Randy Caparoso
  • Denver, Colorado
  • United States
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Randy Caparoso's WineListConsulting.com

Profile Information

Relationship Status:
I am interested in:
Business Networking, Friendship, Activity Buddies, Career Advancement, Buying/Selling Items, Food & Wine Pairing, Recipes/Culinary Arts, Gaining Professional Knowledge, Sharing Photos/Music
Consulting, Events/Event Planning, Food and/or Beverage Retail, Food Service, Health Club/Private Club, Hotel/Lodging, Restaurant, Spa, Resort, Spirits, Tourism, Wine, Other Beverage
Your Segment/Department
Culinary Arts, Food & Beverage, Management, Marketing/PR, Training, Winery Hospitality
Company or School/Institute
Wine List Consulting Unlimited; No Reservations Restaurant Consulting
Other interests:
Bottom Line Editor, Sommelier Journal; freelance wine journalist; inveterate wine/food blogger
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Personal Website:
Blog Website:


Wine List Consulting Unlimited by Randy Caparoso
Full Service Restaurant Consulting: No Reservations Restaurant Consulting

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 (re my bio below). 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


Randy Caparoso is a Denver based restaurant wine consultant and wine journalist who has devoted himself to a career managing, judging, speaking, producing and writing about wine since 1978.

As a restaurant professional, Caparoso is best known as a Founding Partner of the Roy’s restaurant group, opening over twenty-five of these restaurants from Hawai’i to New York between 1988 and 2001. As Roy’s former Corporate Wine Director, he was Santé magazine’s first “Wine & Spirits Professional of the Year” (1998), and was twice named Restaurant Wine’s “Wine Marketer of the Year (1993 & 1999).

After leaving Roy’s, Caparoso produced three vintages of his own wines as sole proprietor of Caparoso Wines LLC, an alternative label specializing in internationally sourced wines crafted specifically for contemporary cuisines and restaurant glass programs; and served in the hottest restaurants in twelve states, from Hawai’i to New York. In recent years Caparoso has consulted for restaurants and wine bars in Colorado, Florida and Tennessee; while also serving as Chef Sommelier of the Five Star/Five Diamond Sea Island resort in Georgia.

He is currently the Bottom Line Editor of Sommelier Journal, a national wine list judge for Santé’s yearly Grand Awards, a finalist in The Institute of Masters of Wine (1993), an Advanced Certificate holder in the Court of Master Sommeliers (1988), and was honored with a Certificate of Commendation from the Academy of Wine Communications for "Excellence in Wine Writing and Encouragement of Higher Industry Standards" (1997).

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 June 2, 2010 at 4:00pm

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

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 stiffs on Main Street making $50 to $150 grand a year – no matter how you slice it, the real bread and butter of our industry – would be the ones to actually eat it.

We've been talking a lot, lately, about that quaint old… Continue

Posted on March 26, 2010 at 6:18pm

Santa Barbara is far more than pinot noir (and snapshot of Santa Barbara's current releases)

In Sideways, Miles describes Santa Barbara as the pinot noir grape’s “promised land.” But make no mistake: Santa Barbara not just about pinot noir; nor only about chardonnay. In fact, much of the Santa Barbara is not even suited to those particular grapes, but rather completely different ones.

As a growing region, Santa… Continue

Posted on January 15, 2010 at 10:00pm

Dumb, da dumb, dumb (wine journalists), and snapshot of the finest current Oregon pinot noir releases

As someone who's penned newspaper wine columns for over twenty years, I think I can say this: newspaper wine columnists write the dumbest things. So wine lovers beware: particularly the piece written by a Chicago Tribune writer, which I read this morning (Jan. 13, 2010) in The Denver Post… Continue

Posted on January 13, 2010 at 1:25pm

Dream on (favorite drinking reds)

I have this recurring dream. It's almost mid-day. We wake up late, and haven't yet eaten. So after stopping at a tiny charcuterie for some sausages, marinated olives, a round of local bread – tasting of freshly risen dough, crusted on the outside, silky on the inside – and a bottle of wine, we follow a winding brook at the foot of a steep hill outside the village, in search of… Continue

Posted on January 6, 2010 at 2:45pm — 1 Comment

Comment Wall (5 comments)

At 4:04pm on December 18, 2008, Margie Tosch said…
Hey Randy,

Nice to see you here! And it's about time! ;-)

At 7:57am on December 19, 2008, Allison said…
Welcome :-)
At 1:26pm on January 15, 2009, LiseLotte Wanre Ostlund said…
Hi, sorry that I havn´t checked my profile for a while, but tonight I did and of course accepted you as a friend at Women in Wine. Why are you joining a network mainly for women? I have read your profile and it´s impressing! And still you look young on the photo. Old photo or what´s the secret? What ever you are doing or eating, I want that too! See you!
At 10:40pm on April 27, 2009, Judith V. said…
Whatcha been cookin' lately? Love your recipes!

Judith V.
At 8:21pm on October 6, 2009, Laree said…
What a nice little corner you have here...awesome.

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