With more than 1,600 wines, beers and spirits available across waitrosecellar.com, waitrose.com and in our stores, we need experts and buyers who know their stuff – and they do, meet some of them below. We have more Masters of Wine (MW) than any other supermarket and 250 drinks specialists who you can chat to in store or meet through a Wine Tasting at Home gift experience.
Pierpaolo Petrassi MW
Partner & head of buying
Pierpaolo joined Waitrose & Partners
in 2010, having spent his a career in the drinks and retail industry. He was the first Italian to become a Master of Wine and specialises in wines from
"Choosing the best drinks is a team effort and I’m lucky to work with buyers who are enormously experienced. We’re proud of the breadth of our range – there’s something for every budget and occassion."
What are you drinking? The 2008 release of Waitrose & Partners Brut Special Réserve Vintage Champagne. It's half Chardonnay and rich enough to drink throughout a celebratory meal.
Partner & drinks buyer, waitrosecellar.com
Prior to joining the team at Waitrose & Partners in 2013, Xenia worked as a buyer for a large regional brewery, retailer and wine importer, as well as being an independent wine consultant. Her passion is our “On the QT” range - small batch, one-off wines that you can’t buy anywhere else.
What are you drinking? Neudorf
Tom's Block Pinot Noir from New Zealand has juicy fruit with elegance
– very classy.
Rebecca Hull MW
Partner & buyer, rosé, sparkling wine and Champagne
Becky joined Waitrose & Partners in 2005, having achieved the rare double of the Vintners Cup for the highest mark of the year in the WSET Diploma and the Tim Derouet Award for exceptional performance in the Master of Wine exams.
“There’s so much diversity in sparkling wine these days, and such good
What are you drinking? Bird in Hand Pinot Noir Rosé – served lightly chilled, it makes a lovely drink in winter as well as summer.
Partner & buying manager
Jamie is passionate about sharing his knowledge and experience of the drinks world, with customers and peers alike. He regularly attends and speaks at industry conferences to keep up to date with the latest trends.
“We’re really proud of our selection and work hard to maintain it. We want to give people a broad choice of new and classic wines and things they haven’t tried before.”
What are you drinking? Warre's Bottle Aged LBV (late bottled vintage) 2007 – it doesn't need decanting, and it's excellent with cheese.
Partner & buyer, Austria, Australia and
Having spent four years gaining experience in Australia’s wine industry, Alexandra joined the award-winning team at Waitrose & Partners.
“I love delving into the exciting regions that I look after and bringing new and interesting wines to our customers.
We get to work alongside the very best producers in their regions, many of whom work soley with Waitrose
What are you drinking? Brokenwood Thompson's Road Semillon from Australia's Hunter Valley – it's fresh and zippy.
Alexandra is on maternity leave – meet Imogen Bowen-Davies, below.
Partner & spirits buyer
John has worked for Waitrose & Partners since 1991, becoming spirits buyer in 2014. He passed his
Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Level 2 Award in Spirits with distinction in 2018.
“It is a great time to be in the spirits industry with so much innovation going on. Who would have thought gin would have been so popular a few years ago?”
What are you drinking? The Sexton single malt whiskey from Ireland. It's aged in former oloroso casks and comes in a striking hexagonal bottle.
Partner & buyer, beer
Louise really enjoys encouraging customers to try new beers and ciders, as there are hundreds to choose from at Waitrose & Partners.
“Our ale range in store is broken down by type – light & refreshing, amber, dark & full-bodied. So, if you always make a beeline for the same section, why not step outside your comfort
zone next time – you might get a pleasant surprise!”
What are you drinking? Horninglow No.2 Imperial Stout. It's full-bodied with a spicy, green-tea aroma.
Partner & buyer, France
Daphne has worked in the wine industry since 2011. She was awarded Drinks Business Retail Buyer of the Year in 2016 and is studying to become a Master of Wine.
“France covers a wide range of climates and wine styles, and often offers fantastic value from talented winemakers.”
What are you drinking? Savoir Vieillir from sustainable producer Château Maris, which has no added sulphites and is also organic and biodynamic.
Daphne is on maternity leave – meet Poppy de Courcy-Wheeler, below.
Partner & buyer, Italy and South Africa
Victoria has been buying wine for Waitrose & Partners since June 2016. A year later, she worked at Rustenberg in Stellenbosch, South Africa before graduating from the Champagne Academy. In 2018 she completed her WSET Diploma studies and was awarded the Wines from Spain prize for outstanding results. She has a passion for Chenin Blanc and for running (especially in vineyards!).
What are you drinking? ColleMassari Rosso Riserva Montecucco – it's packed with personality and from an up-and-coming region for juicy reds.
Partner & buyer, Americas and Iberia
What are you drinking? Castillo de Olite Colección Navarra is a wonderful Spanish Tempranillo-based blend that's great with roast lamb.
Poppy de Courcy-Wheeler
Partner & buyer, France
Poppy joined the Waitrose team from Charles Taylor Wines, where she was a buyer for Burgundy, Rhône and Bordeaux, then head of trade sales. But her career in wine began after graduating from Bordeaux University and working at Château Fayau. She later secured her Diploma in Wine and received the Prowein Prize for Outstanding Achievement.
What are you drinking? Many of our wines come from working closely
with winemakers to produce the best exclusive blend for our customers.
One of my first was the 2019 vintage
of Masson-Blondelet Pouilly Fumé:
it's lemony, elegant Sauvignon – a
Partner & assistant buyer, England & Wales, Eastern Europe and formats
Having gained a double masters while studying in The Netherlands and Switzerland, Marien joined the wine buying team in July 2019. She achieved the WSET Level 3 in November 2019 and is currently studying for WSET Diploma qualification.
“The exploration of new and exciting wines is not only driven by customers demanding new experiences but also because we want to deliver wines with the highest quality.”
What are you drinking? Simpsons Estate Chardonnay from Kent. It's unoaked, Chablis-esque and perfect with shellfish.
Partner & assistant buyer, local and regional, kosher and no and low alcohol
What are you drinking? Æcorn Aromatic Apéritif – it's richly flavoured but non-alcoholic. Try it chilled or with soda and a slice of orange.
Partner & buyer, Australia and New Zealand
Imogen developed her love for wine while training to be a chef after leaving university, then went on to be a buyer for Majestic Wine, specialising in rosé and wines from Austria and the Rhône. Since joining the Waitrose team in December 2019, Imogen has been able to combine all her passions – cooking, matching wine to food and sharing what she learns with customers.
What are you drinking? Greystone Sauvignon Blanc. Made by a boutique producer, it's barrel fermented using wild yeasts, which makes for a complex and elegant style of Sauvignon with lovely floral notes.