Julia Sewell

How long have you been at the restaurant?

Since the restaurant opened in April 2018.

What attracted you to become a sommelier?

The idea of training your sense of smell and taste to be genuinely useful; and of course the wine.

Where did you do your training?

Mainly in Australia; the sommelier profession is very much based in apprenticeship-style training, and I was fortunate to have some wonderful trainers.

What would you say were the essential skills required to be a sommelier?

Patience, empathy and confidence.

What wines complement your personal favourite three course meal and why?

I would happily drink a bottle of Davide Leclapart l’Alchimiste Rose Champagne with every part of any three-course meal!

What are your thoughts on the “Red wine with red meat, white wine with white meat and fish” age-old debate?

My thoughts run much more along the line of “Red wine with the person who wants red wine; white wine with the person who wants white wine”.

How does the choice of the right wines complement the different food courses served?

A really fantastic pairing can be a truly memorable experience; like an artwork that stops you in your tracks. There’s something very particular about how it feels to experience this as a flavour sensation rather than visually; it goes straight to your emotions.

What’s the best part of your job?


And the worst?

It’s all best!

What is the unusual wine that you have ever tasted and why?

I suppose technically it wasn’t actually wine; but the most unusual drink in this category was a ‘mandarin wine’ made by my uncle. It tasted like oil and honey.

What is the most money that you’ve ever seen spent on a single bottle?

Over £17,000.

How many wines do you have?

About 6,000.

How often do you find that customers complain about wine being corked and – in your opinion – how often do you think that they are right?

We check every wine before it goes to the guest, so fortunately they never receive a wine that is corked. Once we did have a guest claiming that their wine was corked because there was a small piece of cork floating in the glass. That was an interesting discussion…