Selecting wine for the right occasion can be a real challenge, especially if it is for a very important occasion. John Jackson, DipWSET is a YouTuber and wine influencer who helps people pick out the best wine based on his experience and education.  John has been a wine collector for more than 15 years, has visited more than 40 wine-producing regions worldwide and has obtained his level 4 wine certification (DipWSET) from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust.

John is a wine expert and savvy wine collector who shares his insights and recommendations through his social media content. His blog reviews on Instagram (@AttorneySomm) are particularly well received and many followers rely on his reviews to make their purchasing decisions. 

Here are some of the wine recommendations by John Jackson:

1. Langhe Nebbiolo

This is an excellent choice for those who enjoy Barolo and Barbaresco, but are looking for a Nebbiolo-based wine that is able to be enjoyed earlier and at a more friendly price point.

This wine is often made from younger grape vines and/or grapes planted just outside the borders of Barolo and Barbaresco.  As a result, it is less costly than Barolo and Barbaresco, but yet shares many of the characteristics that make those wines so popular. 

2. Rioja

Rioja, which is primarily made from Tempranillo, is an excellent alternative to Pinot Noir. This is a Spanish wine that has a body similar to Pinot Noir, but often with more savory and spicy flavors.  Classic Rioja producers often age their wines extensively before they are released.  So while the Gran Reservas are certainly capable of further aging, they are also ready to enjoy on release.

3.  Chateauneuf du Pape

This wine is generally a blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre and other permitted grape varieties from the Southern Rhone region of France. These wines offer excellent quality for the price and are excellent cellar defenders, or wines that you can enjoy while you are waiting for more expensive, collectible wines to age.  Some of John’s favorite producers include Domaine du Pegau and Clos des Papes.

4. Cremant

For those who enjoy bubbles, Cremant is an excellent choice. Cremant is sparkling wine from France that is made in the same way as Champagne, but which is produced from grapes that are grown in different regions.  For example, Cremant d’Alsace would be produced from fruit grown in the Alsace region of France.  With most Champagne being sold for at least $40 or more, Cremant can often be an excellent value at half that price.