When Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi compared himself to Brunello di Montalcino in his address to the Coldiretti national convention on Friday, editorialists and political pundits took note (Coldiretti is Italy’s powerful farmers union). As the Brunello inquiry drags on, media-savvy Berlusconi was clearly lending his support to the embattled winemakers of Montalcino and the fact that he made the remarks before the farmers union did not go unnoticed.
“I am proud of having gathered together a splendid team of young ministers,” Berlusconi told the group of commercial farmers on Friday. “But an old man’s experience was also needed. I can be compared to Brunello di Montalcino, which, as you know, gets better with age.”
In a political cartoon published on Saturday in the national daily Corriere della Sera, one of Italy’s greatest vignettistes, Emilio Giannelli, parodied the controversial Berlusconi (click image to enlarge):
In the cartoon, it is Minister of Public Administration and Innovation, Renato Brunetta, a staunch reformer and member of Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party, who offers Berlusconi a glass of wine and tells him (borrowing Berlusconi’s line), “The older I get, the better I become.” Berlusconi tastes the wine, chokes, and then spits it out, exclaiming, “But this isn’t Brunello! It’s Brunetta,” one of the “young” ministers appointed by Berlusconi.
The satire also makes reference to an episode that took place earlier this year, when Berlusconi feigned an attack of food poisoning after eating mozzarella di bufala, a much-discussed and ill-advised gesture in the light of the recent mozzarella scandal (harmful toxins were discovered in cheese produced in Campania).