Randy Caparoso
  • Denver, CO
  • United States
  • Wine List Consulting Unlimited; No…
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I Dreamed I Saw Robert Mondavi
3 Replies

Started this discussion. Last reply by Randy Caparoso Jun 16, 2008.


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Randy Caparoso's WineListConsulting.com

Latest Activity

Joseph D'Alessandro and Randy Caparoso are now friends
May 31, 2011
Randy Caparoso was featured
Nov 10, 2010
Randy Caparoso's discussion was featured

Blogs, Not Just Web Sites

Restaurant Web sites are indispensable these days, for independents and chains alike. There's far more examples of excellence than you can shake a stick at, but I'm wondering if Web sites are enough these days. That is to say: with the internet overload, I'm wondering guests are satisfied with that. Do they prefer restaurant blogs that reach out to them, with potential for more interactive activity? Or are periodic newsletters (print of e-mail) good enough?One blog I think is excellent is that…See More
Jul 14, 2010
Jon Bishop replied to Randy Caparoso's discussion Blogs, Not Just Web Sites in the group Restaurant Web Sites
"People want information. A website is a great place to share nutrition info, prices specials etc. You should also make use of events that people can easily save to their calendars and networking sites. Blogging may or may not help in general but…"
Jul 14, 2010
Randy Caparoso's blog post was featured

This is no social crisis: Beckman Purisima & summer grilling

Randy Caparoso is an award winning wine professional and journalist, living in Denver, Colorado. For a free subscription to Randy's Organic Wine Match of the Day, visit the Denver Wine Examiner.I could see for miles and miles at the top of the Purisima Mountain Vineyard, owned and farmed by Steve Beckman of Santa…See More
Jul 6, 2010
Randy Caparoso was featured
Jul 6, 2010
Randy Caparoso and RestaurantRoundTableGuys are now friends
Jul 6, 2010
Michael Biesemeyer commented on Randy Caparoso's blog post Praying for salvation: when will we be rid of stinky corks?
"Calera uses glass stoppers called Vino-Seal closures. By far, these are my favorite to work with, and they come in handy as stoppers for other bottles that I keep around the house. You are right, Randy. There are some great alternatives to cork."
May 28, 2010

Profile Information

Restaurant Wine Consultant
Wine List Consulting Unlimited; No Reservations Restaurant Consulting
What best describes my company
Fine Dining
Career Advancement, Consulting, Making Friends
Personal Quote
"I fought against the bottle, but I had to do it drunk" (Leonard Cohen)
Randy Caparoso has devoted himself to a multi-award winning career managing, judging, speaking, producing and writing about wine since 1978. He currently serves as a restaurant consultant, specializing in wine, Mission construction, FOH management, nuts-to-bolts staff training, and special events planning.

As a restaurant wine professional, Caparoso is perhaps best known as a Founding Partner and the former Corporate Wine Director of the James Beard Award winning Roy’s restaurant group, started in Honolulu in 1988. Before retiring from Roy’s in 2001 to pursue his own winemaking business, Caparoso personally helped transplant twenty six more of these acclaimed restaurants in places as far flung as Maui and New York, Chicago and Bonita Springs, Florida; each location doing close to or over $1 million in yearly wine sales alone.

In recent years Caparoso has expanded on his specialty, serving as opening consultant and GM of a wine-focused restaurant in Memphis, Tennessee called Circa by John Bragg, as well as presiding as Chef Sommelier of the Five Star/Five Diamond Sea Island resort on the coast of Georgia. Venturing into retail merchandising, he has also managed the largest enomatic wine bar/retail store in the world as Vice President of Operations of The Wine Room in Winter Park, Florida.

Between 2001 and 2005 Caparoso was sole proprietor of Caparoso Wines LLC, an alternative label specializing in internationally sourced wines ideally priced for fine restaurant wine by the glass programs, and crafted specifically for contemporary style (especially Asian/fusion) foods. Three vintages of Caparoso wines (2000 case average yearly production) were marketed in twelve states (primarily Hawaii, California, New York, Florida and Georgia).

Among the major awards earned by Caparoso during his career:
· Santé “Wine & Spirits Professional of the Year” (1998 – the magazine’s first ever)
· Restaurant Wine “Marketer of the Year” (1993)
· Restaurant Wine “Wine Marketing Concept of the Year” (1998 – For Roy’s “Upscale Private Label Program”)

In addition, Caparoso has served as wine list judge for Sante's Annual Grand Awards and numerous times for wine judgings such as the L.A. County Fair, New World Wine Competition and Lodi District Grape Growers Association. He has spoken and led panels on many subjects for the Society of Wine Educators, Sante Restaurant Symposium, Unified Wine & Grape Symposium, Aspen Wine & Food Festival, Hospice du Rhone, Lodi ZinFest and Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.

Since 1981 Caparoso has also bylined biweekly newspaper wine columns (The Honolulu Advertiser) and served as a regular contributing editor for numerous industry magazines (including Santé, Sommelier Journal, Practical Winery & Vineyard, and Restaurant Hospitality). Many of his thoughts on food and wine can be gleaned on his home page, culinarywineandfood.blogspot.com, as well as on Robin Garr’s Wine Lover’s Page (wineloverspage.com/randysworld). In 1997 he was commended by the Academy of Wine Communications for Excellence in Wine Writing and Encouragement of Higher Industry Standards.
Years in the Industry
Over 30

Award Winning Restaurant Wine Consulting

Randy Caparoso's Wine List Consulting Unlimited

What is a great wine list? After thirty years in the business, we have to say that it is always
1. Profitable
2. Perfectly readable, and informative
3. Focused on your theme and cuisine, your market and clientele, and above all, all the personal touches you bring to your restaurant to make it unique and compelling.

If your list is not doing all of the above, then you probably are not taking full advantage of the contemporary guest's increased interest and enjoyment of wine (wine makes up at least 25% of overall sales in the most successful fine dining restaurants today), and of the incredible variety of wine types and price points at your disposal, no matter where you are in the U.S.

But guess what: a great wine list (and restaurant wine program) is never, never necessarily a big or costly one. During my thirty year career, I've banged out wine lists that that were every bit as varied and interesting as any in the country -- winning all the important awards and acclamations (both locally and nationally) -- with selections never numbering more than a hundred, and standing inventories averaging less than $25,000 (and as little as $12,000).

But the reason why they were really great was because these "short" wine lists generated anywhere from $35,000 to $65,000 in monthly wine sales alone. Meaning, monthly profits of $10,000 to $40,000. Imagine that: a wine list that generates (rather than sinks) cash flow, while generating a mean wine rep to boot.

But those were wine lists for restaurants in which I was a managing partner (please re my bio bar). Your needs may be different (as well it should). In fact, I have composed wine lists for restaurants ranging from short-and-sweet, quick-turnover programs, to full-scale projects entailing exclusive, upscale restaurants, hotels and resorts (i.e. 200-1,000 selection wine lists, inventorying anywhere from $50,000 to $1 million-plus). Big or small, though, I say every wine program should be profitable, highly readable and informative, and laser-sharply focused.

Whether you know your own needs or need help identifying them, Wine List Consulting Unlimited can help you fulfill them. We can offer you the talent, the passion, and a training and support team that has been tested and proven in multiple markets. Don't put yourself in the hands of anything less... because your wine program need not take a backseat to anyone's!

Randy Caparoso

Ronn Wiegand, MW, MS (Publisher, Restaurant Wine):
Randy Caparoso was one of the country's most innovative and articulate wine directors. He consistently pushed the envelope at Roy's and established new standards for wine program excellence in a multi-unit company. Equally important, he always accomplished this with a firm eye on the bottom line and a desire to increase his customers' satisfaction in the dining experience.

Doug Frost, MW, MS (President/Industry Consultant, Strong Water):
Randy is the consummate wine professional - brilliant, passionate, totally dedicated and a great contributor to our industry.

Larry Stone, MS (General Manager, Rubicon Estate):
In my estimation Randy Caparoso is one of the most dedicated and imaginative professionals working in the world today. His achievements at Roy's were synonymous with the rise of chef Roy Yamaguchi himself

Evan Goldstein, MS (Director, Allied Domecq Academy of Wine & Service Excellence):
Randy has had one of the most creative on-premise styles that I have worked with over the years. His palate is solid and he always seems to have his finger on the pulse of what's happening and what makes his customers happy.

Rob Constantino (Managing Editor, Santé):
Randy Caparoso is the wine professional's professional. He was our first Santé Wine & Spirits Professional of the Year because his exciting, innovative, ever-changing wine program was an industry model that influenced top sommeliers and restaurateurs around the world. By combining his thorough understanding of food-and-wine with an unflagging enthusiasm for searching out the new, he has enhanced the dining experience of thousands.

Catherine Fallis, MS (Founder/President, Planet Grape; Educator, Culinary Institute of America, Napa Valley):
In the fifteen years that I've known him, Randy has challenged me, as he has challenged many others, to work harder, to raise the bar, and to set rather than follow the trends. A genius in motion.

Rebecca Chapa (Educator, Tannin Management; Wine by the Class, Society of Wine Educators):
Randy Caparoso is probably the most innovative wine buyer I know. His knack for wine and food pairing is unprecedented, and he has the ability to manage a large wine program without being overly rigid. He is also as dedicated and loyal as anyone I know; and above all, he truly relishes the business of wine.

Kermit Lynch (Wine Merchant & Author of Adventures on the Wine Route):
What sets Randy apart? First, his open-mindedness. He adores diversity... a great virtue, because it means that his palate is not deformed by misconceptions. Secondly, he is a master at wine and food combinations... a talent that comes from his incredible imagination...

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Randy Caparoso's Blog

Praying for salvation: when will we be rid of stinky corks?

Originally published in Sommelier Journal (January 2010):

The fall of 2009 was not a particularly kind on my longtime love/hate relationship with natural corks. It started with attendance an East Coast wine festival, where I was asked to judge 24 chardonnays. Two of them are badly… Continue

Posted on May 28, 2010 at 1:00pm — 2 Comments

Syrah, Syrah, Syrahs at Hospice du Rhône (and in Santa Barbara)

When we talk about “Rhône” grapes, we usually mean more than syrah; but also grenache, mourvèdre, viognier, roussanne, marsanne, and some sixteen other varieties, as well as blends of such, associated with the vast expanse of Southern France, from the Riviera to the Bay of Biscay (in this sense, these aren’t nearly so much Rhône Valley grapes as they are Southern French grapes).…


Posted on May 13, 2010 at 6:30am

Culinary matching 101: wines for classic blackened tuna

In the mid-eighties Paul Prudhomme’s blackened redfish permanently entered the vocabulary of the average American restaurant-goer, but you can argue that all the variations of blackened tuna have become even more ubiquitous in restaurants and bars, and practiced by adventurous home cooks.

For over thirteen years I worked with one of America’s… Continue

Posted on March 28, 2010 at 7:18pm

When service is spelled stupid (trials & tribulations of restaurant wine professionals in other restaurants)

(originally published in Sommelier Journal (Dec. 2009) as Bottom Line column called Gotta Serve Somebody:

We knew things would get rough early in 2009 when we read about the poor slobs on Wall Street taking 50% cuts in their million dollar bonuses. Which meant the working… Continue

Posted on March 26, 2010 at 9:05am — 5 Comments

The war between the greens (sustainable vs. organic vs. Biodynamic® viticulture)

Green wines have become more plentiful and better than ever, which is good news for all of us, and the environment.

One of the unseemly aspects of this inexorable movement, on the other hand, is the public sniping between the various sustainable, certified organic, and Biodynamic® camps; and I have to say, what’s even more disappointing are sides taken by individuals… Continue

Posted on September 22, 2009 at 7:00pm

The green wars part 2 (organic, Biodynamic® & sustainable tasting notes)

Here’s the lowdown on some of the more notable – if not fantastic – organic, Biodynamic®, and sustainably grown wines tasted during (and just after) my most recent jaunt (August 2009) through the West Coast. For an explication of the green delineations, please refer to previous pieces on… Continue

Posted on September 22, 2009 at 6:59pm

Was my old man in Hawai`i a Biodynamic pioneer?

Say what you will about Biodynamic® grape growing and winemaking, the methodology makes for entertaining thought. Especially if you're a Pinot Noir lover. One sip of the unique, supple, nostril tingling Pinot Noirs by, say, Marcel Deiss in Alsace, Meinklang in Austria, Porter-Bass in California, or Maysara in Willamette Valley tells you that, loud and… Continue

Posted on September 17, 2009 at 7:28am — 1 Comment

A wine buyer's precise guide: taking it green

Green Wines Today

In California over 5% of the state’s total plantings of wine grapes (over 12,000 acres) are now certified organic by third party organizations like California Certified Organic Farms (CCOF). In a recent study of organic growers in Napa Valley, I found that percentage to be closer to +7%. Some industry analysts have it that over 90% of vineyards on the West Coast are… Continue

Posted on July 31, 2009 at 3:40pm — 2 Comments

Organic wine & food matching: Neal Cabernet Sauvignon & braised lamb with mint gremolata

“When I told my dad we were going to take the company organic,” says Mark Neal, “he drove over to Sonoma and came back with a tray of rotten apples and peaches and said, ‘this is how our grapes will look when you grow organic.’”

Not to be dissuaded, Mark initiated the transition of vineyards owned or… Continue

Posted on July 1, 2009 at 3:32pm

My best from 2009's Hospice du Rhône

This past spring I attended two massive tasting events: the Hospice du Rhône (May 1-2) in Paso Robles, and World of Pinot Noir (March 6-7) in Shell Beach.

As much for myself as for your possible interest, here are some of the highlights from the Hospice du Rhône – all exceptional wines, worthy of a place in any wine list or cellar – out of about 100 wines tasted, listed in order of my personal favorites:

HOSPICE DU… Continue

Posted on June 21, 2009 at 12:44pm

More great Pinots than you can shake a stick at (World of Pinot Noir 2009)

This past spring I attended two massive tasting events: the Hospice du Rhône (May 1-2) in Paso Robles, and World of Pinot Noir (March 6-7) in Shell Beach.

The upshot: there are now more great Pinot Noirs being made than you can shake a stick at. Pinot lovers these days feel like kids in a candy shop at venues like World of Pinot Noir. So as much for myself as for your possible interest, here are some of the highlights from that weekend in… Continue

Posted on June 21, 2009 at 12:19pm

How can we love 'em (i.e. organic wines) when stores & restaurants won't tell us what is what?

"How can I miss you when you won't go away?" goes the old Dan Hicks song. When it comes to merchandising organic wines in stores and restaurants, the song is more like: how can we appreciate them when you don't even tell us what they are?

One thing we do know: like organic foods twenty, thirty years ago, wines produced in organic, Biodynamic®, as well as vegan and sustainable fashions are emerging out of the fringe elements of commercial… Continue

Posted on June 18, 2009 at 8:07pm

This is no social crisis: Beckman Purisima & summer grilling

Randy Caparoso is an award winning wine professional and journalist, living in Denver, Colorado. For a free subscription to Randy's Organic Wine Match of the Day, visit the… Continue

Posted on June 14, 2009 at 2:11pm

Organic wine & food matching: Tres Sabores Perspective and gnocchi with pig's feet ragout & chanterelles

Randy Caparoso is an award winning wine professional and journalist, living in Denver, Colorado. For a free subscription to Randy's Organic Wine Match of the Day, visit the… Continue

Posted on June 9, 2009 at 11:28pm

Organic wine & food match: Robert Sinskey Marcien & Maria Helm's braised veal shanks

Randy Caparoso is an award winning wine professional and journalist, living in Denver, Colorado. For a free subscription to Randy's Organic Wine Match of the Day, visit the… Continue

Posted on June 7, 2009 at 7:14pm

Wine the Grand Illusion (or, The Myth of "Breathing" Wine)

Does price affect the "quality" of wine? Yes, indeed it do.

At least according to…


Posted on May 19, 2009 at 1:45pm

Organic wine & food matching: Quivira "Wine Creek" Zinfandel and cheeses-to-die-for

Randy Caparoso is an award winning wine professional and journalist, living in Denver, Colorado. For a free subscription to Randy's Organic Wine Match of the Day, visit the Denver Wine Examiner… Continue

Posted on April 17, 2009 at 5:18pm

Organic wine & food matching: Domaine Vigneau-Chevreau Vouvray and artisanal cheeses

Randy Caparoso is an award winning wine professional and journalist, living in Denver, Colorado. For a free subscription to Randy's Organic Wine Match of the Day, visit the… Continue

Posted on March 29, 2009 at 10:05pm

Organic wine & food matching: Tres Sabores Porque No and pasta with giblets & mushrooms

Randy Caparoso is an award winning wine professional and journalist, living in Denver, Colorado. For a free subscription to Randy's Organic Wine Match of the Day, visit the… Continue

Posted on March 26, 2009 at 8:42pm

Organic wine & food matching: Quivira Sauvignon Blancs & fresh herbed pastas

Randy Caparoso is an award winning wine professional and journalist, living in Denver, Colorado. For a free subscription to Randy's Organic Wine Match of the Day, visit the… Continue

Posted on March 24, 2009 at 7:34pm

Comment Wall (50 comments)

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At 8:53pm on December 9, 2008, Randy Caparoso said…
Wow... thanks, Paul!
At 7:47pm on December 9, 2008,
Paul Paz
GREAT article!

It's 3 AM, Is Your Wine List Answering the Call?
Pairing Wines with the Economy
by Randy Caparoso December 5, 2008
At 2:36pm on September 3, 2008, Caitlin said…
Will do Randy! It's nice to know that someone is interested. Look out for a post about pairing wine with chocolate in the near future!
At 4:09pm on August 18, 2008, Gilat Ben-Dor said…
Hi Randy - thanks for connecting! As you know, the Phoenix/Scottsdale area keeps growing by leaps and bounds every year, not only in terms of the population but with its growing food & wine scene, new food & wine festivals, restaurant & wine bar scene, and world-class resorts. (Can you tell I love living here? :-) I look forward to learning more about your next endeavors/projects and helping each other in the future. Cheers! -Gilat
At 12:24am on July 3, 2008, Jaunty Tune said…
hmmm, now I've found another backlog of blog to work on :)
At 11:08am on June 14, 2008, Jonathan Harper said…
hey boss.. nice to meet you
At 10:14am on June 10, 2008, Joe Archuleta said…
Hola Randy! Just checked your photos, you have such a blessing with your family. Just gorgeous, all of you. Have a great day.
At 12:16pm on May 13, 2008, sonneville said…
hello randy
i am trying to join herve pennequin , but no answer, i am looking for a partner for seding french wine to usa can you help me?
At 6:41pm on May 8, 2008, Kathleen Milazzo said…
Randy, thank you for leaving your comment You should check out wahm.com. It's a forum for work at home moms, but there are male members and you can make a lot of contacts there.
At 6:44am on May 5, 2008, Andy Swingley said…
Randy, check out your messages to see if you are interested in helping me on the contest we are starting in the Leadership group.

Thanks and hope you had a great weekend!




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