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For Wine Stores, Coronavirus Has Brought a ‘Fire Hose’ of Customers. 

Your first concern is probably not how and what you will drink (at least I hope it’s not), but once you’ve gotten the bottom rungs of the hierarchy of needs secured — food, medications, all that toilet paper you’ve been hoarding — you might, as I am, be wondering how to add a little bit of relief and delight to the indefinite indoor sentence that lies ahead.

Why, under these particularly bizarre circumstances, are we feeling so drawn to a drink? I have some theories.

First of all, we’re drinking because we’re bored. Even those of us who are putting in full workdays from our apartments suddenly find ourselves with wide-open evenings that might have otherwise been spent at a bar, the movie theatre, a concert venue or a friend’s house.

Second, I believe there’s some sort of hibernation complex at work here, something hygge-adjacent, that makes us want to curl up with comforting things like a glass of wine or a bowl of pasta. Maybe the word for it is kalsarikannit, which, as I learned a few years ago in an article by Joseph Hernandez, is the Finnish term for “the feeling when you are going to get drunk home alone in your underwear with no intention of going out.”

But obviously the main reason we’re drinking is because COVID-19 is stressful. We’re wondering if we or our loved ones will get sick. Businesses are closing. People are losing jobs. There’s also just a general sense of stressful disorientation: The streets are empty, the local businesses I depend on for a sense of community are closed, I can’t see my friends, and none of us has any idea when things will return to normal. That’s cause for a drink.

The good news: Even while wine shops and wineries are closed to the public, a bottle of wine is still just a click away. 



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