Winemakers say Paris Hilton unfit for Prosecco
By Mathias Wildt
MILAN (Reuters) - Hotel heiress Paris Hilton dressed provocatively in a skimpy leopard print outfit and showing off her bare legs is not an image Italian winemakers feel is fitting for their Prosecco white sparkling wine.
Yet Hilton, in various high-heeled stages of undress, graces the ads of Rich Prosecco, an Austrian company selling the bubbly in 27 countries. What's worse, in the eyes of Prosecco producers, Rich Prosecco also comes in cans and in two fruit varieties.
"Hilton hotels are a sign of quality; Paris Hilton is not," said Fulvio Brunetta, president of the wine growers association of Treviso, the northern Italian city in the Veneto region where Prosecco is made.
Paris, a symbol of celebrity privilege in America, gained notoriety in 2003 when a home video of her having sex with a boyfriend was posted on the Internet.
She parlayed her notoriety, fueled by tabloid headlines about her partying lifestyle, into a celebrity career that has included reality television, a book and film roles.
Last year she spent more than three weeks in jail for violating probation in a drunk-driving case.
"Paris Hilton is sensationalism. It's not good. It's not adequate for Prosecco," Brunetta said.
The association is planning two meetings next week to decide on ways to protect the Prosecco name and insure that any company selling Prosecco is actually using wine made from the Treviso area. Continued...