Please The Palate Pick of the Week: Supporting Restaurants, Wineries and Wine Stores During A Challenging Time

It is a challenging time. It is a time of uncertainty. The Covid-19 Virus has effected the entire world and every day new information is learned. Our lives are changing, even if only for a period of time. We need to be careful. We need to be smart. We need to stay healthy. And we need to support, when possible and appropriate, our local restaurants, wineries and wine stores, which is why this the Please The Palate pick of the week.

This past week, more and more people have been staying home. The shelves at the grocery stores look like Armageddon is coming. I have no idea why toilet paper is flying off the shelves but I do understand stocking up on some staples such as pasta and rice.

We need to “social distance” ourselves and minimize our time with others. We must regularly wash our hands and we must cough and sneeze into our elbows. And we wipe down surfaces that we touch. But if you are healthy and you are taking care of yourself, try to take a little time to support your local restaurants and wineries.

Note that according to the CDC, “Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread from person-to-person through respiratory droplets. Currently there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with food or drink.”

I was out at restaurants almost every night this past week. People were out and eating but crowds were less. I could see the concern and stress in my restaurant friends’ eyes. They too are concerned about their staff’s health, they are concerned with continuing to pay their staff and the are worried about having to close. They are also focused on keeping both their staff and their customers safe.

These restaurants are taking all the precautions to make it safe for us to eat out. I have received more an a dozen emails from restaurants explaining the actions they are taking which include sanitizing tables and chairs after seatings, sanitizing restrooms regularly, regularly sanitizing high touch surfaces, deep cleaning the restaurant nightly and even reducing reservations in order to allow for more spacing between tables.

Wineries are also taking precautions in their tastings rooms by following all required health protocols, guidance and updates recommended by the CDC and WHO to ensure everyone’s safety. In the emails I received from wineries, they explained that they are doing thorough cleanings of their tasting rooms and wineries on a daily basis and are training their staff on best practices to protect their guests. They are also making hand sanitizer and/or antiseptic wipes available.

Wine stores are also taking precautions so if you need to pick up some wine to enjoy at home, head to a local wine store.

Remember, if you do not feel well, do not go out. Only if you are feeling healthy and do not have any signs of a cold or the flu should you consider going out. And remember to wash your hands. But if you are healthy, let’s support our local small businesses. They are also struggling through this challenging and unknown time. As long as there are no restrictions to their staying open, it is our support that will help them stay open.