Two of the seven new Masters of Wine are from the UK and both work in the UK off-trade sector.

Elizabeth Kelly MW (pictured left) joined the wine industry 16 years ago and she worked at Oddbins and the WSET before joining the wine team at Marks and Spencer in 2013. She is currently involved in buying English wines and product development. Her research paper focused on a sustainability scheme for the UK wine production industry.

Beth Pearce MW (pictured right) works as a buyer for Majestic Wine, and she now holds the company’s first MW title. She joined Majestic’s study programme in 2016 after completing the WSET Diploma, where she received the Derouet Jameson scholarship. Her research paper asked how effective is it to use the reduced carbon footprint of bulk shipping and UK bottling as a marketing message.

Majestic’s chief executive, John Colley, said: “This is an absolutely incredible achievement and a huge testimony to Beth’s fantastic skills, dedication and knowledge. We are very proud to have her on board and toast our first Master of Wine in 40 years!”

Pearce began her Majestic career in the Bath store in 2010 but left to experience wine and retail in Australia. She returned to the UK and to Majestic in 2013, initially becoming the store’s first non-wine buyer. She currently looks after New Zealand, Australia, North America, Bordeaux, Rhone, regional France, Alsace and Eastern and Central Europe for the retailer. 

Pearce said: “It is absolutely wonderful to be joining the elite numebr of MWs worldwide, and today represents the conclusion of a heck of a lot of work and effort. It was over a decade ago when I first visited the vineyards of New Zealand and truly caught the wine bug. I would never have believed how that initial experience could lead to a day like today. 

“Now if you don’t mind I am off for a pint and then home to open something rather special!”

The Institute of Masters of Wine has just announced that Kelly and Pearce have secured their Masters of Wine title, along with five others” Vanessa Conlin MW from the US, Pasi Ketolianen MW from Finland, Lin Liu MW from France, Curtis Mann MW from the US, and Ross Wise MW from Canada.

The total number of MWs in the world is now 396 in 30 countries. The top six countries where MWs are based around the world are the UK, the US, Australia, France, Germany and New Zealand.