There are many tragedies unfolding as covid-19 ravages the planet. With the massive loss of life and livelihood up ahead, this is not among the worst outcomes, but given my interests it nevertheless saddens me when I think about it. Independent wineries, restaurants and their employees are going to take a big hit. That’s a lot of skill, imagination and determination gone to waste. I’m sure the chains and commercial wineries will survive by doing what well- financed firms with market power do. But it will be hard for the little guy to survive in a business as tough as the restaurant business or the artisan winery business.
No one knows what society will look like on the other end of this. There are too many contingencies to make predictions. But the food and wine revolution that has transformed the taste landscape in the U.S. over the past 50 years may well be over. It was driven organically by creative individuals with drive, courage, and an idea. But it was enabled by upper middle-class wealth and a global consciousness open to new influences. I suspect both will be in short supply in the near to middle future.
I hope I’m wrong. Maybe in 18 months with a successful vaccine in hand, the innovation economy will come roaring back with investment capital thrown around like confetti and consumers flush with government checks and a new job.
Please might I have a pony for Christmas?