Uncorked: Johanna Cole

By Joe Lutrario

- Last updated on GMT

Johanna Cole restaurant manager at Edinburgh restaurant Eleanore

Related tags Johanna Cole Uncorked Eleanore Sommelier Wine Edinburgh Roberta Hall-McCarron

The restaurant manager at Edinburgh’s Eleanore on Melbourne, the whites of Savoie and Burgundy producer Athanais Beru.

Tell us about the moment you first became interested in wine
Working at Bomba Restaurant in Melbourne. Being around people who were all very passionate about their careers. There was a strong focus on staff training, tasting and having fun as a team.

Describe your wine list at Eleanore
We have a heavy focus on winemakers who practise organic and biodynamic farming, largely European with some New World. Our list changes regularly to pair with the seasonal produce and evolving menu. The aim is to provide quality at accessible price points with the range going from £25 to £100.

Over the course of your career, have you had any wine-related disasters? 
I’ve had a classic red wine disaster. I knocked a tray of glasses down the back of a customer's white linen jacket. I was so mortified that I paid to have it dry cleaned, but he never came back to collect it.

Name your top three restaurant wine lists
Mistral and Timberyard in Edinburgh and Manolo Cateca in Seville. 

Who do you most respect in the wine world?
Shane Barret and Sasha Imrie at Bomba, Hey Tomorrow! and Armada Imports (all in Melbourne). 

What’s the most interesting wine you’ve come across recently?
Bodegas La Riva Manzanilla Fina Miraflores Baja.

What are the three most overused tasting notes?
Singing, crunchy and funky. 

What’s the best value wine on your list at the moment?​ 
Domaine Partage Gilles Berlois Cri Cri. It drinks well on its own and pairs exceptionally well with our dishes. It’s at a price customers love and a style they seem to really enjoy exploring.

What is your ultimate food and drink match?
Bacon fries with a half pint of Guinness.

Old World or New World?
Old World. 

What is your pet hate when it comes to wine service in other restaurants?
Nosing and tasting a wine for a long time before deciding whether to serve it.

Who is your favourite producer right now?
Athanais Beru (from Burgundy). Her wines are all consistently delicious, especially her Aligote and Chardonnay.

As a restaurant manager, what question do you most get asked by customers?
Can I book a table, usually always for 7pm!

Which wine producing region or country is underrated at the moment?
The white wines of Savoie are underrated for their quality and value when compared to similar styles from more established regions.

It’s your last meal and you can have a bottle of any wine in the world. What is it and why? 
I love Chardonnay from Jura and I think I’d be drinking a magnum with my friends.

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