When you Google “Riccardo Fabbio,” the first result is a video interview by an Italian YouTuber entitled “Professione wine blogger.”
It’s a hard-boiled title that evokes one of Michelangelo Antonioni’s 1970s films made for MGM: “Professione reporter,” starring Maria Schenider and Jack Nicholson (called “The Passenger” in English). It also brings to mind the hard-knocks detectives we used to read about in pulp fiction.
Wine Telling Riky, aka Riccardo Fabbio, got on my radar after he visited and profiled my friends in Franciacorta (that’s Arianna and Giovanni with Riky in the photo above, poached from Riky’s social media).
He gave me a call a few weeks back to chat about his work and career path.
Man, this dude has been everywhere! Or at least, he’s on his way to getting there.
I’ve been loving following his trip through Champagne. But I got even more wrapped up in his trip to Friuli.
Riccardo is a wine blogger and social media personage who’s giving it his 1,000 percent. He’s a young dude trying to carve out his space in the enoblogosphere and the wine trade. And he’s doing it with class and panache.
This is his life and livelihood: professione wine blogger.
Another Italian-focused wine blogger who’s in my feed is Kevin Day, author and editor of Opening a Bottle.
That’s Kevin above, in a photo taken recently over dinner at Pizzeria Locale in Boulder.
Kevin, whose blog Opening a Bottle continues to churn out thoughtfully produced feature stories with superb photography, represents a different paradigm in the wine blogging world.
Wine writing and photography is a second career for him. He has a solid writing day gig and a wonderful family to support.
But like Riky, he’s giving it his 1,000 percent.
Or better put, like Riky, he’s giving his curiosity his 1,000 percent.
And that’s what compels me to keep up with both of their feeds.
The best advice that anyone ever gave me about my doctorate was that it’s all about following your curiosity to complete fulfillment. No one ever gave me a job because I have a Ph.D. But I gave my brain a new muscle by taking those deepest of dives. (My thesis was devoted to Renaissance transcriptions of Medieval Italian poetry and how the new printing press medium changed the way readers perceived the prosody — meter and performative rhythm — of those texts. Someone once joked that he would love to read my work as long as it wasn’t about commas and semi-colons. In part, it was.)
There’s so much acrimony in the wine media world owed to one-uppersonship. A counterproductive attitude continues to prevail in that universe: if I’ve been there and done that, how could you possibly have something interesting to add to the conversation?
Let me put this another, more succinct way: there are so many assholes in the wine media world who have forgotten or who never knew that the whole point is the joy of curiosity. It’s not about keeping tabs on who doesn’t kiss your fucking ring.
My dissertation advisor, a truly towering intellectual, knows and continues to know more about Italian literature than I ever will. He watched me stumble over countless rookie, knuckle-headed mistakes as he gently and generously guided me through my path of discovery. It was one of the greatest gifts anyone has ever given me: recognizing my own joy of curiosity and appreciating its immense value.
I hope you’ll enjoy following Riky and Kevin as much as I do. You might even learn something new. I know I have.
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