(North Hollywood – CALIF.) — A team of creative wine media professionals began this new year by looking forward to 2021, as well as reflecting upon the hundreds of wines from around the world that they covered in the past year on SOMM TV, the first video streaming platform and full podcast network in the wine, food, and travel space.

The result is the SOMM TV Top 40 Wines, selected by SOMM TV sommeliers, directors, filmmakers, producers, podcasters and cast members, including the same team of professionals that made the award-winning SOMM films documentary series. Together they make original new shows, films, and educational content from inception to broadcast.

According to Brian Reshefsky, SOMM TV CEO, “Rather than publish a simple list, SOMM TV created a gift for viewers who love wine, are interested in discovering the stories behind each bottle, and are eager to experience wine regions around the world. The list is free to anyone, and for our subscribers, provides an interactive user experience that includes personal insights from the passionate SOMM TV team, as well as storytelling videos paired with each of the SOMM TV Top 40 Wines.”

Ranging from a Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon still aging in barrel to an 1824 Maderia, the SOMM TV Top 40 Wines tells a story behind each story, with intimate reflections upon the significance of each wine within the context of SOMM TV filming and programming, as well as the personal experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic year of 2020.

Sabato Sagaria, MS and SOMM TV Cast Member selected the 2008 Vega Sicilia Unico as one of the most memorable wines he tasted last year. Opened and shared in New York City the night before Gotham Bar and Grill closed due to the emerging COVID-19 pandemic, Sagaria recalls, “That night we saw NYC celebrate an institution in the pantheon of NYC restaurants, and from the looks inside you would have had no idea we were on the precipice of a global pandemic overtaking our country. This is what it must have felt like in the dining room on the Titanic, the night they hit the iceberg. We did our best to help the team minimize the number of bottles they would have to pack up in their cellar and ended up drinking very well that night. While the wines were epic, what stands out in hindsight is that I could not taste them.”

When loss of taste was soon thereafter announced as a coronavirus symptom, Sagaria later tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies and it all made sense and the memory even more poignant. “This is a meal I will remember for years to come and it is not because of what was on the plate or in my glass, but it was truly memorable due to the sum of its parts. I’m not sure where I file my absentee palate ballot, but I’d like to revisit that flight.”

“This was a wine unlike anything I have ever tasted before!” Claire Coppi, Sommelier and SOMM TV Cast Member exclaimed about the 1977 Novaj Hungarian Merlot one of her SOMM TV Top 40 Wines picks which she luckily shared with fellow sommelier Jeff Porter on SOMM TV, “How often do you get a chance to taste a bottle, aged Soviet-era, Hungarian Merlot with residual sugar? It was so uniquely delicious and the history behind the bottle just made me nerd out on it that much more!”

Sommelier and SOMM TV Cast Member DLynn Proctor chose the 2011 DRC Échézeaux (Bottle # 02105) a birthday month gift sent from a dear friend last summer, “We hop onto Zoom and literally drink each our own bottle of Ech. We talked about Aubert, and Henri and Rouget, and all of the greats in the Vosne, as well as our trips together to Beaune, La Morra and Florence over the years. Most important bottle and convo this year!”

Forgotten Man Films, the parent company of SOMM TV, was founded by the team that created and produced the SOMM documentary trilogy including filmmaker Jason Wise, producer Christina Wise and cinematographer Jackson Myers, with Diane Carpenter joining the series as executive producer of the second and third SOMM films.

SOMM TV is an independently-owned network of films, programs and podcasts related to wine, food and travel and has no relation to any sommelier group or wine organization.

SOMM TV is the first SVOD (Subscription Video on Demand) streaming platform and full podcast network in the wine, food, and travel space offering exclusive new shows, films, and educational content created from the ground up by the team that made the award-winning SOMM documentary series.

The complete SOMM TV Top 40 Wines list is available here. For viewers, SOMM TV is available on every device and smart TV worldwide through a custom app and website, and the free podcasts can be found on all major platforms including iTunes and Spotify. SOMM TV is widely accessible and affordable at just $5.99 per month, or $49.99 for a full year after a free three-day trial.

SOMM TV Top 40 Wines of 2020

40. 2019 Cote des Roses Rosé

39. 2005 Pursued by Bear

38. 2018 Eden Rift Terraces Pinot Noir

37. Orion by Oscar Maurer

36. NV Substance Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne

35. 2018 Beaux Frères Chardonnay

34. 2016 Antoine Jobard Meursault Blagny 1er Cru

33. 2020 Pilcrow, Hilliwalker, Mt Veeder, Napa Valley

32. 2019 Ross Knoll Vineyard Rosé of Calera Cuvée Kimmie

31. 2016 Tiganello

30. 2017 Nuits-St-Georges ROUGE

29. 2017 L’ Artishasic ‘Lagier-Meredith Vineyard’ Syrah

28. 2016 Clos Electrique by Cameron

27. 2014 Jamet Cote Rotie

26. 2001 Schramsberg

25. 2001 Domaine Meo-Camuzet, Echezeaux ‘Les Rouges du Bas’

24. 2010 Mugnier, Les Amoureuses

23. 1999 Bernard Levet “La Chavaroche” Côte-Rôtie

22. 2008 Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame

21. 2011 Domaine Fourrier Gevrey Chambertin

20. 2005 Kings Mountain – Meritage

19. 2008 Rosado R. Lopez de Heredia

18. 2007 Salon Blanc de Blancs Le Mensil

17. 1992 Torrontés from Etchart

16. Zulal Areni – Armenia

15. 2008 Vega Sicilia Unico

14. 1996 Frog’s Leap Zinfandel

13. 2001 Domaine René Rostaing Côte-Rôtie La Landonne

12. 1980 Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon

11. 1999 Cobos Malbec

10. 1970 Heitz Martha’s Vineyard Cabernet

9.   2011 DRC Échézeaux(Bottle # 02105)

8.   1979 Spring Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon

7.   1977 Novaj Hungarian Merlot

6.   2000 Krug Clos d’Ambonnay

5.   1969 Chappellet Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

4.   1973 Dom Ruinart

3.   1936 Martinelli Zinfandel from Jackass Hill

2.   1970 Mayacamas Cabernet Sauvignon

1.   1824 Madeira

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Press releases are generated outside of Spirited magazine and the information contained does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Spirited or its parent company, Sonoma Media Investments.