Need Wine When Shops Closed?

For those who need wine when shops are shut, Cochem, Germany has the answer.

The machine also vends glasses, bottle openers and snacks


Every below-the-legal-age-to-buy-alcohol drinkers dream!


Never been more proud to be German - how brilliant! But does it work like a normal vending machine - the product plonks into the tray below? Bit risky?!

Of course, in Germany there are cigarette vending machines on every corner - or there were when I was a child there (a while ago!) - so the whole age restriction thing is not really, well, a thing there. And the legal age for wine and beer is 16 anyhow.


I was wondering what the age limit was. Apparently over 18 if > 1.2% ABV.)

Belgium, Denmark and Germany set 16 years as the minimum age for purchasing beverages containing less than 1.2 % of distilled alcohol and 18 years for buying spirits (more than 1.2 % of distilled alcohol)

I have always thought beer or wine vending machines would be good for pubs/bars during extremely busy events (six nations / football etc) where demand can be 6 people deep at the bar

In this country they’d be looted in no time!


If i remember correctly you have to scan your ID prior to it accepting payment.

Of course, “borrowing” ID never happens…


Naturally in Germany there is an engineered solution (though the machines aren’t necessarily German). Either the (padded) collecting tray or a separate collecting gadget rises to the appropriate shelf to collect the item, then lowers to the collection level. That’s why you only Drücken Nach dem CLICK

I recall reading that the machines can have some sort of ID check for age, perhaps based on bank cards or health cards, but I’m sure any self-respecting teenager would know how to circumvent such minor obstacles…

More to the point, @peterm, did it contain any half decent wines?


‘Au contraire’, as they say in Germany. The English language instructions on the machine says ‘Minimum age for buying wine is 16. Swipe ID card or driver’s licence as shown till beeping to verify your age’.

Very law abiding people, the Germans.


No, they were all German whites with exception of one German Pinot and one pink.

No Pinotage or other decent reds…


Well, it is on the banks of the Mosel, so Pinotage might be a reach. I could be tempted by a cheeky Spätburgunder.

Thinking of installing one in the house, reckon I could make a tidy income out of Mrs Smith…


Pinotage is grown and made in Germany. I’d have to check exactly where.

1 Like

Somewhere near the Nurburgring, possibly.

Could one not use one’s wine rack instead?

Not sure you need the “other” in there… :wink:

1 Like

For all your late night Wurst (and smoked meat) needs. The bottles (bottom shelf) are BBQ sauces - of course.

Spotted whilst in the Luneberg Heath last summer - sorry about the image-cropping (grrrr i-phone) because the vending machine bothy is thatched with heather. Now if only there was a late night wine bottle vending option…


A bit like the classic “send your old-looking mate into the off licence” trick but with a need for some who actually is older.


Reminds me of the classic Japanese kids leveraging Bruce Willis to trick age verifying cigarette vending machines. .

1 Like