Reporting in From Italy
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.)
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 email@example.com. 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 http://www.wineloverspage.com/wineadvisor.
On the Road in Northern Italy
You are on the subscription list because our records indicate that you registered during a visit to Robin Garr's Wine Lovers' Page. If for any reason you don't want to receive this publication, simply send E-mail to 'firstname.lastname@example.org' and we'll remove your name from the list. We do not use this list for any other purpose and will never give or sell your name or E-mail to anyone.
If your E-mail program is having trouble handling the images in this edition, feel free to request that we switch you from the HTML to TEXT edition ... or vice versa. We welcome feedback, suggestions, and ideas for future columns. Send us E-mail at email@example.com.
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.
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