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55. Culture, Change and Connection

How does a social business adapt to distance?

Today’s podcast episode is an interview with Marco Castelanelli, a professional Sommelier and CEO of Club Vino UK, organising exclusive wine-tasting events that share knowledge whilst creating an overall experience.

Currently adapting to lockdown, Club Vino offers home wine-tasting, with packages including 6-12 wines, printable tasting notes, and an online video in which Marco guides you through the wine-tasting experience:

Wine-tasting at home:

Alice and Marco discuss how businesses are adapting to lockdown, the differences in Italian and English drinking and business culture and how creating an experience is an essential part of Club Vino.

Also discussed:

(1:30) Introduction: alcohol in lockdown, drinking in lockdown, the influx in popularity of alcohol

(6:56) The experience of wine-tasting as opposed to ‘drinking for the sake of drinking’, knowing the story behind the bottle and creating an experience, the cultural difference in drinking behaviour

(10:54) Marco’s impression of English drinking culture, the wine industry in the UK

(14:10) Alcohol as a coping mechanism, the habits behind drinking

(19:52) Adapting to working from home and adapting a business to the lockdown situation, finding routine and trying to stay productive

(25:00) ‘Going back to normal’, how things may change in the future, self-awareness and how relationships may change due to spending extended amounts of with specific people, new possibilities

(33:11) Avoiding ‘bullshit positivity’, cultural differences in behaviour around mental health and communicating honestly, the benefit of honesty and authenticity, vulnerability and awareness in business

(41:13) Bringing ‘Italian flare’ to the wine tasting experience, the social aspect alongside interesting facts throughout the wine-tasting

(48:48) The difficulties of delivering a personal service under lockdown, making the most of the situation, how Italy is affected by coronavirus and the lack of physical interaction

(54:34) The cultural opinion of mental health in Italy at present, how the hospitality industry will/has been impacted

(1:00:03) Final comments and Alice’s solo drunken motivational speech

Club Vino:

Marco’s LinkedIn:

Club Vino’s Facebook:

Welcome to Dark Coffee, the podcast that starts engaging and approachable conversations around mental health.

Join wellbeing advocate Alice Lyons as she attempts to normalise the conversation around mental health, from suicide to satisfaction and everything in between.

Dark Coffee aims to create a safe space to explore dark topics with curiosity, compassion and courage to empower people to build their mental strength, resilience and sense of connection.

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Suicide and Emotional Support Organisations – UK

Samaritans: Confidential suicide discussion and emotional support. Free helpline available round the clock. Text – 116123.  Call – 08457 909090  Email – Website –

Mind: Support and information for anyone suffering from a mental health issue. 0300 123 3393 Website –

Saneline: Practical information, crisis care and emotional support to people affected by mental health concerns. Helpline: 0845 767 8000, open daily from 6pm – 11pm.