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The Judges

Adriana Valentini

Adriana Valentini is Wine Manager of Balthazar Restaurant, (Caprice Holdings) modern French Brasserie. Raised in Milan, Italy, I worked for Milan’s top restaurants, the two Michelin starred ‘Il Luogo di Aimo e Nadia’ alongside chefs Fabio Pisani and Alessandro Negrini. My passion and my ambition to become one of the top female sommeliers, has led me to travel the world gathering experience, from pressing grapes in the Chateau Pommard vineyard, France, to the science of the ‘New World’ wines in Australia and New Zealand.

I have 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’!

As one of London’s leading female sommeliers, my role at Balthazar brings me back to ‘the floor’ where I am working closely with Executive Chef, Robert Redi, sharing my knowledge of  food and wine and spirits pairing. I had previously worked for the luxury Corinthia Hotel London as Head Sommelier and Deputy Restaurant Manager and for the most famous Women Club ‘ Grace’ nested in Belgravia as Executive Food and Beverage Manager.

My professional qualifications do include; the Wine and Spirit Educational Trust (WSET) Level 3 Award in Wines, the ONAF Certificate for Cheese Tasting, and a professional qualification awarded by the Italian Sommelier Association (A.I.S). My future plan whilst in London is to achieve my lifetime goal of completing her Master Sommelier certification.

I am fluent in English, Italian, Spanish, and German. In my spare time, I do embrace the culture of London and attend top exhibitions and shows. I do also enjoy masterclasses to ensure that I am continually expanding my knowledge for wine and spirits.