America wants self-serve wine tanks: Who will fill ‘er up?

approval matrix

Do you want a self-serve tank that dispenses low-priced wines in a store near you? Apparently a ton of people do as lots of non-wine sites linked to a recent post here, hundreds of people commented via twitter, and over 5,250 people “liked” it on Facebook.

The reception was very positive with many comments akin to “I am moving to France–TOMORROW.” or “I want one of these in my kitchen.” Perhaps the ultimate compliment came from New York magazine which put the tanks on their approval matrix in the “highbrow-brilliant” quadrant in today’s magazine. The only thing more brilliantly highbrow was the Paris Review putting their entire archive of author interviews online! (Good thing they didn’t see a subsequent here about pairing wine with bacon doughnuts–oh wait, that dish came from them!)

Why do you think this post resonated so much, particularly outside of the wine world? I think that part of it had to do with the fact that Americans are really getting into wine but can certainly do with out the pompousness. Also, it is kind of a Nirvana to find a fountain of good, cheap wine. There’s certainly the environmental angle too. And then it is also just a little bit zany.

But for whatever reason, the enthusiasm for the posting shows an appetite for such dispensers in the US. Who will be the first to implement this here–Whole Foods? Trader Joe’s? Safeway? Binny’s? Whoever it is (and one person in the industry tells me he’s working on it), they can certainly be assured a lot of media coverage.

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8 Responses to “America wants self-serve wine tanks: Who will fill ‘er up?”


  1. There are, of course, legal compliance problems, but these may be overcome, at least in some states.


  2. I am one of those non-wine sites that linked to your article. When I saw it I had a “gosh, why the heck not?” reaction. We’ve been able to purchase beer by the keg for private consumption for decades. Great beer? Every beer? No, but a good selection from quality brands. Why not something similar with wine? I think it would go a long way towards “de-mystifying” wine for a lot of people. How to keep people from drinking straight from the tap is another issue.


  3. Wow! I can honestly say I am not all that thrilled by this idea. But oh well, to each his own.


  4. Hi John, Yes, the authorities don’t always make it easy to innovate when it comes to wine.

    Hi Amy, Thanks for the link!

    Hi Karen, thanks for sharing your view. Maybe it would be more fun once you have a freshly squeezed jug in your hand…


  5. I agree with your reasoning. While most U.S. producers lag way behind the rest of the world in innovative packaging, it seems that American wine drinkers would like this to not be the case. We’re ready for all kinds of clever packaging-–bring it on! What can beat good wine delivered in a novel, eco-friendly way at a great price? All I can think of right now is Champagne!


  6. I think this could work for the same reason “3 buck Chuck” works. Many people enjoy drinking wine on a regular basis and aren’t concerned with the vintage, region, soil types, etc. They just want to drink decent wine at a cheap price.


  7. Charles Bieler tweeted about this a couple of times:

    Doin what I can to solve this though illegal in NY now

    I asked him why. He responded:

    has to do with acceptable wine containers and SLA – ABCL Section 105.5 we’re being told that a change may require legislation


  8. [...] wine on tap Last week, New York magazine called self-serve wine tanks brilliant and highbrow. This week, their restaurant critics round-up the bourgeoning offerings of wine on tap. Fun as taps [...]


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