As we look back at the best of 2020, we’re showcasing the videos that helped us pass the time through the worst of the crisis. Whether it was having fun with the creative contributors to our “Wine at Home”–themed video contest, cooking new meals, tagging along with a famous California chef or learning more about wine regions with our editors, there was something for every wine and food lover this year. Our top videos also included Q&As with star vintners and winemakers, an inside look at the Wine of the Year and our staff’s favorite cocktail recipes for at-home happy hours. So raise your glass, sit back, and enjoy this reel of 2020’s best clips!
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Wine of the Year 2020
This year, wine lovers from around the globe tuned in to see Wine Spectator’s 2020 Wine of the Year reveal. Longtime executive editor Thomas Matthews, lead taster for Spanish wines, unveiled the Bodegas Marqués de Murrieta Rioja Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial 2010 and explained how Murrieta’s flagship bottling, produced only in top vintages, stands at the head of the class in Rioja and the world. For more information on all Top 100 Wines of 2020, check out our Top 100 video page to hear from our senior editors about what makes the Top 10 wines special and explore other regions, grape varieties and wine styles featured in this year’s list.
Video Contest Winner
Drink the Best in House Arrest
For our “Wine at Home”–themed 2020 video contest, creative wine lovers make the most of being stuck in one place. This year’s winning submission from the Campione family brightens the day with wine, a zany sing-along and some fancy footwork. The Campiones took in the most viewer votes, followed by “New Normal” and “2020: A Year to Shred.” Check out the rest of the finalists and honorable mentions!
How to Buy Wine
Earlier this year, we visited Total Wine & More for some buying tips from retail pros. Our quick and easy guide helps wine lovers get the most out of shopping for wine, with advice on questions to ask and how to get the best bottle for your buck. Check out more of our great tips on serving, decanting and saving wine!
How to Open Sparkling Wine
‘Tis the season! This year we offered a quick tutorial for bubbly lovers around the world. Celebrate your wins of 2020 (no matter how small), toast to a better year to come, and learn the right way to pop a bottle of sparkling wine from one of our pros!
ABCs of Burgundy
Our primers on some of France’s most popular wine regions drew lots of viewers this year. Burgundy produces some of the world’s finest Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays, but it can also seem intimidating to those new to wine. Senior editor Bruce Sanderson and associate editor Julie Harans break down the terroirs, the grapes, the classification system and where to look for values (with some helpful pronunciations thrown in) in this educational video.
ABCs of Bordeaux
Bordeaux produces some of the world’s most prestigious bottles, from châteaus with centuries of history behind them. But Bordeaux wines don’t have to be complicated or expensive. Senior editor James Molesworth and associate editor Julie Harans walk viewers through the grapes, geography, wine styles and the 1855 Classification.
Sazerac No. 9
The Wine Spectator staff has been making the most of our time at home this year, experimenting with new recipes and revisiting old classics. Our Staying Home series gave readers new activities to try at home, from creating homemade pizza to Halloween-themed cocktails. In one of our top videos, news editor Mitch Frank introduces us to his original take on a classic New Orleans cocktail, with a little inspiration from Saints quarterback Drew Brees. Frank (and son) also shared an aperitif cocktail creation, a blend of gin and Americano called the Allora.
Associate tasting coordinator Cassia Schifter and her trusty assistant Puggsy Bogues kicked off the summer with a delightfully refreshing cocktail starring sparkling wine, tequila and grapefruit juice. And don’t miss another favorite of Cassia’s, the Sherry-based La Viña cocktail!
Baked Brie in Puff Pastry
Just in time for holiday meals, Wine Spectator‘s cheese geek Robert Taylor shares this super-simple recipe for a decadent, gooey, comfort-food splurge for any occasion. And if cheese is in your plans for any upcoming celebrations (and why wouldn’t it be?), check out some of last year’s top videos, including how to cut and wrap cheese!
Sausage King Bruce Aidells
In November, Wine Spectator and chef Charlie Palmer launched the American Artisan video series, where the Restaurant Award–winning chef, restaurateur and hotelier takes us behind the scenes with California wine-country food purveyors, craft-cocktail creators and winemakers. The series kicked off with butcher and sausage maker Bruce Aidells. Tag along as these longtime friends and culinary icons share memories, talk shop and make fennel sausage porchetta!
Wine Star Roundtables
A Tribute to Dad
On Father’s Day, we showcased special tributes from wine stars around the world—Joe Wagner, Laura Catena, Gaia and Giovanni Gaja, Carissa Mondavi and more—who told us about their special relationships with their fathers. See how leading wine pros answer other questions, such as “Who is your wine hero?”, “What has working in wine taught you?” and “What was your first sip of wine?” in our Wine Star Roundtable videos!
A Perfect Match: Cacio e Pepe
Which wine should you pair with this year’s most popular episode of A Perfect Match? Two of Wine Spectator‘s recipe editors and testers talk cooking tips and explain why a light skin-contact white wine from Italy pairs so well with this cheesy pasta recipe from chef Chris Borges of Wine Spectator Award of Excellence winner Josephine Estelle restaurant in New Orleans. Other favorites included Mango Miso Salmon with Chenin Blanc and Roasted Oysters with Grüner Veltliner. Don’t miss our entire series of Perfect Match videos and accompanying recipes!
Grilled Lamb and Charred Corn
To help ease the transition from summer into fall, we kept the backyard grilling going with some alternatives to steak and burgers—hearty meat and cheese dishes that make use of late-season corn, tomatoes, fruit and herbs. On an idyllic day at Vegetable Power Farm, Wine Spectator‘s Steven Merkel and farmer Shazana Goff grilled lamb chops, to be dressed with mint-gremolata butter, and charred corn that was then slathered with a tangy compound cream cheese. This 5 Favorites recipe, from chef Joe Carroll of Brooklyn’s Fette Sau and St. Anselm, calls for an easy-drinking red!
Wine Star Spotlight
Spotlight On: Newton Vineyard
Our Spotlight series of short interviews highlights famous names and rising stars in wine. Representing the new faces now at pioneering Napa wineries, Newton Vineyard general manager Jean-Baptiste Rivail and winemaker Alberto Bianchi teamed up to talk about working with mountain and valley floor Cabernet, sustainability and their excitement for the 40-year-old estate’s future.
Spotlight On: Stephan von Neipperg
The Bordeaux superstar—whose family’s properties in St.-Emilion include Château Canon-La Gaffelière, Clos de l’Oratoire and La Mondotte—talks about his early wine-tasting education, his commitment to environmentally friendly grapegrowing and making wines of energy and restraint.