Soif de couer Web site
Soif de Couer wine lets Web surfers get love drunk.
By Brian Tracey Associate editor

We all know the real world and the virtual one in cyberspace are increasingly overlapping, but singles bars eveywhere should be very alarmed at this development: A French winemaker is trying to help people find romance with a new vintage that links them up with a special online dating site.

The "Soif de Coeur" (A Thirst for Romance) bottles of rosé, red or white wine contain a unique code in their labels that you tap into the Web site in the hope of finding your perfect match.

"You buy a bottle and there is a ticket on the back which tells you what to do," said Michel Blaquie, the director of Imaginform ,which teamed up with France's Omnivins wine company to work on the idea.

The French wine, in bottles of girly pink or boy blue, is on sale in supermarkets around France, Belgium and Switzerland, and the producers are hoping to sell it in Japan and Russia soon.

Since it was launched in France in March, 400,000 bottles have been sold and Imaginform says it knows of some people who have met up and exchanged phone numbers because of the site.

A bottle, priced at around $4, will buy you one introduction. You type in your age, sex and which sex you would like to meet and the company will link you up with someone who also bought a bottle of "Soif de Coeur" wine.

Most of those who have logged on to the Web site are women aged between 30 and 40.

"We did have one man who was 80, but I don't know if he has met anyone yet," said Blaquie.

C'mon ladies, knock back a couple of bottles and the geezer will probably end up looking like Justin Timberlake.

Not-so-bad ideas

  • We think even Jimmy Buffett would be taken aback by this:

Kim Mayorga of Antioch, Calif. was confused when her 2-year-old son Julian started making funny faces and pushing away the apple juice ordered for him at a local Applebee's. The explanation came when she opened the lid of the sippy cup and was hit by the smell of tequila and Triple Sec.

The restaurant staff had accidentally given little Julian a margarita Monday. He grew drowsy and started vomiting a few hours later and was rushed to the hospital. He's now doing fine.

"I wasn't going to make a big deal about it," the mother told the Contra Costa Times this week, "but then he got sick."

The apple juice and margarita mix were stored in identical plastic bottles, and the manager mistakenly grabbed the margarita container to pour the boy's drink, said Randy Tei, vice president for Apple Bay East Inc., which owns the franchise restaurant and nine other Applebee's in the San Francisco Bay area.

The Mayorgas will be reimbursed for their medical bills, and Tei said the franchise group's restaurants will no longer serve apple juice and margaritas in similar containers.

"We absolutely believe it was an honest mistake," Tei said.

Yes, and it's also very easy to confuse "sippy cup" with "tipsy cup."

Owners pay $800 a month to keep their dogs at the Soladi Care Home for pets, according to a joint press release by Soladi Co. and the Endo Veterinary clinic in Tochigi, eastern Japan.

Analysts say that a boom in pet ownership in Japan, coupled with better health care and a more balanced diet, has led to a surge in elderly pets.

Vets at the home will offer round-the-clock monitoring, and residents will be fed specially fortified food, the release said.

The facility, which can accept 20 dogs at one time, will also employ puppies to play with the aging dogs to help them keep fit and feel younger, the press release said.

Or more likely, they'll bark out in dog-speak, "Just leave me alone, you young whippet-snapper!"

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.


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