Q: Is it still safe to clink glasses at the table during the COVID-19 pandemic?—Cheryl, Charleston, W.Va.
A: According to Dr. Scott Lindquist, Washington's State Epidemiologist for Communicable Diseases, the risk of COVID-19 transmission increases through activities like toasting with wineglasses. "This is a virus that can be spread through contact, and any contact between glasses, between people, is not a great idea right now," Dr. Lindquist told Wine Spectator.
Dr. Lindquist refers to the basic science surrounding COVID-19 and its lifespan in the environment, which researchers agree exceeds the amount of time it would take to pour and drink a glass of wine. Dr. Lindquist also reminds us that consumable alcohol is not strong enough to kill the virus. "Even high levels of drinkable alcohol will not affect this virus."
Dr. Lindquist says that UV light and cleaning solutions are the best options for rendering the virus non-viable.
As flu season approaches, Dr. Lindquist adds that moderate wine consumption should be avoided while taking medications for flu-like symptoms, pneumonia and COVID-19. Please consult your physician for questions regarding health and wine consumption.