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Three founders of Wine Aid sitting on steps with bottles of wine.
Photograph: Supplied

You can now support hospitality workers in need by buying wine in bulk

Wine Aid is making it easy to drink well and pay it forward.

Matty Hirsch
Written by
Matty Hirsch

As yet another week of restrictions and uncertainty rolls by, there’s every chance you’re wondering how you can help others that are doing it tough and simultaneously thinking of restocking the wine cupboard. We don’t blame you – these aren’t uncommon thoughts nowadays. The good news is you can do both in one fell swoop, thanks to three mates in the Sydney wine industry.

Wine Aid is a new initiative developed by Connor Sainsbury-Canham, Dan Simmons and Andrew Jamieson – a trio of hospitality pros with decades of experience consulting, importing and distributing between them. The premise is a simple one: you buy a curated mystery pack of six ($150) or twelve ($295) wines from small Australian producers which are delivered to your door, and a portion of the proceeds goes towards providing meals for hospitality workers from participating restaurants. Each six pack sold equates to two meals, while a dozen provides four.

“The hospitality industry has been very kind to us throughout our careers,” Simmons says. “Our shared goal is to support those that serve us’ in a time of crisis.”

The wines are currently for sale at bars, restaurants and bottle shops across the city, including Annata in Crows Nest, Arthur in Surry Hills, Osteria Coogee, Prince of York and the Oak Barrel in the CBD, as well as Manly’s Winona Wine. In order to receive a meal, hospitality staff simply need to follow Wine Aid on Instagram (@wineaid_), and they’ll find out which restaurants are participating and how to book. So far, Annata, Arthur, Osteria Coogee and Prince of York have all chipped in.

Sainsbury-Canham, Simmons and Jamieson hope the initiative will encourage more small, local businesses to come on board, and that this is only the beginning.

“We created Wine Aid to support the struggling hospitality industry,” Sainsbury-Canham says, “but we hope that in the future Wine Aid can be used as a charitable foundation to support any unfolding future crises.”

Looking for other ways to help the hospitality industry? Check out what this Sri Lankan restaurant in Enmore is doing to feed Sydney's most vulnerable.

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