Wine industry satirist and former sommelier Ron Washam, otherwise known as the Hosemaster of Wine, has received a takedown notice from glass manufacturer Riedel's lawyers, following an imaginary interview with Georg Riedel on Tim Atkin MW's site.
The letter, reproduced on Washam's site, claims that the original article 'contains numerous fabricated quotations attributed to Mr Georg Riedel and is otherwise replete with factual inaccuracies known by you to be false'. It carries on to say that 'there is nothing satirical or funny about the Article or the act of libeling Riedel'.
Washam has struck back, calling for his readers to support other glassware brands. 'When you purchase Riedel or Spiegelau stems for your restaurant, winery or use at home, please bear in mind whom you’re supporting. A bully. A humorless, unpleasant bully. There are perfectly brilliant alternatives,' he says.
In addition, Washam has set up the 'HoseMaster of Wine™ Defense Fund'. 'Hell, if Randall Grahm can do it, why can’t I? I’m every bit as nuts,' he explains.
In a recent interview with Vineyard & Winery Management, Washam commented: 'Satire is safe from any kind of persecution in the US, thanks to that First Amendment thing everyone hates.'
Atkin has since also received a takedown notice, but has so far declined to comment.