We all have found a new normal here in California since our original stay-at-home orders hit us in March and still continue now with the slow re-opening of businesses. There are those that lamented daily on social media and those that joked about it. We all had to find a way to get through this. Personally we had just finished up a wine trip to Paso, and were looking forward to another the same month, then WHAM!
I was one of those people that focused on the positive on social media, sometimes by sharing silly light-hearted posts. I also decided to work for free. Created and promoted the New-Haul Drive-Through event, suggested that the Vine 2 Wine event I was working on with Circle of Hope change to a To-Go format (where they ended up earning just as much as they had in their last live event), did an Influencer’s Night for one restaurant’s reopening, and spent more time promoting bars, wineries and restaurants on social media more than ever before. Because why not. What did you do and learn from your Covid time out?
Here are a few takeaways of what I learned, and some of the wine and cocktails that have gotten me through it so far:
- First off I began to notice that social media had really taken off, there was 30% to 100% more people online daily than ever before. I used this information to begin promoting local businesses by either sharing their posts or by making my own from photos and videos every time I ordered food and drinks to-go.
- Along with more attention to social media, and having the time to notice things around me more, I began reaching out to check on friends near and far. Often on Zoom and always with a drink in hand. Friends were more than appreciative.
- The “Gin Old Fashioned” was cocktail my nephew Zack told me about. Couple of ounces of gin with a little simple syrup, bitters and an orange peel garnish. He gave me the recipe a couple of years back, but in my effort to find something new to drink at home I tried it again. Very refreshing.
- Created a new motto, “If you can afford it support it” that pretty much covers how I feel. It’s been a time to focus on businesses that aren’t doing as well, and if you can help them out why not?
- Discovered EmergenCee Hydration packets that I could add to my water and have during my now daily workouts. With spending less time driving to and from the gym I found that I had more time for exercise, and often spent an hour walking my neighborhood after a workout. The energized water may have helped, and at the same time it has helped me feel more covid-protected.
- An old time favorite, the Aperol Spritz, came back as March turned into June.
With the heat, and missing a planned trip abroad at the same time, it helped to have the simple-to-make drink at home. It was almost like being in Italy…almost.
- Pizza, Amish Bread, Rye and Rolls, oh my! My husband had already been baking bread before this all began, but he upped his game during Covid. The weekly pizza and bread added a nice 5 pounds to my mid-section but it was so worth it! And what goes better with pizza than wine?
- Wine on the Porch: this is something we’ve done for years, but once we could get together when friends again, we found a way to add more chairs and space them out. Now pals that aren’t ready to dine out yet have asked to have drinks on our porch with us.
- Downloading the TikTok app and enjoying all the booze-related stories I could share on social media. For those of us with a short attention span, or if you don’t have too much time for social media, TikTok is a Godsend.
- These wineries were amazing in the Vine 2 Wine, To Go event so support them if you can: Mystic Hills, Entourage by Two Papas, Alonso Family Vineyards, Pagter Brothers, Hoi Polloi, Pulchella, Parhelion Cellars, Byron Blatty, Cavaletti Vineyards, Artisan Uprising, Dusty Nabor and Bolt to Wines.
- #CovidCrazy was my hashtag one day as there have been some horrific things happening – won’t go into the specifics here as everyone knows and I prefer not to get political – that I personally think may have been actions partially fueled by the stress of Covid-19.
- Wine-themed masks became the rage. A good pal and my sister-in-law made me versions that no one else could duplicate. Thanks again ladies.
- We bid on and won a future trip to an all-inclusive – yes including liquor – resort vacation, for up to 8 guests in Barbados. Wouldn’t ever have bid on that if we hadn’t been locked up at home and desperate for a vacation in the future.
- I’m going to miss finding a plate of cookies or some other treat on my porch. And I’m sure my neighbors may miss the bottle of wine given in thanks on theirs.
- Free local wine delivery, often by the winemaker, was very nice! I was sorry that they had to discount their wines and offer personal delivery at their own cost though.
- Zoom offerings became the standard, and some had to step out-of-the-box to be seen as everyone began offering them. Unique ones included Daily Drinking with Wes Hagen, Cheese and Wine pairings with Phifer Pavitt, weekly wine tasting with Byron Blatty and virtual tastings with Paso winemakers.
Things weren’t all perfect, not by a longshot, like everyone else lamenting what they missed so did we: our daughter’s graduation from CSUN and her birthday, missing many friends that have compromised health and couldn’t leave their homes, Santa Barbara Culinary Experience, The Cab Collective, the Tenth Annual Universal Whisky Experience, the Fifth Annual Masters of Taste, Art Beyond the Glass, Wine on the Roof, judging a Chili Cook Off, my birthday and a 12-day cruise that had us starting in Venice (where of course I had booked some wine tastings for a few days before), Greek islands, Croatia (wine tasting again) and Turkey before coming back to Venice.
What did you gain and what did you miss? We pray that you have been well and the same for our loved ones.
Eve Bushman has a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), a “certification in first globally-recognized course” as an American Wine Specialist ® from the North American Sommelier Association (NASA), Level 1 Sake Award from WSET, was the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video (over 16k views), authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and has served as a judge for the Long Beach Grand Cru and the Global Wine Awards. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits.