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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.


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  • Episode 20: Desperation
    by Judith Smelser

    Florida regulators have started touring bars around the state, trying to find a safe way to lift the ban on onsite drink service without sparking a new spike in COVID-19 cases. Some struggling bar owners say they can't afford to wait much longer for the state to act.

  • Episode 19: Workarounds
    by Judith Smelser

    Frustrated Florida bar owners are turning to creative interpretations of coronavirus rules that ban them from serving alcohol.

  • Episode 18: Looking Back
    by Judith Smelser

    Four months after UnWineding started following three Orlando wine professionals through the COVID-19 crisis, we look back at where it all started.

  • Episode 17: Looking for Options
    by Judith Smelser

    Even as Walt Disney World reopens its theme parks, Florida remains a COVID-19 hot spot. Some in Orlando's food and beverage industry are looking for work-arounds and considering their career options.

  • Episode 16: Independence Day
    by Judith Smelser

    As the United States marks Independence Day, Florida's COVID-19 cases continue to skyrocket, taking an ever greater toll on the service industry in the hospitality capital of Orlando.

  • Episode 15: Rolling Back
    by Judith Smelser

    Florida orders bars to suspend onsite drink service again, just three weeks after lifting the ban. The announcement comes as the state's COVID-19 cases continue to soar.

  • Episode 14: Alarming
    by Judith Smelser

    Businesses and residents scramble to respond to Florida's skyrocketing COVID-19 cases, and a debate over response to the Black Lives Matter movement shakes up one of the wine industry's most venerable organizations.

  • Episode 13: Storm
    by Judith Smelser

    One Orlando wine bar found itself in the path of an EF-1 tornado just a day after Florida lifted coronavirus restrictions on the state's bars. Meanwhile, Black Lives Matter protests continue, families are feeling the strain, and COVID-19 cases are on the rise, but the reopening is still a huge relief for many businesses.

  • Episode 12: Muted Reopening
    by Judith Smelser

    Florida bars are finally allowed to serve drinks again, but celebrations are muted amid Black Lives Matter protests, spikes in new COVID-19 cases, and continued high unemployment.

  • Episode 11: Theme Parks
    by Judith Smelser

    Orlando's major theme parks now have the green light to reopen, but that doesn't mean everyone in the area's hospitality industry can go back to business as usual.