Champagne gets ASA hot and bothered

Word from the Advertising Standards Authority that an ad in Ryan air's inflight magazine for Saile & Sa bga Champagne has been banned because it linked alcohol with seduction and "showed alcohol being handled irresponsibly".

Presumably not yet up to speed with modern publishing techniques, the ASA couldn't reproduce the picture and so embarked on an overly-detailed description of the said handling.

"We open with a man and woman on a speedboat", the woman "with her legs spread wide apart, a man, wearing a pair of shorts, lay on his back between the woman's legs, and held her right leg while she poured Champagne on to his chest."

Not sure at this point whether it would have made a difference if he'd been clutching her left leg, but we digress. The story continues: "Scantily clad ... seated in a pose normally associated with intimacy ... holding her by the ankle ... tanned from the sun and attractive ... a metaphor for seduction ... for example, might lead people to adopt styles of drinking that were unwise."

Come on ASA, you love it really.

It's a miracle! Or not ...

Sadly for the people of Marino in southern Italy, a "miracle" that seemed straight out of the

Bible proved too good to be true.

During the town's annual Sagra dell'Uva (grape festival to you and me), water appeared to have

turned into wine - and to the delight of many households it flowed freely from taps into hastily

assembled buckets and plastic containers.

It was left to mayor Adriano Palozzi to explain that dodgy plumbing, rather than divine intervention, was the cause.

Sparkling chilled white wine from the local vineyard is usually pumped through to the main fountain in the village square during the celebrations, but this year the pipe was mistakenly hooked up to the local water supply.

With the constant rabid reporting of bottled water costing more than lager, maybe it won't be long before we see similar booze fountains in city centres around the UK.

Lost in space

Japan's latest crazy beer

move is a brew that uses barley grown in outer space.

The as

yet unnamed 100-litre batch is being made by Sapporo with barley plants grown from seeds taken to the International Space Station in 2006.

Researchers claim it was to test the effects of radiation, but we reckon the brewer was getting carried away with its space-age silver branding.

The beer will be ready in early November but sadly won't be available to the general public. Maybe the ever-hospitable Japanese are saving it for visitors of the extra-terrestrial kind?

Artist cops a fine

After drunkenly drawing a moustache and glasses on a life-size cardboard cutout policeman "for a laugh", Ryan McGlynn presumably wasn't smiling when he was ordered to fork out more than £200.

McGlynn, 20, of Attleborough in Norfolk, was caught on camera adding his own artistic touch to the local police display in a Sainsbury's store.

Magistrates fined him £50 plus £186.63, to includ e buying a replacement sign.

Every little helps

What with increasing pressure on staff to ensure they are not selling alcohol to under-age customers,

it was rather sweet that staff at a Tesco store in Hull thought it best to ask a 47-year-old mum for ID.

Fresh-faced Evelyn Moxon had to show her driving licence to get a bottle of gin for her father-in-law. She said: "The check-out girl made my day."

Well, it's one way to keep customers satisfied.

Plonk sparks riots

BWS supervisors in Waitrose and Somerfield may be familiar with Fuzion, an innocuous-looking Shiraz/Malbec blend from Argentinian producer Zuccardi

knocked out at £3.99 a bottle.

If so, it will come as something of a shock to discover that the wine has been causing a fair old stooshie in Canada, with reports of a "near riot" as shoppers tried to get their hands on it in stores of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario.

The situation was fuelled by a radio presenter asking people to phone in with sightings of the supposedly scarce wine and an endorsement f rom a wine writer suggesting it was worth three times its $7.45 Canadian price tag.

"We sold out four containers in two days," claimed Alex Patinios, the Zuccardi agent in Ontario. "Customers were fighting over cases

and in one store they nearly had to call the police."

Good job no one told them about the Strewn Gewürztraminer/Riesling VQA, the current Liquor Control Board of Ontario wine of the month. Doh!