Lumen - The University of Adelaide Magazine The University of Adelaide Australia
Lumen Summer 2016 Issue
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The beverage boss

Michael Meagher
Master of Gastronomy graduate Michael Meagher knows more about wine than most people in the world. He’s one of only 232 people to have achieved the title of Master Sommelier since the Court of the Master Sommeliers was established in 1977 to promote excellence in hotel and restaurant beverage services.

To earn the coveted title, Michael passed a gruelling diploma exam after nine years of preparation. The final invitation-only exam sees many candidates fail, sometimes several times over. Michael attempted the exam six times before achieving success. He says it is an honour to be included among such an elite group of wine experts.

“Having met and worked with a large number of masters in the US during my studies, I stand in awe of their accomplishments and talents and wonder how it is that I could possibly be mentioned in the same sentence.”

Michael studied sociology as an undergraduate at Harvard University but soon realised his interests lay with the culinary arts. He went on to work as a chef and gained qualifications from the Culinary Institute of America and the University of Adelaide’s Le Cordon Bleu Masters of Gastronomy program.

He says that Adelaide’s vibrant culture of food and wine was the perfect place for him to further his skills.

“Putting all three of my degrees together, with the gastronomy program as the capstone, really sharpened my intuition and insight into culture, societal influence and market trends, while making me keenly aware of the true universal nature that is the celebration of good food and good wine.”

As Chairman Emeritus of the Boston Sommelier Society, Michael now mentors others who are working towards the Master Sommelier title. He is also the regional sales manager for Jackson Family Wines where he educates sales representatives in Boston, New York and Washington DC.

“I know that every bottle of wine I sell has the potential to be a part of someone’s celebration and through my education and experience, I hope I can help other people become better ambassadors of great wineries, great vineyards, great winemakers, which in turn will foster better consumers and wine culture,” he says.

“Wine is the ultimate social beverage and I’m just happy to be working towards bringing more people together over a glass or two!”

More alumni achievements

Dr Helen Caldicott (MBBS 1962) has been recognised for her dedication to promoting peace and freedom with an Inaugural Australian Peacewomen award in Canberra.

Professor Mike McLaughlin (PhD Ag Sc 1988) has been elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science.

Fleur Tuthill (M Clin Nursing 2013) has won the Graduate Nurse of the Year award at Coffs Harbour Hospital. Fleur was a part of the first cohort to graduate from the masters program.

Associate Professor Hubertus Jersmann (PhD 2001) has been awarded the 50th Anniversary Medal of the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand.

What’s new with you?
If you have recently celebrated a promotion or career achievement, a change of job or won a major prize, we want to hear about it! Share your good news with your fellow alumni by emailing us. Please include your name, degree and graduation year.
Send it to or call +61 8 8313 5800 

View more alumni achievements at 

Story by Genevieve Sanchez


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