Florida’s COVID-19 cases have skyrocketed in the two weeks since the the state launched Phase Two of its reopening plan. The number of reported new infections each day has more than tripled, with day after day setting record highs. Residents, businesses, and governments are scrambling to respond. Many bars that were just allowed to start serving again have voluntarily shut down, some because staff or patrons have tested positive. After interviews for this episode were recorded on June 18, Swirlery Wine Bar decided to go back to retail-only in an abundance of caution, and Digress Wine announced a two-day closure after a customer reported COVID symptoms. Also since the recording, Governor Ron DeSantis said the state would ramp up enforcement of social distancing rules at bars, and Orange County, where Orlando is located, issued a mandatory mask order for the first time since the start of the pandemic. Meanwhile, a debate over response to the Black Lives Matter movement is shaking up one of the wine industry’s most venerable organizations.
Thanks to Orlando composer Julian Bond for providing original music for UnWineding, Amy Tardif for editorial guidance, and WMFE for distribution and promotional assistance.