Behold! The wine vending machine!
It's a thing of beauty, we must say. Could quite easily stand in for one of the monoliths in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Also, it's nice and practical, with all the normal modern vending machine components: trapdoor, thin sheen of grime despite the fact it only appeared at some point between now and last Monday, a touchscreen so you can avoid human contact and thus hide your shame at buying tacky, overpriced bubbles in a shopping mall (in this case, Chaoyangmen's U-Town).
This is what we reckon booze will look like after the Rapture.
There was one bottle of common-or-garden red in there – albeit maybe not one that anyone who knows their claret from their Beaujolais would appreciate – but who gives a damn about that when there's these enticing varieties to mess with. Rosee (with an extra 'e', so you know it's fancy), seems relatively normal if rather over-enthusiastically branded, but all bets are off with the rest of the flavours.
Maybe they'll look more enticing from a different angle?
Here we have slightly viscous-looking Volcano, the Barbie-dreamhouse sheen of lavender-coloured Lavender, and the neon embrace of Sky.
Essex girls, the good folk of the Jersey Shore and 13-year-olds might be into it, but they're also the target demographic for alcopops, and the rest of us left that junk behind with footless tights and Ed Hardy print hoodies.
If anyone has any clue as to what they actually taste like, please tell us to win our eternal gratitude – answers on a postcard, please
It's name? Kinda translates to '100 alcohol treasures'. You do spoil us, wine machine.
After some perhaps overly aggressive assertions that 'there's no way I'm drinking blue wine' the
bravest most easily peer-pressured member of our little Time Out search party decided to interact with the machine, gaining its trust and procuring us some antifreeze disguised as vino.
168RMB for some fizzy food colouring? At least it's down from practically 200, though. A steal!
Unfortunately, because we always mean to top up the account our WeChat Wallet is connected to but always forget, our plan to get tipsy by noon on bottled Tumblr aesthetic was scuppered. Get your debit card function in order, machine! We left empty-handed but 168RMB heavier, which in retrospect is probably a good thing.
Kind of looks like a face. Hey, vending machine!
To be honest, we're kind of confused by the whole situation. Is there really enough demand for automated alcohol procurement to warrant putting a big red box in a shopping mall? Why is it so bloody expensive? Why don't they need ID?
If the wine vending machine appeared for no discernible reason because it's actually been sent from the future as an ambassador to 2017 and isn't so much a wine vending machine as it is a sentinent Wine Bot, taking a half-understood concept of what mankind likes as its form so as not to startle us, we offer our apologies.
We didn't mean to upset you, Boozetron 5000 – they're only gags!