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EUROPE 1
(France)

"May contain egg protein" or "contains traces of milk." Not exactly what you'd expect to read on the label of a wine bottle. But starting July 1, wine sold in Europe will come marked with exactly this kind of information.

The move follows a European directive aimed at informing consumers of the presence of allergens in alcoholic drinks, Europe 1 reports. What does any of this have to do with wine? A lot apparently. Things that can be added to grape juice during the winemaking process include egg and fish proteins, fish skin collagen, caramel and oak wood. The additives help winemakers modify the taste, appearance and conservation characteristics of their product.

But some of these ingredients can also provoke allergies. According to the European Food Safety Authority, about 0.3% of adults are allergic to products made from eggs and 1% are allergic to milk proteins.

"Less than 10% of the wine bottles should be concerned by the measure," says Marie-Madeleine Caillet, vice-chair of the French Enologist Union. Nevertheless, the new rule will make wine-makers' lives more complicated, as they already have to mark their bottles with a preventative logo for pregnant women, plus mention the presence of sulfites - in about 10 languages. The other option, of course, is to change the way they produce their wine.

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