I am hoping to dash to France for a weekend before the end of the year and the possible Brexit changes take place but I’m currently trying to juggle that with the possible COVID risk so who knows if I will make it. Anyway, I thought it might be a good time to let you in on where I get my secret stash in case you fancy a short trip. I normally only drive for four hours a day and stay overnight so this trip usually involves staying overnight for three nights but it is possible to do with just a one-night stopover if you can face the seven-hour drive in one go.
Vin en vrac is the wine local French people buy on a day-to-day basis from a wine cooperative, where they fill up their own container with what is essentially a gas pump. It is super cheap – almost half the price of the import duty alone of a bottle of wine into the UK.
Years ago I used to find this type of shop littered all over the Burgundy area, but somehow they are now very hard to find. There are so many overseas visitors trawling the wine route, visiting chateaux for tastings, and investing in fine wines to ship home and lay down, that I think the locals try to keep this practice secret.
However, here is a gem of a place where the locals rock up and fill up.
Cheap as chips and just as yummy.
If you buy this fresh wine in sealed 5 litre boxes, it should last you for three months at home, and for up to three weeks once you have opened a box. If that is too much for you to drink, you can buy 3 litre boxes.
The entry level wine is only 1.50 euros (prices shown are for if you bring your own container) but there are other choices and prices too.
On first entering, the lovely shop looks like many in the region: expensive bottles of fine wines, Champagne, and a tasting bar. Head into the back room, but beware as they might try to sell you other boxed wine for more money.
Even when we pushed to try the wine in barrels, the lady said, “Oh no that’s only for the French people!” When we chuckled and asked why there was no real reason given (other than it was made from mixed grapes), but in the end, she submitted to our request to taste it and happily sold it to us.
Later she explained why she said that. She was surprised… they never have English customers asking for it.
I hope they will now!
It’s easy to find, well signposted and there’s a huge car park.
Just to help you visualize your haul – about 300 litres fits easily into the average estate car…….