Above: an image from Oliviero Toscani’s 1989 United Colors of Benetton campaign (via the Benetton corporate website).
Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a nationally observed holiday in the U.S.
The commemoration has different meanings for different people. For me personally, it’s a day to reflect on love and hate, mercy and accountability, healing and division, what came before us and what lies ahead… We’ve come a long way but we sure have a long way to go. That’s the way I see it.
There couldn’t be a better day to stand up for and stand by what I believe in my heart and what I have written here on my blog, Do Bianchi — a diary of my life, my family, my work, and my thoughts.
Last week, I began receiving a tide of messages from wine trade colleagues informing me that a California-based importer of Italian wines had repeatedly made reference to me as “the asshole blogger” and “blogger stronzo” who has led a “conspiracy” against a Friulian winemaker (blogger stronzo means literally turd blogger in Italian, the equivalent of asshole blogger). The importer in question is now importing the Friulian winemaker’s wines.
I’m not going to post any links here to the importer’s blog or social media. And I’ve been told that he has subsequently removed the references to me.
But in case you’re wondering about the Friulian winemaker and in case you missed the firestorm that followed, here’s the 2013 post that provides the backstory. In the comment thread, you’ll find that the winemaker in question is very open about his political views and ideology. I’ll leave it at that.
One of my California-based wine trade colleagues wrote a Facebook post about the importer’s visit to his shop.
“I see a young colleague is importing said winemaker’s wines to the States again,” he writes in conclusion, “and he’s bitching via social media that those who ‘boycotted’ the wines are ‘assholes.’ I’m a big boy and am OK with my status as an asshole, but only ask that you refer to me as Dottore Asshole.”
Like my colleague, I don’t mind being called an “asshole blogger” when the epithet is used against me because of something I believe in and have written about here on my blog.
Amen. So be it. If being an asshole means standing up for and standing by what I believe to be right, then feel free to call me an asshole. I can live with that. I couldn’t and can’t live with not standing up for and standing by what I believe in.
Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!
I think “Blogger stronzo” would make a great song title for one of your musical endeavors.
Assholes of world unite!
I’m proud to be another asshole wine blogger if this means being free to express my opinions and ideas. Avanti!
Thanks, everyone, for the support. There just comes a time when you have to stand up against the haters… I had mixed feelings about posting this but after receiving so many emails from friends and colleagues telling me that the importer was going around badmouthing me, I felt it was time to act. I really appreciate you being here.
And Josh, the song is already in the works! Great idea…
This is Scuola di Vino, the new importer of Fulvio Bressan in the US.
We wanted to thank you for the post as we stand right where you are against Racism.
Racism should not be tolerated at any given point and in any situation. That simple.
We are actually happy that this article came out today so that Fulvio Bressan took this opportunity to finally give his written apologies for what has happened on his Facebook page.
Please visit Scuola di Vino’s facebook page to see them.
We hope that going forward, we can turn this sad story, and only focus on his wines (there are many in the US who want them and have contacted us already from different states).
There is a very important thing to finally add since this is a public post.
Scuola di Vino has never said that you are/were an asshole for reporting the Bressan’s story.
We were referring to those who pumped up exponentially this whole thing and pushed for the stoning of the Bressan’s family. The promoters to be precise.
Never the boy-cotters since wine-drinkers have the divine right to buy a wine or not.
Could you please provide us with a written statement where we actually state that you are an asshole?
We would like transparency and truthfulness since your post is directed to us and we think we have the right, like you, to stand up against haters.
It’s very sad and unfair that this post has been written based on some false information.
Scuola di Vino
SdV, if you’d kindly restore this hastily-deleted Instagram post:
…you’d have the record you seek. Oh, but don’t worry: there are screenshots of it.
Just had 2009 Schioppettino from Bressan…Amazing!