Stage 4 wines in Melbourne August to September
As a student I enjoyed studying history. I found learning about the wars, the evolution of language, and the establishment of modern democracy fascinating. Learning about peoples’ liberties and how their freedom was challenged over the years was thought provoking especially as many of us take these for granted, or we did until recently. Little did I know that during 2020, I would find myself in a restricted modern world where the simplest of modern daily activities would be prohibited and subject to heavy fines.
Stage 4 in Melbourne
Stage 3 was introduced from 23:59 on Wednesday 8th July but with a growing number of cases during this “second wave” a stricter lockdown was vital to suppress the virus here. The number of cases increased and unfortunately on 30th July Victoria saw the highest number of new cases to date with 728 new COVID-19 cases and unfortunately 13 deaths. On Sunday 2nd August there were 671 new cases of COVID-19 and sadly 7 deaths. Stage 4 was introduced in Melbourne from 6pm on the 2nd.
Stage 4 was initially meant to last for 6 weeks. Playgrounds and outdoor equipment were closed and restaurants and cafes could only offer takeaway. The poster and text below summarises Stage 4 restrictions.
During these 6 weeks:
- Travel further than 5km from the home was prohibited (unless goods & services are further away)
- Melburnians could only leave their homes for the 1 hour of exercise a day
- Only one person was allowed out food shopping
- Melburnians could only leave the house to go for medical reasons and care giving
- Working from home was essential except for healthcare or key workers
- Curfews from 8pm to 5am every evening
- Gatherings for just up to 2 permitted outside of the home
- Playgrounds and outdoor equipment are closed
- Kinders closed from Wednesday 5th August
Wednesday 5th August: Restrictions come in for manufacturing and Stage 3 is imposed for Regional Victoria from midnight.
Life in lockdown
Waiting for a takeaway coffee outside a café on what would normally have been a bustling street with a pizzeria, cafes and supermarket was eerily quiet. Consumers waiting quietly for their take aways wearing their masks make a stark contrast from what would be a street full of chatter and laughter.
Over the past 6 weeks, until the 14th of September, with the playgrounds being closed it was so strange going out for our one hour of daily exercise. Parks and open spaces that would be full of laughter and sounds of children running around were oddly quiet. It felt as if I was walking around during the middle of the night, with hardly anyone around but the difference was that it was daylight. People you pass as you walk by hardly glance in your direction to say ‘hello’ as they are probably stressed with worry from the uncertainty. In the supermarkets no one speaks and with everyone wearing masks, everyone is of course expressionless. No chatter, no laughter. Although “we are all in this together” it seems we are all further isolated.
Extension of Stage 4
On Father’s Day, 6th September, the Premier Daniel Andrews announced that Stage 4 would be extended another 2 weeks until the 28th September. On this day he also announced the road map and we all listened intently wanting to know when we could go about our daily lives more freely.
What was a relief was to know that from Sunday 13th from 23:59 playgrounds would be open. In addition to this, Melburnians would be allowed out to exercise twice a day for up to 2 hours. Social bubbles would also allowed for those living alone. Instead of the curfew starting at 8pm, it would begin at 9pm. Also childcare centres would open for non key workers and there would be the gradual return to school for students.
Stage 4 lockdown has seen the case numbers drop dramatically and as of today, 26th September, thankfully through everyone’s efforts and staying apart, there were just 12 new cases but sadly 1 death. During lockdown I have had a lot of much time to reflect and more importantly I have learnt to slow down while enjoy the simpler things in life. I really appreciate the health care we have even more and the risks our health care workers are taking. I am grateful for the measures the government has put in place to suppress the virus and support the public.
During lockdown, I have become more empathetic and have learnt to slow down more. I imagine many of us have also learnt to do this and I hope we don’t forget this when life or if life ‘returns to normal.’
Although I do want to visit family and friends who live in other countries, until the virus is contained and there is a vaccination, I cannot see this happening. All countries must share the resources for a vaccine and all countries need to work together in the fight against COVID-19.
Wines to enjoy in lockdown in Melbourne
I have discovered some interesting and tasty wines for under $11 to enjoy in lockdown. I want to raise a glass to heath care workers, supermarket workers and those on the front line.
La Mule Rosé 2019 (Côteaux Varois en Provence made by François Lurton)
I first heard of the name “Lurton” when I met with Reid Bosward winemaker and part owner at Kaesler Wines in the Barossa Valley. Reid had worked for the Lurton family based France working as a flying winemaker in the mid 1990’s. A 2019 vintage means the wine would have only been bottled in September/October last year so it is still so fresh. Knowing what I did about the reputation of the Lurton family and with my wine knowledge, I thought the $10.99 on a 2019 Provençal Rosé was worth a try and I am so glad I did.
Stephen Brook has written a very informative and interesting article in Decanter about the Lurton family
A.C. Byrne & Co. Margaret River Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2020
Margaret River is home to Sauvignon Blanc Semillon (SBS) and Sauvignon Semillon Blanc SSB blends. Being the 2020 vintage, this wine would have been bottled most likely in March which makes it so fresh, with light floral notes and a touch of fruit. For $7.49 (at ALDI) it is the perfect wine to enjoy on this sunny afternoon.
*Information was correct at the time of writing to the best of my ability.