John Kapon is Chairman of Acker, America’s oldest wine merchant and the world’s largest fine and rare wine auction house. In 1994, Kapon succeeded his father and grandfather in the family business, and in the decades that followed, elevated Acker to the forefront of the global fine and rare wine stage. His uniquely passionate and personal approach to wine and wine auctions transformed the industry into what it is today. Once considered stodgy, under Kapon’s influence, wine auctions have evolved into convivial gatherings where fabulous fine and rare wines are opened, tasted, and shared. After recognizing a thirst for fine wine in Asia amidst the removal of oppressive tariffs, in 2008, Kapon pioneered the market for wine auctions in Hong Kong with the creation of Acker Merrall & Condit Asia. Internationally regarded as a leading fine wine expert and master taster, he released his first book in 2012, The Compendium: Tasting the World’s Finest Wines – Volume I. This collection, featuring hundreds of tasting notes beautifully illustrated with dozens of photos of the world’s greatest estates and vineyards, provides an insider’s glimpse into the exclusive and luxurious world of fine and rare wine. Today, John is the person at Acker who appraises the bottle understands the wine market, as well as pricing for specific producers and vintages. He estimates Acker has appraised 10 million bottles in the 20 years it’s held auctions. Like other big houses, it generally deals in quantity or collections that range from 30 to 3,000 bottles.
Best in introductory wines:
"Someone may like Chardonnay, but their understanding of that grape may only be defined by the lens of California Chardonnays, so that same grape in Burgundy might taste totally different to them. Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Merlot might be the grapes that people know and talk about the most, but Sangiovese, the grape in Chianti and Brunello, Riesling, which has an incredible diversity of interpretations both bone dry and sweet, and Syrah, the basis of many wines from the Rhone Valley and Australia, all should be considered as introductory grapes when beginning to learn about wine."16 March 2021
How to learn about wine:
"The best way for new wine enthusiasts to learn about wine is to truly immerse themselves in the wine space."16 March 2021
On storing wine:
"Wine should be stored in a cool place in your home if you do not have a designated wine fridge."
"Too often, people keep bottles underneath the sink or on top of the refrigerator, not realizing that these places get a bit too warm for wines in the long term."
"It's always better to be too cold than too warm, so if you have to keep it in your fridge, that's better than a warm closet."