Emma Dawson is a Master of Wine and consultant with expansive experience working as a buyer across the wine trade.
Based in the UK, she has worked at two of the largest multiple grocery retailers. At Sainsbury’s she was a category planner, designing and implementing commercial strategy for beers, wine and spirits. For almost ten years she was the wine buyer at Marks and Spencer, travelling the world to discover new and exciting wines as well as overseeing the development of their spirits range across this time.
During this time, she became known for giving a spotlight to lesser known wine regions on the supermarket shelves, such as Greece, Turkey, Lebanon, Georgia, Brazil, Uruguay and Bolivia.
She now works for one of the UK’s largest importers and distributors of wine, Berkmann Wine Cellars, who specialise in serving the hospitality trade.
Throughout this time, she has continued to share her passion for wine through a variety of innovative schemes to help everyday consumers learn and appreciate wine. In 2008 she started Naked Grape Tastings, events that used blind tasting as a fun and informal setting to help people explore grape tastes and styles. After passing her Master of Wine in 2017 she launched a website with her partner called 52grapes.com that acts as a forum to help people taste and learn about grapes and wine. In 2020 she has developed a new series of online virtual wine courses conducted via Zoom to give a social outlet to group wine tastings during the global lockdown.
As one of only 394 Masters of Wine in the world she is part of an elite group of wine experts. To be a Master of Wine involves passing a rigorous set of theory and blind tastings exams that have such high standards that very few people make it through to the end. Emma completed her dissertation for this qualification on Lebanese wine, a subject close to her heart. She continues to share her education today by guiding Master of Wine students in blind tasting classes and training business students in buying practices at the University of Dijon and KEDGE business school Bordeaux.