One of the wonderful aspects about writing about Italian wine, life and culture lies in the Italians ability to stir things up. I might get tired of writing this wine blog (or wine blogs in general) but I never tire of the Italian sense of keeping things interesting.
In this recent case, I was sitting at a dinner table with friends, one who is a winemaker in Tuscany. This person had just gotten an email about a recent promotion for Chianti Classico in a convent in Radda. The accompanying image was in stark contrast to the normally secular interpretation one gives to a religious house. It appears the Chianti Classico Consortium has been involved in the restoration of the (former) convent of Santa Maria al Prato for ten years. The newly named “House of Chianti Classico” will have educational events, cooking courses, art, music and other events in which to showcase the wines of Chianti Classico. I’m good with all of this.
house” are what caused pause, and of course, fodder for bloggers like yours truly. It piqued my interest. I’m far from prudish, but I had to wonder what the message was when I see what appears to be a nude woman with her legs in the air getting tickled by a feather, ostensibly one from a black rooster, with the tag line “The Black Rooster Temptation.” Is she a wayward nun? Is she underage? Is she alive? And the person who is holding the feather, do we know if it is man? Or a woman, perhaps another naughty nun? Was this the initial impression the Chianti Classico Consortium intended with this campaign? Questions and more questions.
Perhaps they were smart, for now we are talking about them.
But in 2014? In 21st century Italy, and Tuscany, where women have fought for their place on the winemaking stage? I know my winemaking friend was mystified when she saw the images advertising a wine event in a former convent employing the bottom half of a female body, faceless, powerless, under the influence of someone or something else, even if it was intended to suggest pleasure.
|From “Letters of a Portuguese Nun" by Milo Manara|
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