Fill’er UP

Man, I love this.

It seems like we get everything from automated vending kiosks these days, from cash to DVDs to postal service to gasoline. The French have simply taken the next logical step. Putting a modern (and greener) spin on an old way of doing business, a French vendor has begun selling wine by volume from 500- and 1,000-liter vending pumps in French supermarkets. All customers need is a container.

Reaching back to a time when wine was sold in exactly the same fashion – that is, out of huge casks from which customers drew their desired quantity into their own containers for transport – the wine pumps achieve two separate goals that are often at odds with one another by providing at inexpensive product that also has a decreased carbon footprint. The wine goes for something like $2 a liter and, because it cuts down on costly packaging materials as well as packaging mass, it’s greener to transport as well.

When Mrs. G and I lived in the Vaucluse years ago, the pre-kid purpose of the kid’s seat on the bike was so that we could ride into the village and get the 5-liter jugs re-filled with red and rose at the local co-op. Yum-delicious and cheaper than water. And you would order from the attendant: “No. 11 and No. 8, SVP.” Young and light Cote du Rhone’s out of a gas nozzle; the question here now is where would such product will be coming from? Certainly capitalism in all its might can figure this out.

Then we’ll really be getting somewhere.