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1 May 2024


24 & 25 March 2025

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22 April 2025

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Meet our 2023 Judges

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Adriana Valentini

Head of Beverage at Oxford and Cambridge Club

Adriana Valentini is currently the Head of Beverage at the iconic Oxford and Cambridge Club, a traditional London club. Membership is largely restricted to those who are members of the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge.  She leads a group of 15 people made up of senior and junior Sommelier and Bar tenders.

Raised in Milan, Italy, her passion and her ambition to become one of the top female sommeliers, has led her to travel the world gathering experience, from vineyards in France, to the ‘New World’ in Australia and New Zealand. She worked as Head Sommelier for Milan’s top restaurants, among all the two Michelin starred ‘Il Luogo di Aimo e Nadia’ alongside chefs Fabio Pisani and Alessandro Negrini, she travelled the globe on board of the luxury Costa Cruise NeoRomantica and she worked as Head Sommelier and Restaurant Manager for the sumptuous Five Stars Corinthia Hotel, nestled in the heart of Central London.

She has pursued a career in wine because honestly ‘When you have a fond memory of a specific occasion it normally involves a glass of wine and this is what drives me - happy memories’!

She likes to consider herself like a “speed dating psychologist”: a good sommelier can indeed work out what sort of person you are, how well off you are and what you really fancy most within a very short period of time, maybe with only a few sentences into a chat — and then take you there quickly, picking up on any hints you drop along the way!

Her 12 years of professional qualifications do include the Wine and Spirit Educational Trust (WSET), the Executive Management in Food and Hospitality, the ONAF Certificate for Cheese Tasting, and the Diploma qualification in wine awarded by the Italian Sommelier Association (A.I.S). Her future plans whilst in London are to achieve her lifetime goal of studying for the Master of Wine certification.

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