March came in like a lamb and is leaving with a whole pride of lions. The new normal is upon us. The restaurant landscape will be drastically different on the other side of the pandemic. Most of my circle of friends have been in hospitality for many years and are feeling the pain as we are operating on take-out/delivery only.


How you can help

Order take-out from your favorite restaurants

It is a no-brainer. This industry is a cashflow-intensive industry. It helps to keep some cash coming in the doors of the owners to help keep the lights on, literally! Many operators had to make difficult decisions with their teams and are operating with skeleton crews.


Buy wine from them as well

Many have deep cellars they spent years creating and are willing to move some great juice.

Hold a Virtual Happy Hour

Another idea for you during this time of social distance is to hold a virtual happy hour. Consider tipping a local service industry professional using either Venmo or Cash apps. Every little bit helps out. I am using every time I pour a glass of wine or get a cocktail at home.


Bartender Emergency Assistance program and more

The US Bartenders Guild has set up the Bartender Emergency Assistance program. With donations from some of the biggest beverage companies and other supporting industries also contributing to help those on the front lines. The National Restaurant Association has set up a fund as well. The Restaurant Employee Relief Fund will make grants to those affected by the change in business operations.


When buying wine

Skip the grocery store or big box retail and head to your local independent wine retailer. They will have some of the standards but take some time to get to know them and your flavor profile. They will not be nearly as slammed as grocery or big box retail so you can get more personalized attention from 6 feet away.


Image by Mandy Fontana from Pixabay

Patience now and later

Hopefully, with all the protections we are following, this time will pass quickly. That being said, when the restaurants do reopen, have some patience. We are all out of practice and need a little time to get back in the groove.


See everyone soon!



Adam Arlen, Sommelier


Adam Arlen: “I am passionate about wine because it is history in a bottle.” He is the sommelier for The Peninsula Club in Cornelius, NC. Originally from Allentown, PA, he believes you should always branch out and find new things. His goal is to never stop learning and continuing to grow both personally and professionally. A fun fact about him: “I was a nuclear engineer on a submarine in a previous life.”





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