Champagne Enthusiast Interview: John Jackson

8th June 2023

CEI John Jackson

The love of Champagne travels globally and does so breaking down any and all barriers from flavour appreciation to languages. I have found that Champagne lovers, or we can call these people enthusiasts, connoisseurs, collectors and more – We are all very much alike in that we love to share our experiences between each other from tasting notes to photos and though we may look on with much envy, we nonetheless appreciate very much sharing in other people’s Champagne delights!

As part of a new series of interviews, I wish to highlight individuals globally that fall within the category of Champagne enthusiasts, within the industry or not, from a wine-maker to a consumer – Champagne being the connection.

To start the series off, I wish to share with you some questions I put to John Jackson, or as you may know him, the Attorney Somm, whose many fine videos you will find on his YouTube channel and posts on his Instagram account. John shares his extensive knowledge of fine wines to include Champagne with topics ranging from storage to investing with many a fine wine tasted and notes shared – Well worth a watch or two and a subscribe!

Q: What got you on to the journey of wine collecting?
Growing up and even as a young attorney, I did not have exposure to much wine, and certainly not top wines. Then one night I had a business dinner with a colleague of mine who was a big wine fan and does legal work for Oprah Winfrey. He ordered a bottle of 2005 Opus One, which paired brilliantly with the steak. 6 months later I was in Napa for the first time. This eventually led to me joining a Dallas-based wine club (sort of like a country club, but for wine drinkers) and that exposed me to many of the great wines in the world, including top Champagne.

Q: Would you recommend grower Champagne for investing in? If so, can you share your particular favourites / favourite terroirs.
If you are talking about purchasing strictly for re-sale, this category does not have as much of a track record for investment. But certainly Jacques Selosse has appreciation potential. Ulysse Collin has certainly had a big price increase in the secondary market as well. There are many others whose wines I purchase and enjoy, but mostly with an eye to eventual personal enjoyment as opposed to re-selling at a profit. Some of my favourites to enjoy are Marguet and Egly Ouriet.

Q: If you could go back 30 years, what top 3 Champagnes would you be purchasing so to be enjoying today? 
Salon, Dom Pérignon and Pol Roger Winston Churchill. All three of them age so beautifully.  

Q: How do you recommend anyone new to collecting and wishing to build their stock quickly to manage/catalogue their wines?
Yes. I think that cellar management software is the best way to manage a collection. Personally I use Cellar Tracker since that is what was available when I started, but I understand there could be better options today. I recommend choosing software that includes a mobile application so that you can manage it on the go. I have found that unless you make changes in real time, it is easy to forget. 

Q: Have you any Champagne on your bucket list that you have yet to come past?
I have been very fortunate to try many of the top names, but there are certainly some exciting producers whose wines I have not yet tried. That would include Etienne Calsac.

Christopher Walkey

Co-founder of Glass of Bubbly. Journalist and author focused on Champagne & Sparkling Wines and pairing them with foods.