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Important administrative note:
Reporting in From Italy
As noted in last week's edition, we're traveling in Europe for a couple of weeks, visiting vineyards and wineries and tasting a lot of wine. This special edition comes to you from the B&B at Winery Einaudi in the village of Dogliani in the Northwestern Italian Piemonte region; next week at this time we'll be in France.

If our distribution system works, all subscribers should get a short, plain-text edition this week. Our regular weekly editions will resume May 15. (Please note also that I probably won't be able to respond to administrative requests such as address changes, unsubscribe or re-subscribe requests until we return home.)

30 Second Wine Tasting Tip:
Warning label syndrome seems worldwide

Some American wine lovers might argue that our national penchant for placing legally required warning labels on purportedly hazardous consumer products has gone a bit overboard, ranging from the notices advising people not to drive with auto windshield shades in place to sulfite warnings on wine bottles and, of course, the standard Surgeon General's report remiding anyone who doesn't know it already that too much alcohol can make you accident-prone and, in excess, potentially dangerous for pregnant women and nursing mothers.

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 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.

We hope you'll invite your wine-loving friends to register for their own free weekly copy at

30 Second Tasting Notes:
On the Road in Northern Italy
In lieu of the usual consumer-oriented wine tasting note, I'd like to use this week's space to refer you to my notes on nearly 60 mostly Italian wines tasted during our first three days here. Those reports are now on The Wine Lovers' Page in "A Bergamo evening,", a gathering of wine friends in a historic city east of Milan; "A traditional day in the Langhe,", visits to two excellent, conservative Barolo producers; and "A modern day in Monforte d'Alba,", following up with visits to two respected Barolo makers who are trying experimental techniques without losing touch with their roots.

The week's 30 Second Advertising Partner
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30 Second Administrivia
This free weekly E-mail publication is distributed to subscribers every Monday. Previous editions are archived on The Wine Lovers' Page. See

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All the wine-tasting reports posted here are consumer-oriented. In order to maintain objectivity and avoid conflicts of interest, I purchase all the wines I rate at my own expense in retail stores and accept no samples, gifts or other gratuities from the wine industry.

More time for wine?
You don't need to wait for Mondays to read about wine! Drop in any time on Robin Garr's Wine Lovers' Page, where we add new tasting notes several times each week and frequently expand our selection of wine-appreciation articles, tips and tutorials.

If you'd like to talk about wine online with fellow wine enthusiasts around the world, we'd be delighted to have you visit the interactive forums in our Wine Lovers' Discussion Group. If you're from another part of the world and don't feel entirely comfortable chatting in English, visit our International Forum and introduce yourself in the language of your choice.

Vol. 2, No. 15, May 1, 2000

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