Raise a Glass: Northcote’s Head Sommelier becomes Master Sommelier
We are proud to announce that our head sommelier, Adam Pawlowski, has become a Master Sommelier.
Widely regarded as one of the hardest diplomas in in the world, with only 220 passing the exam since its inception in the UK more than 40 years ago, it is a huge achievement for Adam and testament to his talent.
Broken down into three components – theory, practical and tasting – candidates have only three years to pass before they must start again if they do not succeed. Adam – now the first master sommelier from Poland and the 220th in the world – passed his theory last year and both his practical and tasting on 31st October.
Adam says: “It’s been a journey but I really enjoyed the process – this year I was the only successful candidate out of the 24 who sat the exam. I wouldn’t have been able to achieve it without the help of my friends and the support that I have been kindly given by Craig, Nigel and the team at Northcote.”
The achievement adds to Adam’s already existing roster of accolades: career highlights include finalist in the UK 2011 and 2014 Best Sommelier Competition; winner of the Sud de France Sommelier Competition 2013; runner-up in the South Africa Sommelier Cup 2013; and winner of Polish Best Sommelier 2014. Not forgetting to mention, of course, his achievements at Northcote, helping to secure the covetable 2013-2014 AA Wine List Of The Year for its quality and ability to inspire customers to make more adventurous choices.
Craig Bancroft, director of wines at Northcote, says: “Nigel [Haworth] and I are over the moon for Adam: he’s totally driven and dedicated and his hard work has paid off. We’re also proud of the wine team for providing a good platform for Adam with regular tastings that helped to develop his palette. Becoming a Master Sommelier is even harder to achieve now than it was when it was first introduced, as the wine world has expanded beyond old world, with a huge knowledge base required. A truly incredible achievement.”
Adam will continue working alongside Craig on developing Northcote’s delectable pairings and growing its ever-evolving cellar, now famous for housing one of the UK’s largest selection of Portuguese wines (with 40 out of its 550 bins championing its varietals).
A personal win for Adam and a collective win for Northcote.