Bill just said to me “We haven’t had a cocktail since we arrived in France”. As hard to believe as that is, he’s right: not a whisky, gin, rum, or vodka has passed our lips in weeks. What’s wrong with this picture? Oh yeah, we live in the middle of France’s (if not the world’s) largest wine growing region with over 700,000 acres (283,000 hectares) devoted to growing the fruit of the vine and as we all know, wine is not a cocktail.
If you go to a supermarket here, you’ll be amazed that there are shelf after shelf and aisle after aisle devoted to wines. Even the two small grocery stores that are on the town square manage to devote a significant portion of their very limited space to this liquid gold, although with bottle prices starting at less than 2 euro they are hardly making a giant profit.
There’s another thing you might be surprised about. A lot of shelf space is also given over to wine in boxes or in 3-liter pouches that require even less packaging. With the European emphasis on saving the environment it just makes sense that they would sell a decent wine both in a regular bottle and in the larger quantity box.
There seems to be a change coming regarding those glass bottles. While we have a recycle bin for plastic, paper, cardboard, and metal just 10 steps from our front door, it’s about a 5-minute walk to the closest glass bottle bank and that walking route is lined by more of those other recycling bins. Since we now hand carry back to the house anything that we buy, the weight of the container and where to get rid of it does come to mind. Hmmm, shall we buy one regular glass bottle of this wine or a 5-liter box (equal to almost 7 bottles) of that same wine? Tough decisions.