In America, prior to May 2007, the perception of European wines is that they do not contain sulfites. Prior to May 2007 European wines were not required to list if they contained sulfites. Since May 2007 European community wineries that add sulfites are required to list it. As a winemaker I believe that there is a misunderstanding that sulfites are bad, Sulfite is an antioxidant. Many people spend allot of money at the health food store buying antioxidants. Sulfite is only bad if you happen to be the 1 in 10,000 in our population who has an allergy to sulfite. These individuals are usually asthmatics.
Many people misunderstand sensitivity or allergy to sulfite. Individuals who say I can drink white wine without a headache but I cannot drink red wine due to headache, do not have sulfite sensitivity since there are sulfites in both types of wine. Instead they might have an allergy to the skin of the red grape which creates a histamine reaction.
Since May 2007, Americans are finally realizing that European wines also contain sulfites due to required disclosure.