Caroline Gilby Master of Wine. About Me

Who Am I?

A Master of Wine since 1992.  I abandoned life behind the microscope after a degree in Botany and a PhD in plant sciences. I joined Augustus Barnett as trainee wine buyer in 1988 and never looked back.

The Start to my Career in Wine

Seven years as Senior Wine Buyer for Augustus Barnett and the whole Bass Group gave me the chance to travel to vineyards all over the world.  I have bought wine from most countries that grow grapes, in parcels ranging from a few cases to over a hundred thousand cases, for wine shops, pubs and hotels.

The Freelance Life

In 1995 I left corporate life behind to start my own business as an independent consultant and freelance wine writer.

I provide consultancy on wine quality; brand development; benchmarking against competitive products; range selection; technical specifications; copy writing for websites, back labels, shelf talkers and brochures. Clients range from major international PLCs to small boutique wineries.

I am a member of the Circle of Wine Writers and I contribute as freelance writer to magazines including Decanter, Harpers, The Drinks Business, VinCE and Meiningers Wine Business International.  I also contribute to Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Wine Book, The Wine Opus and other books including Oxford Companion to Wine and Wines of the world, and while it was still being published Tom Stevenson’s Wine Report. Websites I write for include and

I judge regularly at international wine competitions including being appointed Panel Chair for Hungary at Decanter World Wine Awards in 2011 and have since added Slovenia, Romania and Czech Republic to my responsibilities. I’ve also judged recently at Pannon Bormustra in Hungary, Vinaria in Bulgaria, the biannual Georgian wine competition and the annual Cyprus wine competition and was appointed President of the Vinistra Wine competition in Croatia in 2014 and 2015.

I can offer wine talks and wine dinners to companies and wine societies. I have worked with WEI on a programme of trade seminars and consumer tastings on the New Face of Hungarian wine for Pannon Wine Guild in 2007 and 2008.  I also led a programme of seminars and tastings on the wines of Robert Mondavi on behalf of Constellation Europe in 2008.

I have lectured for the Wine and Spirit Education Trust at Diploma level on the global drinks market, UK wine market, wine tasting technique, vinification, wine handling and quality control. I also lectured  on the UK wine market for (2003 to 2011.) for OIV’s Master of Science in Wine Management.

I was a board director of the UK Wine Standards Board for 4 years until 2003, appointed by the Minster for Agriculture.This was a Non-Departmental Public Body responsible for supervision and enforcement of EU wine law in the UK, a function now held within the Food Standards Agency

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

The Wines of Bulgaria, Romania and Moldova is released

IMG_20180713_125650_275My first (and only) book is now out in all the usual places.  You can also buy it from

and several other wineries

also here

Bulgaria etc full cover_V2-1

Posted in Bulgaria, Moldova, Opinion, Romania, Uncategorized, Wine Science | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

2018 Master of Wine Exam

This year’s papers have juts been published. Huge respect to anyone who passes.  Reckon I could have fair stab at getting through theory still. But I taste too much Eastern European wine to have time for knowing the classics in enough detail.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Decanter World Wine Awards 2018 – the results are out

Results for 2018 are now out with lots of exciting and positive results for Central, Eastern and Northern Europe plus the Caucasus and near East. Several other judges commented that my “patch” was the most exciting – we still get top producers entering, along with such a varied range of grapes and wine styles. Take a look at the nearly there silver medals too – still scoring over 90 points showing that these are world class wines too.  Worth remembering that in many wine competitions, especially  ones based on OIV rules 85 or 86 posts gets a gold medal whereas at Decanter it’s 95 points for gold.

UK results – Decanter World Wine Awards 2018

Screen Shot 2018-05-29 at 16.23.22

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Hungary’s Winemaker of Winemakers and Friend of the Winemakers Awards 2018

Janos Konyari (RIP) was a worthy winner of the 2018 Winemaker of Winemakers’ award in Hungary last week, though congratulations are also due to the other shortlisted winemakers, all superb winemakers in their right. More details here



I was also hugely honoured to receive the Friend of Winemakers award for 2018.  Thank you to all who nominated  and voted for me, and  most importantly to all the producers who make the wines I get to write and talk about.

Posted in Hungary, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The Wines Of Bulgaria, Romania and Moldova

Screen Shot 2018-04-09 at 11.26.30

Copy has now been submitted and publication date is 30th July!

Posted in Bulgaria, Moldova, Romania, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Hungary’s indigenous grapes

From a masterclass I led last week at SITT in London.

Screen Shot 2018-03-09 at 16.14.56

Posted in Eger, Hungary, Kekfrankos, Opinion, Romania, The Wine Society, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Wines of Cyprus – second annual tasting. So many exciting grapes and wines to taste!

Including some you have almost certainly never tasted before! Promara, Spourtiko, Morokanella and more all waiting to be rediscovered. Yamas!

Screen Shot 2018-03-06 at 12.41.34INVITATION-Cyprus Wine Tasting 2018-1

Posted in Cyprus, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment