Never in my life did I imagine that we would be in this situation. We are going on three weeks here in Miami of social distancing, stay-at-home orders, business closures, and curfews. It is truly an unprecedented time for the whole globe but when you’re ordered to stay at home and only leave for essential items, your world becomes much smaller, and you’re forced to think hyper-local.
Though the numbers don’t look good for this pandemic, and the virus is no joke, I do want to take some time to point out one of the biggest positives of this whole current situation. A real community is emerging. One where people help each other and promote each other’s businesses and activities without asking for much in return. It’s happening here in Miami in our already wonderful wine community that has really come together to support each other right now. We are undoubtedly stronger together, and through this time of quarantine, I’m proud to say that we have shown just how much we care about the health and success of the industry here locally and the community we share.
Building a Community through Quarantine
On that note, I want to remind everyone reading that purchasing essential goods (like wine) from your local shops is more important now than it ever was (and it was very important before, too). These are tough times for all businesses in hospitality, and much of it is out of our control, but what we can control if we do have some extra cash is the decision to purchase wine from our independent local shops instead of a big box grocery stores, which are surely doing just fine right now.
Here in Miami, we have some great wine shops that have been offering promotions and specials to support their customers as well. I love the webinars that Florida Wine Academy is offering along with the wines to taste from their shop 305wines.com. I’ve participated in several of them already and will continue to as long as the quarantine lasts. It’s wonderful to spend an hour and a half twice a week learning more about wine and tasting along with 100 of our closest friends on Zoom.
Another local wine shop I love is our very own Happy Wine Miami on Calle Ocho. JC and Johanna are the owners and two of the most hospitable people in our city. During non-quarantine times, we love to go out to Happy Wine and enjoy a night of wine & tapas while dancing to the live music. During these crazy quarantine times, we stopped by to grab a panini to-go for lunch and purchased a few more bottles to get us through our time at home.
While at Happy Wine, JC and I came up with a fun little promotion to offer wine lovers across Miami. A “Jacqueline Pack” of three wines at a discount of 15% for the pack. His current discount for takeaway wines is 10% (20% for all food).
If you need to restock, head to Happy Wine and ask for the “Jacqueline Pack,” which includes these three wines.
Finca Las Hornias, 2018
I love Verdejo from Rueda, and in an unfortunate twist to all this, I was actually supposed to be in the region this week. Obviously, that trip was postponed, and I hope to get back to Spain later this year.
Verdejos are fun and fresh, easy-drinking & refreshing white wines. Full of citrus flavors like lemon, lime, and orange, with crisp acidity that makes it a great food-pairing wine as well. Finca Las Hornias is a lovely bottle, and I’m glad it’s part of my “pack.”
Pago Florentino, 2016
This Tempranillo, also from Spain, is a Vino de Pago, which is a classification for a single vineyard or estate–similar to a French Grand Cru. Red fruits and spice dominate on the nose and palate, but overall a smooth drinking, flavorful wine. I think this is a perfect option for your next Spanish tapas night in quarantine, or with any dinner at home.
Hope Dies Last Napa Valley Proprietary Red Blend, 2015
A beautiful red blend from Napa with the bold, juicy flavors you know and love from that region. The blend from Arling Blaza is 40% Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Calistoga Zinfandel, and 25% Rutherford Merlot, which leads to lots of jammy red fruit in this full-bodied bottle. Marketed as “the darker side of Napa Valley Wines,” Hope Dies Last claims that “there is hope for us yet,” and that’s the kind of optimism we need right now in a wine!
So, let’s recap!
We’re building a community despite our certain restrictions to avoid each other, which is pretty remarkable and exciting (you can’t stop us!).
Shop local! Wherever you are and whatever that means for you. It’s best to support your local businesses as much as possible so that they are there on the other side of these current events.
When stopping for lunch and to restock at Happy Wine in Miami, make sure to ask for your “Jacqueline Pack” for these three fantastic wines at 15% off– that’s under $50 for the three of them together.
Stay home & be well!