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UnWineding: Chronicles of COVID-19

UnWinedine Podcast

When the COVID-19 pandemic erupted around the world, restaurants and bars suddenly found themselves on the front lines of an economy that was rapidly shutting down. In Orlando, one of America’s hospitality capitals, people who make their living in the area’s blossoming wine community scrambled to adjust to ever-changing rules and realities. Their experiences will become part of the history of this extraordinary moment in time. UnWineding tells their stories … in their own words. Thanks to Orlando composer Julian Bond for providing music for UnWineding and to Amy Tardif for editorial assistance.


Intersection on Apple Podcasts Intersection on Stitcher Intersection in Google Music Intersection on Spotify

  • Episode 10: Left Out
    by Judith Smelser

      Even as the United States’ COVID-19 death toll approaches 100,000, states are gradually reopening their economies, which are reeling from two months of shutdowns. In Florida, almost all businesses are now allowed to open with certain restrictions, including gyms, hair salons, restaurants, and even breweries. But bars are still waiting for the green light … Continue reading Episode 10: Left Out

  • Episode 9: Limbo
    by Judith Smelser

    Businesses across the US are slowly starting to reopen, but some people fear they may be left out of the post-COVID economy. In Florida, restaurants can open at 50% capacity, but bars are still retail-only, and owners are trying to find creative ways to satisfy impatient customers.

  • Episode 8: Holding On
    by Judith Smelser

    As restaurants begin to reopen in Florida, bar owners are still turning away frustrated customers and the money they would have spent. The road back to normalcy feels long and uncertain, with the tourism engines that drive Orlando's economy unlikely to rebound anytime soon. Out-of-work food and beverage workers are starting to calculate just how long they can continue to hold out for their jobs to come back.

  • Episode 7: Unanswered Questions
    by Judith Smelser

      Florida’s restaurants were allowed to reopen at 25% capacity this week. It’s a faint light at the end of the tunnel for Orlando’s wine and food businesses, but there are still many unknowns. When will bars get the green light? How will they reconfigure their spaces and police their patrons’ behavior? How will servers … Continue reading Episode 7: Unanswered Questions

  • Episode 6: Reopening?
    by Judith Smelser

      Talk of reopening the economy provides a glimmer of hope for these small businesses and laid-off employees trying to keep their heads above water amid COVID-19 restrictions and closures – but nobody knows exactly what that reopening will look like or how to plan for it. Meanwhile, another round of monthly bills is coming … Continue reading Episode 6: Reopening?

  • Episode 5: Groundhog Day
    by Judith Smelser

      Anxiety is setting in for Orlando’s food and wine professionals, as they realize the smallest of America’s small businesses seem to be at the back of the line for government rescue funds. Despite the struggle to stay positive and solvent as the crisis drags on and the days run together, they’re conflicted about reopening … Continue reading Episode 5: Groundhog Day

  • UnWineding Episode 4: Wait & Worry
    by Judith Smelser

    The COVID-19 pandemic is deep into its second month, and help is slow to arrive for businesses and employees affected by the economic fallout. Some who work in Orlando's hard-hit food and wine industry are re-evaluating their long-term business plans ... and even their hair color! Meanwhile, concerns continue about a sick parent, a vulnerable kid, and a beloved pet. 

  • UnWineding Episode 3: Bills
    by Judith Smelser

    Three Orlando wine professionals face first-of-the month bills as the COVID-19 pandemic enters its second month and a statewide stay-at-home order takes effect.

  • UnWineding Episode 2: Stay-at-Home
    by Judith Smelser

    Three Orlando wine professionals consider how a new stay-at-home order will affect their livelihoods, amid rising concerns about their families and colleagues.

  • UnWineding Episode 1: The Beginning
    by Judith Smelser

    Three wine professionals in Orlando, Florida face the reality of what COVID-19 could mean to their livelihoods.