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Rolling Blog: Daily Updates of How COVID-19 is Altering The Wine Industry

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02/04/2020 Get the latest news & updates of COVID-19 with this rolling blog.

Sommeliers Choice Awards will be gathering the latest news about the COVID 19’s affect on the wine industry. We’ll be updating this blog regularly with important news and stories.

1 April 2020

Creative Wine Tasting: Building Community, Virtually

In this time of social distancing, quarantining and sheltering in place, wine-lovers’ plans are getting a bit thin. We’re cooking at home, we’re dipping into our cellars for special bottles, and we’re grateful for clear ways to stay safe and healthy. And for those of us who find joy in the wine community — visiting tasting rooms, chatting with winemakers, touring vineyards and wineries — a number of wineries and wine purveyors, large and small, are pivoting quickly and gracefully to creative ways of giving us access to all those things. Here are four experiences to consider when planning your next wine tasting.

Read the complete news HERE

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1 April 2020

World's Largest 2-Day Online Wine Sale Featuring Over 700 Wines - Marathon Madness!

Napa-based Last Bottle Wines the online retailer known for its daily deals of up to 30-70% off retail on fine wines will hold its largest-ever online "Marathon Madness" wine sale Thursday, April 2nd, 9AM PDT, and will donate $1 per order to Napa Food Bank and Napa Valley Community Foundation 

They believe the world needs wildly well-priced wine now more than ever. The2-day Marathon Madness wine sale, typically held 2-3 times per year, has become an obsession for wine drinkers since its founding in 2011.

Read the complete news HERE

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30 March 2020

How to Support Your Favorite Wineries During the Pandemic

The wine business is a social industry. It's always been built on relationships between wineries, wine lovers, and all the places where people can buy and enjoy wine. That solid foundation is now in jeopardy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Here is an extensive list of virtual tastings, promotions, and other ways you can help the wineries you love during this difficult time.

Read the complete news HERE

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30 March 2020

South African wineries will be allowed to finish the 2020 harvest and work in their cellars after winemaking processes were deemed “essential” right before a lockdown came into effect in the country.

Read the complete news HERE

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30 March 2020

It’s Go Time — How to Choose A Winery E-Commerce Vendor

With the world upside down and all traffic to winery tasting rooms on pause, many wineries are quickly moving towards e-commerce. However, with so many vendors in the industry, it can make finding the right one daunting. Here are a few tips when choosing a wine industry e-com partner.

Read the complete news HERE

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30 March 2020

Wine Suffers as New York Restaurants Close

In the Big Apple, the silence of the glassware is deafening.

With restaurants and wine bars forced to close their doors across New York, the future of the city’s food and beverage industry rests in uncertainty. Here’s what local business owners are doing to spread awareness, build team morale, and above all, stay positive and work towards recovery in this trying global pandemic.

Read the complete news HERE



27 March 2020

Despite lockdown in France, Gabriel Meffre launched Rosé Primed For Summer

Rhône Valley winery Gabriel Meffre has launched a range of brightly-coloured rosé bottles in time for summer sales. Called “Inspiration by Gabriel Meffre”, the series offers rosé in a bottle available in six colours,”forming a case with a very collectable style.” A range of brightly-coloured, tactile wine bottles which are “inspired by Provencal patterns creates an incomparable bottle with an ultra-chic appearance.

Read the complete news HERE

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27 March 2020

E. & J. Gallo's Barefoot Wine Donates $100,000 to Help Children of Restaurant Employees

Read the complete news HERE.

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26 March 2020

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Institute of Masters of Wine has had to cancel the 2020 exam, which normally takes place in June.

While some may have hoped that it would be possible to postpone the exam until later in the year, due to the uncertainty of the efficacy of attempts to control the spread of Covid-19, and the challenge of marking student papers by the end of the year, the IMW has opted to cancel the 2020 exam altogether.

Read the complete news HERE

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26 March 2020

Top 10 wine-related shows to stream while in self-isolation

If you’re looking for some escapist viewing to whisk you into the picturesque wine heartlands around the world we’ve compiled a list of great wine television series and films to see you through.

There’s an almost endless source of educational and entertaining programmes out there but when it comes to wine the following list, comprising acclaimed documentaries and Hollywood hits,

Get the list HERE

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26 March 2020

What Wineries and Distilleries Can Do In Next 60 Days.

Webinar by Sid Patel, CEO of Beverage Trade Network.

Sid will be listing out ways how wineries and distilleries can face the current scenario and come on the winning side once hashtag#Covid19 subsides. In the webinar, you will get 15 takeaways you can start working on today to navigate this time. You will also be shown the current risks, so you can prepare your winery or distillery for that.

Webinar Date and Time: 1 pm EST, 10 April

Register here 

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24 March 2020

How has the Coronavirus affected wine stores and wine buying?

“Sales have been good, stronger than normal for this season,” Jim Nejaime, owner of Spirited Wines in Lenox, said last week. “Of course due to folks stocking in, since many more are spending much more time at home, not able to go out to dine, etc.”

But Nejaime noted that the Coronavirus has resulted in "lost social opportunities for folks getting together however, means less consumption than if they could gather. So reduced sales there.”

Read the complete news HERE

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24 March 2020

PLCB: Wine, liquor sales set record day before state stores closed

The PLCB reported about $29.9 million in sales on March 16, the day the state announced it would close its 598 commercial locations and 13 licensee service centers. Online sales stopped at 5 p.m. March 16.

More than $20.3 million in sales were recorded the following day, St. Patrick’s Day. The stores have been closed since 9 p.m. March 17.

Prior to the coronavirus-related sales surge, the highest sales day in the past year was Nov. 27, 2019, the day before Thanksgiving, when sales totaled $19.6 million

Read the complete news HERE

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24 March 2020

A New Way To Buy Wine: The ‘Digital Shelf Is Different’

Jackson Family Wines, based in Sonoma, California has entered a partnership with digital planning service eMeals.

With an eMeals subscription, users access a range recipes created and curated by a professional food team and registered dietitians. subscribers can also find a suggested wine pairing from Jackson Family Wines and other alcohol brands including AB InBev, Bacardi, Constellation Wines and Francis Ford Coppola Winery.

Together, the eMeals and Jackson Family Wines team worked together to select wines with flavor profiles that match the range of meals and ingredients that are presented.

Read the complete news HERE


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23 March 2020

8 wine delivery services to use during lockdown

Buying from independent merchants gives you access to wines that you simply can’t find anywhere else. They champion small, artisan producers who often make wine in such tiny quantities that they’re not viable for supermarkets or restaurant chains to bother with. You can find quirky, fascinating bottles that taste amazing and have a story to tell. And even in these dark days there is someone on the phone or email – working remotely – who can chat to you and advise you on what to buy.

They will deliver to your door or to a nominated safe place and won’t require you to sign anything if you’re in isolation. All they require is that you enjoy the wines.

Read the complete news HERE

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23 March 2020

NZ will move into lockdown during wine industry's 'most crucial' time

As Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern takes New Zealand into Alert Level 3, the wine industry may be halted at its "most crucial" time of the year. 

Ardern has announced all non-essential businesses must close within the next 48 hours, as well as schools. After that, it will increase to Alert Level 4, due to Covid-19.

Read the complete news HERE


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20 March 2020

7 places to buy wine online

Hosting large gatherings may be out of the question right now, but sometimes having a quiet night in is enough of an occasion to break out a bottle of wine — and even better if you don't have to leave the house to get it. Online options require minimal energy but deliver on all the perks. Check out the list below of the places that will deliver wine straight to your door. 

Read the complete news HERE 

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20 March 2020

Technology Connects Wineries And Consumers Through Virtual Wine Tastings

Virtual wine tastings aren’t exactly new, but they are expanding. They’ve been a touchstone for wine geeks for quite some time.

An article published in the French newspaper LeMonde calls this concept “Skypéro,” blending the word apéro—an early evening moment in French culture set aside to share a drink with friends and family—with the tech connector Skype. It’s catchy, but the idea also has teeth for wineries and wine regions that don’t want to drain their relationships with customers and guests in this time of separation.

Read the complete news HERE 


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19 March 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has forced restaurants to shutter and lay off employees. But chefs and sommeliers are getting creative to serve customers and rally the industry

At Valette, a popular restaurant in Healdsburg, chef-owner Dustin Valette and his brother and business partner Aaron Garzini have reduced their number of tables by half. They have also reorganized the dining room to create at least six feet of space between tables.

The restaurant is taking additional measures such as requiring staff to wear latex gloves and clean surfaces and tables regularly in line with recommended protocols. They are also providing additional hand sanitizer by the door.

Read the complete news HERE 

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19 March 2020

For when you'd like a bottle of wine, but you also don't want to leave your house.Here are the the 10 best alcohol delivery services

Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, you can now have an entire liquor store accessible at your finger tips. So, make like Olivia Pope and sit on your couch with a glass (or bottle) of wine. 

Read the complete news HERE

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19 March 2020

Northern California wineries pivot, offering deep discounts, virtual tastings, free deliveries. Tasting rooms are closed, but here’s how to keep sipping and swirling from home

As a sixth-generation winemaker, Livermore’s Steven Mirassou has had to wear many hats in his small business. Delivery man hasn’t been one of them. But in the coming days, you might spot Mirassou loading up his Toyota truck and delivering bottles of Steven Kent cabernet sauvignon to doorsteps around the Tri-Valley.

“My main goal as a person is to take care of others,” Mirassou says. “We are fundamentally a hospitality business and we want to do that in a safe and responsible way and hopefully add a little bit of joy to people’s lives through wine.”

Read the complete news HERE

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19 March 2020

Italian Wine Producers - How They Are Dealing With Coronavirus

While all this is happening, vintners must attend to the springtime labors in their vineyards; this is necessary work that has the advantage of giving the producers something to take their minds off the crisis. “We are lucky, we live in the countryside,” remarks Daniela Rocca of the Albino Rocca winery in Barbaresco in the Piedmont region. “Spring is approaching and our vines need our care and work in the vineyards. This is allowing us to stay outside and to enjoy the beauty of our region, trying not to think at the nightmare we are living.”

While these wine producers, along with their colleagues throughout the country face an incredibly difficult time at present - as well as the near future - they have managed to find a positive light at the end of the tunnel.

Read the complete news HERE


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