Persistence pays off. Ask Joshua Jackson, the winner of Wine Spectator’s 2019 Top 100 sweepstakes.
“I’ve entered the sweepstakes regularly for the past few years,” said Jackson, a Wine Spectator magazine subscriber and a frequent visitor to the publication’s website. “I never really expected to win.”
The odds were long: More than 40,000 people entered. But Jackson’s name was selected in a random drawing, and he has won a bottle of each of Wine Spectator’s Top 10 Wines of 2018.
Jackson, 48, a New York City–based options trader, lives in Manhattan with his wife, Elizabeth, and daughter Eleanor. He grew up in the suburbs and discovered wine after he moved to the city and began visiting fine restaurants with colleagues.
“I remember someone ordered Allegrini’s Palazzo della Torre 1997 and thinking “Wow! This is what wine can taste like,” Jackson recalled. “I found a wine store that had a few bottles and bought them all. That started my wine journey.”
Like so many other wine lovers, his passion grew after a trip to wine country. “My first official wine trip was in 2007. I went to Napa with Elizabeth, who at the time was my future wife. We used Wine Spectator as a guide and had a wonderful time. I joined a wine club or two, and the wine started coming. We went back and visited Sonoma, where we loved the Pinots. I’ve built up my cellar because I find I enjoy wines with a few years of age. I probably have 500 bottles at this point.”
Jackson is an explorer at heart. “I like exploring more obscure regions—Canary Islands, Bairrada in Portugal, Sicily. I’ve been enjoying the wines of Etna and am really looking forward to the Terra Nere [wine No. 9 in the Top 10 of 2018]. I’ve had their basic Rosso but never the San Lorenzo. I also look for small growers who work more sustainably. I’m not a total fan of natural wines, though I like a lot of them. But I do feel the terroir shows more clearly with minimal intervention.”
Elizabeth is also a wine lover but has her own tastes. “She’s a lover of Champagne,” Jackson said, “and is definitely eyeing the Dom Pérignon.” The 2008 vintage was named wine No. 5 for 2018.
The family has a house on Long Island’s East End, and they are fans of the local wines. “We go to Wölffer quite often,” Jackson said. “We enjoy the rosés. We also like Shinn.”
Dining out is still a favorite pastime, and a way to discover new wines. “The New York dining scene is amazing,” he said. “So many fabulous restaurants. Maialino is one of our favorites. Our go-to local restaurant is Buceo 95 on 95th Street, a wine and tapas place. They make excellent food and have a great wine list. We order by the quartino and just enjoy the evening.”