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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.


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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.

He says that the most exciting thing about his role is having an overview of so many amazing products. “Waitrose have a wide and exciting range of wines and something for every customers budget.”

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Ken Mackay

MW, Champagne and Sparkling Wine Buyer


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.

He is currently responsible for buying Champagne and sparkling wine.

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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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Norman Freeman

Buying manager Beers and Spirits


Norman joined Waitrose in 1983 and has been buying wine 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.

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Herchelle Perez Terrado

Spirits Buyer

Herchelle Perez Terrado has been spirits buyer at Waitrose since 2010. With almost a decade in the buying industry working for some on the UK's most respected British retailers, she joined Waitrose to pursue her passion for Spirits and is now a judge for the Spirits Business. 

Herchelle has a number of accolades under her belt, winning numerous awards for Waitrose own label development.

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Kate Prall

Beer and Cider Buyer 

Kate Prall joined Waitrose in 2006 as Promotions Manager for Beers, Wines and Spirits. 

She has spent the last few years in various buying roles for Waitrose, before returning to the team this year as Beer and Cider Buyer, where she hopes to further build on our excellent range of ales and specialist world beers.

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Nick Room

Wine Buyer

Nick is celebrating 25 years in wine buying! His specialises in wine from South America, Spain and Portugal. He also sources our award-winning Sherries including Waitrose Solera Jerezana Fino, fortified, rose 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.

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Xenia Irwin

MW, Wine Buyer Waitrose Cellar


Xenia Irwin MW joined Waitrose 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.

She became a Master of Wine in 2003.

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Liam Steevenson

MW, Wine Buyer 
Australia, New Zealand, Burgundy and Southern France

Liam Steevenson MW joined Waitrose in December 2013. Liam founded, his own independent Wine Merchant based in Devon, and has been running the company for the last 9 years. He won the Waitrose scholarship in 2002 for the Master of Wine program, and passed the exam on his first attempt, at the age of 28. Liam will be responsible for buying wine from Australia, Burgundy, New Zealand and Regional France.

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Becky Hull

MW, Wine Buyer


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.

Becky oversees our award-winning range of local English and Welsh wines.

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Cat Lomax

Wine Buyer

Cat joined Waitrose in 2013. 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, Rhone, Alsace, Germany, Austria and the USA.

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Maria Elener

Wine Buyer

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.

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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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