For Penny...

Keg wine and wine vending machines just got supersized: 500 and one-thousand liter kegs have landed in French supermarkets.

Bring your own resealable bottles, Poland Spring containers, jerrycans, whatever. Or you can get one at the store. Select your grade (red, white, or rosé). Pump. Print receipt.

Astrid Terzian introduced this concept that hearkens back to a bygone era when wine would arrive in Paris shops in tonneaux and consumers would bring their own flagons to fill. But today, Terzian says, she started this scheme in fall 2008 to fill a niche, tapping into two key themes, environmental awareness and the economy. (She actually wanted to buy a wine property and run a B&B but it was too expensive. So she turned to what she says she knew how to do: sales.) The elimination of packaging mass means that the wine can be shipped much more efficiently from a cost and carbon perspective.

The cost-savings are passed on to the consumer in the form of low prices of 1.45 euros/liter (about $2/liter). She installed her first machine in June 2009 at the Cora supermarket in Dunkirk and now has them installed in eight supermarkets in France. The wines vary; one is a 2009 from the Rhone, technically a vin de pays méditerranée.

As to customer reaction, Terzian says customers are taken aback at first, but then warm up to the idea, especially after a taste. They come back often, she says.

Asked via email which is her favorite container to bring to fill, she says she uses a five-liter jug since it is “neither too big nor too small–and it’s typically French.”

My only question about the pump wine (aka Chateau La Pompe) is if it comes to New Jersey and Oregon, will they require full serve as they do for gas?!

Brian Coombs asked a great question - will this fit in the back of a truck?

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