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Virtual wine, beer, and liquor tastings might turn out to be the hallmark activity of the COVID-19 lockdown. Sales figures and consumer surveys indicate that some people are drinking more while hiding out at home; memes and other internet portrayals of the current moment take it for granted that casual drinking is way up. And while we’re all desperate to socialize with people outside our household, virtual tastings let us feel like we’re doing something other than sitting on the couch alone. Though virtual tastings existed before the pandemic, they’ve taken off in popularity since stay-at-home orders went into effect around the country, and many in the industry say they plan to make these events a permanent part of their business.

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