Above all else, listen to the CDC Seen the lines lately at Trader Joe’s? Trying to practice social distancing? Do you drink at least one bottle of wine per week? Is being at home or with your family becoming unbearable? (Just joking!) Wine is a tool through which I built my social community here at USC — toasting a glass of champagne when one of my friends secured their summer internship, crying over a first heartbreak with my girlfriends over a glass of red wine and attending Friday happy hours at Rock and Reilly’s while always ordering their House Cab. With these ever-evolving circumstances, it’s crucial for our emotional and mental well-being to maintain some sanity. And to assist, here are a few ways to improvise your wine game. (Ted Wint | Daily Trojan) Wine nights on Zoom Zoom, with its virtual backgrounds and filter add-ons, is the perfect tool to hold a virtual wine night. So far my friends and I have joined together for an in-house bar crawl (where we have different drinks as we move around the house), Zoom-ed into happy hour and drunkenly discussed a memoir of a USC alumna-turned-CIA agent. Even though wine is an alcoholic beverage, it’s no substitute for washing your hands with soap and water. I cannot believe I need to say that, but it needed to be said. If you answer yes to these questions, perhaps now is the time to complete an important milestone of adulthood — joining a wine club. A wine club typically consists of a monthly subscription where a winery or an associated business ships a selection of wine to your front door. Some affordable options are Vinebox ($72 a year for nine glasses of wine shipped quarterly), Winc Wine Club (many options under $15 per bottle and free delivery for four bottles or more) and Wine Awesomeness ($49 per box of three bottles averaging around $16 per bottle). Sign up for wine clubs The possibilities are endless when we use our imagination! Or don’t use your imagination and just gather with your friends over Zoom for no reason other than to just chat over wine. What is most important is that we maintain our social connections throughout this time apart. When the public health response to the virus escalated and the USC community went into social distancing mode, I felt a tremendous amount of sadness but couldn’t understand why I was feeling this way. It wasn’t until a few days later that I was grieving the loss of social community that many of us took for granted. To my fellow Trojans near and far, I write this column with the understanding that the coronavirus pandemic has radically transformed our lives. Most of us are no longer within the 2-mile radius of Fryft. For myself, in seeking out some sort of normalcy in the havoc of canceled plans, unfinished resolutions and abrupt endings, I am reminded of why I started drinking wine in the first place. Jon Bonne’s “The New Wine Rules: A Genuinely Helpful Guide to Everything You Need to Know” will teach you practical rules about drinking and taking care of wine without any snobbish obstacles. If you’re also interested in how climate change and sustainability fit into the wine world, this is the book for you. Become a wine connoisseur With all this free time outside of classes, books have become a normal staple in my social distancing life. Why not use this time to become a booksmart wine connoisseur? Wine Folly’s “Magnum Edition: The Master Guide” is a good start. It was the first book I read about wine, and it has helped me tremendously in understanding a wine’s origin and taste. Most importantly, I want to emphasize that social distancing and abruptly leaving USC is jarring for many people. Please remember to drink alcohol with caution, and all jokes aside, we don’t want to come out of this situation as alcoholics. There’s so much life to enjoy after all this ends! Ted Wint is a senior writing about wine culture for the Daily Trojan. His column, “Let’s Wine Down,” typically runs every other Tuesday.