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Caroline Gilby MW

Caroline Gilby MW

Became an MW 1992

Based in United Kingdom

Languages English


My first book called "The wines of Bulgaria, Romania and Moldova" was published in 2018, after many years of travelling to Central and Eastern Europe and seeing the complete wine revolution across the region. I also contribute on this region to Hugh Johnson's Pocket Wine Book, Oxford Companion to Wine, World Atlas of Wine, Sotheby's Wine Encyclopaedia, The Wine Opus, Wine Report and Wines of the World. I also write on a freelance basis for magazines and websites, including Decanter,, Meininger's Wine Business International, Harpers, Revija Vino (Slovenia),, and The Wine Society blog. I am panel chair for The Balkans, Eurasia and Eastern Europe at Decanter World Wine Awards and am president of judging at Vinistra in Croatia, and I both judge and present at wine events around the world. In 2018, I was the first foreigner to be awarded the title of "Friend of Hungarian Winemakers". I am also a member of the Confrérie de Tokaj and was appointed Vranec ambassador at the first Vranec World day in 2019. I originally set out to be a scientist and read Botany at Keble College Oxford, then went on to do a Ph.D. at Bath University. It was here I caught the wine bug and gave up life behind the microscope in favour of joining Augustus Barnett as a wine buyer in 1988, where I also took on wine quality control. I became Senior Wine Buyer for the Bass Group and then moved into Bass Brewers where I added cider to my responsibilities. In 1995, I left to set up my own business as consultant and wine writer. Today, I specialise in Central and Eastern Europe, but I also use my scientific and commercial background to offer technical consultancy, especially quality benchmarking and market positioning, tastings and product presentation (this includes writing back labels and web site copy). I also consult to Lidl UK and previous clients have included Allied Domecq, World Duty Free, Booker Plc. I am married with 2 children and enjoy mountain marathons, horse riding, target shooting and gardening when I get the chance.

Primary area(s) of work: Trade, Communication

Industry sector(s): QA/QC, Business owner, Off trade, Journalism, Author, Consultant, Wine judge

Wine styles: Sweet wines, Still wines

Wine region expertise: Cyprus, Hungary Tokaj, Eastern Europe, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Moldova, North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Western Balkans

Market expertise: United Kingdom, Eastern Europe, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Moldova, North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia

Specialisms: Wine varieties, Preparation of finished wine for bottling, Quality assurance and control, Identifying and meeting consumer demand, Supermarket and multiple retail