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Dear Dr. Vinny,

Is there a difference in the same wine sold in Europe compared to that sold in the United States, i.e. sulfites or other additives?

—Dan, Quincy, Mass.

Dear Dan,

The wine is the same, but the labeling laws are different. Ever since the late 1980s, wines sold in the United States are required to include "contains sulfites" on the label. Sulfites are a naturally occurring byproduct of fermentation, and some producers add minimal additional sulfites to keep wines stable. Interestingly enough, wines sold in the European Union are not allowed to include the sulfite information or the government warnings regarding alcohol consumption during pregnancy or while using heavy machinery. Hopefully the Surgeon General isn't offended.

—Dr. Vinny

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