Jack Wilkinson – Sommelier, Berns Steakhouse, Tampa, Florida, USA
Jack Wilkinson
Sommelier, Berns Steakhouse Tampa, Florida, USA

NAME: Jack Wilkinson

POSITION: Sommelier, Berns Steakhouse Tampa, Florida, USA



BEST VARIETAL/REGION: Bordeaux and The Rhone

LOVING RIGHT NOW: Wines from Jeff Cohn



MEMBERS' TIP-OFF: 2009 Cru Beaujolais Wines of Jeff Cohn

For Jack Wilkinson, self-described student in the art of consumption, his memorable wine moments occur every time he shares a bottle with people he likes. “Nothing”, he says, “pairs better with wine than good friends and a patio…”

Jack also claims to be the Number One fan of Code38, exclamation mark. “I have the same relationship with my Code38 as a samurai has with his sword”, he tells me. “I aspire to honour its craftsmanship.” And the first bottle he ever opened with his Code38 remains the most exciting one. While he does not name the wine he recalls the feeling. “As an adult”, he says, “it is rare to have that ‘Christmas morning’ feeling, but when my Code arrived that’s how I felt. It is such a fun tool to use that it sometimes overshadows the wine that it opens.” As it clearly did in this instance!

What Jack is really loving at the moment are the wines of Jeff Cohn, at JC Cellars. He says that they are “full-throttle single vineyard California Zins and Rhone wines at great prices”, going on to say that Jeff “has the amazing ability to showcase California’s best micro-climates while injecting his distinctive style.”

And yet he is unable to tell us what his current favourite variety is. “That’s like asking to pick a favourite child!”, he admonishes. He does know that as far as a preferred region goes he should be answering Burgundy, “but I think it might actually be Bordeaux, or the Rhone…”

Impressive is his report of the wines most recently opened with his Code38 Stealth. The four “awesome” bottles were a 1995 Mongeard-Mugneret Echezeaux V.V; a 1975 Cahors Comte Andre de Monpezat; a 1979 Cornas Pere Anselme and a 2009 JC Cellars Syrah Musci Vineyards, CA. (“great juice, drinking it right now!”)

But what would he recommend to fellow Code38 members? The 2009 Cru Beaujolais, as it turns out. He loves them. “They are great crossover food wines – they are complementary to pork, poultry, leaner beef dishes, veal and fuller-flavoured fish. I love them with charcoal-grilled burgers!” Jack says they should be readily available at any good wine-shop. “Stock up”, he advises us, “they are cheap, awesome, and will develop in the bottle for the next few years.” “

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