Italian-Style Marketing

I am often reminded of a “parable” I heard from Oded Goldreich, attributed to Silvio Micali. Here is my third-hand rendering:

How come Italian wine is underappreciated compared to French wine?

If you go visit a French winery, the owner will tell you “Well, French wines are the best wines in the world, as everybody knows. But this area is where there is the best soil and best weather in France for grapes, which is why the best French wines come from here. And in my winery, we make the best wine of the area.”

You then go visit an Italian winery, and the owner will tell you “In this country, everybody is a crook. The other wineries, they are all cheats, criminals, they put chemicals in the wine. I am the only honest person in this business, you shouldn’t drink anybody else’s wine.”

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