Reporting in From Italy
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Warning label syndrome seems worldwide
But if you thought this barrage of printed paternalism is restricted to the U.S., you may be as surprised as we were to arrive in Italy to find that the bureaucrats are at work everywhere.
Italy, which has a relatively sane attitude about alcoholic beverages in moderation, probably wouldn't seriously consider a health warning on vino. But every wine bottle does carry a required warning with the reasonable request that the user avoid littering with the empty container.
More remarkable still, however, is a recent warning now required on bottles of sparkling or mineral water sold in Italy. Loosely translated, it straight-facedly informs the purchaser that this beverage "may have diuretic effects."
I am not kidding about this ... and I suppose it proves the truth of the old song, "It's the same the whole world over."
Greetings from Italy. I hope to be able to write you all again next week from France.
Have you run into humorous or absurd warnings on wine bottles around the world? Share your story in an E-mail note to firstname.lastname@example.org. Because of my travel, I probably won't be able to respond until later in the month, but I appreciate your input, and it helps me do a better job of writing about wine.
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On the Road in Northern Italy
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Vol. 2, No. 15, May 1, 2000