Agência para o Investimento e Comércio Externo de Portugal


Travel, restaurants and vineyards were all virtually off limits. But a lot of bottles were opened at home, creating a different sort of history.

Like many people, I’ve spent most of 2020 sitting at home thinking about what was to have been.


My intent this year was to spend a fair amount of time traipsing through rows of gnarled old vines around the world, tasting new wines from barrels in any number of cold, mold-adorned cellars and meeting new people and fascinating wine cultures.


In an ordinary year, the most exciting moments are often the least predictable: leaning over a farmer’s shoulder as she kneels under a row of vines, showing me something I never knew; swooning over a wine I’d never had in a restaurant recommended by somebody I’d just met in a place I’d never been; drinking a wine I thought I disliked only to find, in that moment, I’d rather be drinking nothing else.


None of these experiences, so integral to what I hope to accomplish each year, were available in 2020. Neither were the memories built through the usual sort of reporting in the field.


With a few exceptions from early on, my memories are drawn largely from what I drank at home, my thoughts entwined with the pain of the Covid-19 pandemic, the killing of George Floyd, the political discord and all else that will consign 2020 to the annals of infamy.


Here, then, are my 10 most memorable wines of 2020. I don’t say the best, just the most memorable, listed from the youngest wine to the oldest.