The implications of COVID-19 for the wine community – and what you can do to help

19 Mar, 2020

Drinking good wine is a cause we can all get behind.

It’s a challenging situation to navigate. The number one priority right now is to limit the health risks for our communities. Unfortunately, those communities also include small businesses that rely on us to stay afloat. At the time of writing, organisations are frantically pivoting to change the way they engage, and updates are flooding in by the day.

While more macro solutions are going to be required to get through this unprecedented event, there are ways that individuals can help. Small acts of kindness and support are crucial at this time, and collectively, can make a big difference.

It’s too soon to understand the full effects of COVID-19 on the wine industry in this ever-changing landscape, but it is having an impact and will continue to do so. Until such a time as we can get back to travelling to tasting rooms, attending events, and drinking Australian wines in restaurants and bars en masse, here are some of the ways you can continue to support the wine community.

Follow your favourites

As mentioned, organisations are adjusting in different ways every day. The best way to stay abreast of what’s happening with your favourite labels is to follow them on social media and sign up to their newsletters. Check out what they’re up to and make a point of engaging with their offerings.

Support wine businesses online

Heading out to the major chains and panicking at the sight of empty shelves? Instead, how about making a list of the brands you love, jumping online, and seeing how you can support them from afar. Buying wine is a feel-good option in more ways than one.

Buy now for later

If ever there was a time to stock up, it’s now. If you would typically only grab one or two wines or a six-pack, consider making it a bigger order. You could use this time to try a mix of different styles or to splash out on bottles that have been on your wish list for a while. A lot of brands are offering free shipping on purchases of all sizes right now as well.

Get involved in virtual events

Live streaming wine tastings that people can participate in from the comfort of their couch isn’t a new concept, but it is one that’s about to become more popular. A positive here is that perhaps in your own space, you can more confidently learn about wine (and you might just have the time to do so). Many events that haven’t been postponed or cancelled are finding ways to carry on virtually.

Keep an eye out for more ideas during this time. If you need a break from it all, how about unplugging for a few hours and reading the latest issue of Halliday magazine? We’d also love to hear what you want us to cover right now, so please let us know.