wine. She loves tasting and talking about wine and is a judge, wine presenter on BBC1’s Saturday Kitchen, consultant and host for corporate wine tastings.
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Sam Caporn MW
Question:What’s your favourite wine?
Answer:I think if I was stranded on a desert island and only allowed to take one thing it would be vintage Champagne or a top end English sparkling wine. There’s nothing like a glass of fizz to boost your mood and I like the really yeasty, bready ones with clear autolysis that have been aged for a while. But if I had room in my suitcase I would also pop in a white Burgundy. And a Rioja. And a red Burgundy.
Question:What do you like to eat?
Answer:I am an extremely greedy woman and so pretty much everything! We are trying to cut down on meat at home and have been experimenting with lots of vegetables but having said that my last meal would probably revolve around foie gras, fillet steak or venison and potato dauphinoise. I have also fairly recently admitted that I am actually addicted to chocolate. I eat it every day – just a couple of squares of dark chocolate though a chocolate orange appeared in my cupboard as if by magic recently and it was gone in two days.
Question:What’s your favourite wine holiday destination?
Answer:I was a wine buyer for Australia and New Zealand for a number of years and also travelled to South Africa relatively regularly for work so it would be a toss-up between those three, but Australia holds a very special place in my heart (I met my husband there) and so ultimately if I was offered an all expenses trip to any of those 3 (or anywhere in the world) it would be Oz and I would take in the Hunter Valley, South Australia, WA and even the funny little places like Griffith and Mildura where a lot of the big brands come from and are quirky and full of gorgeous people. Napa is also pretty special and I was lucky enough to go there a fair bit too and you can duck in and out of San Francisco which I love. All the wine regions tend to have great restaurants too so I always would come back half a stone heavier but tight jeans was worth it!
Question:Is there a wine that really sticks in your memory?
Answer:For me it’s more about the memory as much as the wine itself and champagne features fairly heavily. The Roederer NV we were drinking when my husband proposed and the Ruinart Blanc de Blancs NV we drank (just a half bottle!) when I got home from hospital, after having our son, and some of the wines from the Master of Wine practical paper are burnt in my brain, from the Mateus rosé to the Mount Horrocks Cordon Cut Riesling! I was tasting in Bordeaux once and tasted Château Angélus and vividly remember being pretty stunned by that. I tasted it blind and was gutted when I found out what it was as I was hoping it might be something slightly more affordable!
Question:Other than wine, do you have any secret or not-so-secret passions?
Answer:I don’t have a great deal of time what with working and having a relatively young child, but I used to love reading and walking in the Forest, but really, it’s educating people about wine. Not just wine itself, as of course I love tasting and drinking wine, but I am very passionate about trying to share that knowledge to help people become more savvy about wine – knowledge is power!