Episode 27: Open

Florida’s bars reopened for service this week, almost six months after the state first banned onsite alcohol consumption in a bid to slow the spread of COVID-19. And after six months of unemployment, one of our regular guests on UnWineding is finally back to work. In this penultimate episode of Season One, the celebration is tempered by concern about a possible second wave but buoyed by a sense of relief, optimism, and gratitude.

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Thanks to Orlando composer Julian Bond for providing original music for UnWineding, Amy Tardif for editorial guidance, and WMFE for distribution and promotional assistance.

Episode 26: Melissa on Wine

Two important things happened in Florida’s wine world this week. The state announced it’s lifting the ban on alcohol service at bars, almost six months after the original restrictions were imposed … and UnWineding guest Melissa McAvoy celebrated five years since the grand opening of her Orlando wine bar, Swirlery.

We’ll explore the first development in next week’s episode; this week, I share my conversation with Melissa about her journey into the world of wine. She once saw the hospitality business as the means to very different end, she says, but it was wine that changed her mind.

Melissa McAvoy, co-owner of Swirlery Wine Bar

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Thanks to Orlando composer Julian Bond for providing original music for UnWineding, Amy Tardif for editorial guidance, and WMFE for distribution and promotional assistance.

Episode 25: Jobs for Labor Day

COVID-19 cases are still high in Florida, but the daily increases have dropped significantly from their massive spikes in June and July. Hospitality businesses are steadily reopening, and industry workers are relieved they’re starting to find employment again, just in time for Labor Day. There’s still a ban on alcohol service at bars, but many are getting around the restrictions by launching food service, and some are resuming onsite tastings. While things are by no means back to normal, there’s a sense of cautious optimism in the air.

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Thanks to Orlando composer Julian Bond for providing original music for UnWineding, Amy Tardif for editorial guidance, and WMFE for distribution and promotional assistance.

Episode 24: Christina Peebles on Wine

Orlando sommelier, bartender, and server Christina Peebles has been in the service industry for fifteen years. Over the past five months, we’ve heard about the jobs she lost to the COVID-19 pandemic, her struggles with unemployment, and even a COVID health scare in her own family.

But this week, she talks about her journey in the wine industry – from having her first glass of wine while working for one of Orlando’s most colorful characters … to entering the world of fine dining and scrambling to build her wine knowledge … to dealing with customers who’d rather show off their knowledge than take advice from a young female somm.

Christina Peebles, Orlando sommelier, bartender, and server

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Thanks to Orlando composer Julian Bond for providing original music for UnWineding, Amy Tardif for editorial guidance, and WMFE for distribution and promotional assistance.

Episode 23: Crawling Back

Some Florida bar owners are turning to food licenses to get around a ban on alcohol service that has been in place almost continuously since mid-March, but business is slow to return. With bars still effectively shut down and more restaurants closing for good, prospects for the state’s food and wine professionals is still shaky at best.

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Thanks to Orlando composer Julian Bond for providing original music for UnWineding, Amy Tardif for editorial guidance, and WMFE for distribution and promotional assistance.

Episode 22: Rob Talks Wine

 

UnWineding’s editorial advisor Amy Tardif likes to joke that the podcast’s dirty little secret is that it’s not really about wine. Indeed, many of UnWineding’s stories transcend the wine industry, reflecting the struggles of so many people trying to get through the COVID-19 pandemic and everything else that’s been going on these past four and a half months.

This week, we take a step back and talk about wine. I asked the UnWineding trio about their journeys in the wine industry, and this episode is the first of those occasional conversations, with Rob Chase of Digress Wine in Orlando’s College Park Neighborhood.

Rob Digress 040320
Rob Chase, owner of Digress Wine in Orlando’s College Park neighborhood

 

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Thanks to Orlando composer Julian Bond for providing original music for UnWineding, Amy Tardif for editorial guidance, and WMFE for distribution and promotional assistance.

Episode 21: Endless Summer

 

As Florida’s slow summer season drags on, bar owners are still playing a waiting game, while state and local governments consider when it might be safe for them to serve drinks again. The state’s out of work bartenders, servers, and sommeliers face a financial cliff, now that the federal unemployment benefit has expired and the status of a presidential executive order reinstating it is unclear. 

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Thanks to Orlando composer Julian Bond for providing original music for UnWineding, Amy Tardif for editorial guidance, and WMFE for distribution and promotional assistance.

Episode 20: Desperation

 

Florida’s beverage industry is reaching a breaking point. The state’s traditionally slow summer season is as slow as ever, and bars are still not allowed to serve drinks. Regulators have started touring bars and breweries around the state, trying to determine how and whether they can be allowed to operate again without prompting the spikes in new COVID-19 cases that were tied to the previous reopening attempt. Many struggling bar owners have decided they can’t afford to wait for the state to act. They’re exploring food service options that would allow them to resume service and bring in much-needed revenue before it’s too late.

Episode 19: Workarounds

 

Florida remains a COVID-19 hotspot, with at least 10,000 new cases reported in the state almost every day. Still, most of Florida is open for business — with the exception of bars. Apart from a two-week reprieve in early June, bars haven’t been allowed to serve drinks since March, even as restaurants have reopened with alcohol serviceBar owners are starting to cry foul, and some are adopting creative interpretations of the rules.

Subscribe to UnWineding on iTunesSpotifyGoogle Play, and Stitcher.

Thanks to Orlando composer Julian Bond for providing original music for UnWineding, Amy Tardif for editorial guidance, and WMFE for distribution and promotional assistance.

Episode 18: Looking Back

 

It’s been a long four months since UnWineding started following the stories of three Orlando wine professionals through the ever-changing world of COVID-19. The road ahead may be even longer. So this week, we pause to look back at where it all started.

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Thanks to Amy Tardif for editorial guidance and WMFE for distribution and promotional assistance. Music for Episode 1 was provided by https://www.purple-planet.com.