Waitrose wine, beer & spirits buying team


At Waitrose, we have more Masters of Wine than any other supermarket. All our wines go through a rigorous quality control and tasting process with the Masters of Wine and the rest of the wine buying team. We also have a further 220 wine specialists to advise you in branch.


Pierpaolo Petrassi

Pierpaolo Petrassi

MW, Head of Buying

Pierpaolo joined Waitrose in 2010, having spent his entire career in the drinks and retail industry. His specialty is the wines of Italy from where he originates.

"The most exciting thing about my role is having an overview of so many amazing products. Waitrose have a wide and exciting range of wines and something for every customer's budget."

Xenia Irwin

Xenia Irwin

Wine Buyer -
Waitrose Cellar

Xenia Irwin MW joined the team as Buyer for Waitrose Cellar in December 2013. Xenia has over 24 years experience in the wine trade, having worked as an independent wine consultant, as well as a buyer for a large regional brewery, retailer and wine importer. 

Xenia became a Master of Wine in 2003.

Norman Freeman

Norman Freeman

Buying Manager -
Beers & Spirits

Norman joined Waitrose in 1983 and has been buying since 1989. As Buying Manager he oversees spirits, beers and ciders. He is very much enjoying his second stint with this award winning and exciting product area. He is thrilled to be involved in such an interesting and integral area.

Nick Room

Nick Room

Wine Buyer - Fortified, Sweets, South America, Portugal, Spain, Burgundy and Beaujolais

Nick is celebrating 25 years in wine buying! He specialises in wine from South America, Spain and Portugal. 

He also sources our award-winning sherries including Waitrose Solera Jerezana Fino, fortified, rosé and sweet wines. 

In recognition of his contribution to the Spanish wine trade, Nick is current chairman of the Gran Orden de Caballeros del Vino.

Alexandra Mawson

Alexandra Mawson

Wine Buyer - Australia, New Zealand, Rosé and USA

This year Alexandra is celebrating her 10th year in the wine industry. Having returned home to Britain after spending 4 years in the wine trade in Australia, she is thrilled to join the award-winning wine buying team at Waitrose. 

Alexandra says she looks forward to delving into the exciting regions in her categories and bringing new and interesting wines to Waitrose customers.

Cat Lomax

Cat Lomax

Wine Buyer - Sparkling, California, Bordeaux, Alsace, Austria, Rhône and South of France

Named "Young Achiever of the Year" in 2011 by the Drinks Business, Cat is about to start studying for the Master of Wine qualification. Her specialist areas are Bordeaux, Rhône, Alsace, Germany, Austria and the USA.

Ken Mackay

Ken Mackay

Wine Buyer - Champagne

Ken has worked in the wine business since he graduated from Oxford in 1999. He became one of the youngest ever Master of Wine in 2006, winning several scholarships in the process and joining the Waitrose wine team in 2008.

John Vine

John Vine

Buyer - Spirits

John joined Waitrose in 1996 and began his buying career in 2000. He has bought for numerous areas of the business, most recently joining the Beers, Wines and Spirits team as spirits buyer in December 2014. He says he is excited to be working in an evolving and diverse area.

Becky Hull

Becky Hull

Wine Buyer - English & Welsh wine

Becky joined Waitrose in 2005. She received the rare double of winning the Vintners Cup for the highest mark of the year in the WSET Diploma, and then scooped the Tim Derouet Award for exceptional performance in the Master of Wine exams, which she passed in 1997.

maria

Maria Elener

Wine Buyer - Loire, South Africa, Italy, Eastern Europe and 'rest of the world'

Marie started her career in wine buying over 8 years ago, since then she has worked in various roles within the trade. She is responsible for purchasing wines from the Loire, Italy, South Africa and exciting ranges from the rest of the world.

James Bone

James Bone

Wine Buyer

James joined Waitrose 11 years ago and has been in buying for the last 9. He has worked in a number of product areas and joined the wine team as a buying manager in December 2012. He is thrilled to be involved in such an interesting and integral area.

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Wine Specialists

We currently have 286 specialists over 242 branches, and the WSET certificates (Intermediate, Advanced, Professional Certificate in Spirits and Diploma) are the corner-stone of all our bespoke training packages. In the last two years, many of our specialists have taken part in trips to Germany and Austria and a Specialist Conference at our own farm in Leckford. They also gain a thorough understanding of Food & Wine matching, which is an especially relevant concern for our customers. The training is not simply exam based- there is a full programme of continuous professional development including selling skills and customer service training, dvd training in specialist areas (for example pronunciation guides), conferences, speeches, visits and tastings.

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Awards we've won

The Waitrose wine buying team are delighted to have won so many awards this year, including Multiple Spirits Retailer of the YearMultiple Champagne Retailer of the YearOnline Drinks Retailer of the Year and Supermarket Drinks Retailer of the Year.

Shop all award winning wines