If You Read Anything This Week: Wine News 3/20/2020

Friends, what a rough week. I hope this finds you safe, healthy, and getting by as the coronavirus pandemic continues to expand and the hospitality industry feels its fallout. Unsurprisingly, my links this week are nearly all related to the coronavirus, but I did manage to find one lighthearted article if you can make it to the end.

See also our threads on resources from the community for operations, unemployment support, education, and coping strategies, and take good care of yourselves!

CORONAVIRUS RESOURCES: SevenFifty Daily is collecting a list of resources and links, including a daily roundup of “what you need to know,” industry advice and standards, health and wellness support, activist efforts, and more. [SevenFifty Daily]

RESTAURANT RELIEF: Restaurants need immediate government assistance to get through the coronavirus pandemic, such as immediate unemployment benefits, rent abatement or deferment, interest-free loans, and tax deferrals. While many private businesses have provided helpful support (Resy, Square, Doordash, and Caviar are all waiving fees for restaurants), broader action is needed. [Eater]

DEFINING "ESSENTIAL": The state of California is now under a shelter-in-place order, meaning that only essential businesses may remain open. This includes vineyards and wineries, and Esther Mobley explains why the work of the industry is, indeed, essential, and how individual businesses are responding. Meanwhile, Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America asks all governors to keep wine and spirits retailers open even as other businesses are forced to shut down. [SF Chronicle, WSWA Press Release]

REPORT FROM ITALY: The Drinks Business offers a report from Tuscany, which is grappling with a devastating coronavirus outbreak. Tourism, highly important to the region, is of course halted, and national deliveries have sharply decreased as businesses have closed. Wineries are working to reach customers on social media, continuing to export their wines, and remaining hopeful. [The Drinks Business]

REMEMBERING MICHAEL BROADBENT: Michael Broadbent has died at the age of 92. Broadbent studied to be an architect but didn’t enjoy it; he pursued wine at the suggestion of his mother. He was the senior director for Christie’s fine wine department for 26 years and a consultant there for another 17 years. His notes on wine became a series of popular books, and he was widely respected across the industry. [Wine Spectator]

DRUNK ELEPHANTS: A viral photo suggests that 14 elephants wandered into a village in Yunnan Province, China, drank 30 liters of corn wine, and passed out in a nearby tea garden. It turns out that this is probably not true, but you should look at the cute photo of the sleeping elephants anyway. [The Drinks Business, National Geographic]


What government action do you feel would most help the restaurant industry?

What else have you heard from winemaking regions?

How has Michael Broadbent's work and life impacted your career?

What else have you been reading this week?