December 18, 2008 / 3:05 PM / 10 years ago

Caution: Wine label hazardous to your funny bone

MILAN (Reuters Life!) - If you are someone who loses sleep wondering what a drug label would look like for wine, rest easy.

A Bulgarian wine selector tastes red wine on January 22, 2004, from the latest vintage, choosing wines for the Vinaria wine fair in Plovdiv. REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov

The Tuscan-based wine-lovers site,, has created a pitch-perfect parody of a wine label modeled on a drug insert, complete with therapeutic indications, dosage, interactions and side effects.

“Oral pleasure activator,” it begins in Italian. “The product, if taken in recommended doses, has hilarious, introspective and evocative effects; reduces inhibitions and loosens control. Can make the world appear more beautiful and inspire dreams, poetry and visions.”

The label’s inspiration was less giddy, however.

Frustrated by perpetually changing wine labeling requirements imposed by the European Union, WineNews Director Alessandro Regoli decided to take the trend to its ultimate — and absurd — extreme.

“It’s not completely a joke,” he told Reuters. “It’s a provocation that’s designed to make you think.”

It is also designed to make you laugh, with or without the aid of an oral pleasure activator.

“Recommended adult daily dosage,” for instance, is 33 cl. per day to be taken twice at main meals.

Dosage depends not just on body weight and absorption capacity, but the occasion for use. Dinner with friends or special days allow for a slight — if well-considered — increase.

Not surprisingly, wine “alters the capacity to drive and use machinery” and interacts “effectively and positively” with lasagna, Tuscan prosciutto, baked lamb, aged sheep’s cheese, among other Italian delicacies.


The European Union’s wine-labeling mandates have been evolving since they began warning about sulfites in 2004, Regoli said. The latest proposed rules, which could take effect by 2010, would include the wine’s calories, proteins, fats and vitamins.

Regoli said he wanted to make a parody of these changing rules because they were a costly burden on small wine producers.

The label was stuck on 280 bottles of a unique blend of wine made by the people behind the WineNews website.

Rather than sell them to the public, they plan to give them away to family and friends as Christmas gifts.

An English version of the label is expected to be posted on the WineNews site.

Editing by Paul Casciato

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