It’s tempting to call Glou a bottle shop. That is, until you realise all the bottles are empty. While wine on tap isn’t all that novel these days, this sustainable Collingwood wine store and tasting room goes one up. It sells vino exclusively from kegs – doing for wine what growlers do for beer. Just pay $8 for a reusable glass bottle (either half, one or two litres), choose one of the 16 on-tap wines, and off you go.
Glou glou is a French expression that roughly translates to “glug glug” in English. It’s the sound of drinking wine with enthusiasm – like when you’re at a sunny picnic with your mates and that first glass goes down a little too easy. Think Galli Vineyard’s fresh and funky chardonnay, Philip Lobley’s bright and juicy Merlot, and a $20-per-litre Noisy Ritual rosé – all of which are tapped here.
For Glou’s owners Ron Davis (Samuel Pepys, Le Pont Wine Store) and Rahel Goldmann (who’s worked the floor and helped with the wine roster at Ides), it’s a way to sidestep the environmental pitfalls of traditional wine packaging – and support the sustainable initiatives of the environmentally conscious winemakers they partner with.
The pair uses refillable Keykegs (developed in the Netherlands), which are topped up directly from producers’ wine barrels. Beyond waste-reduction, this approach also cuts out a number of factors that increase the price of wine: bottles, labels, corks, distribution centres.
Glou has a clean, minimalist feel. Goldmann oversaw the fit-out, with high ceilings and white walls that give the space – dotted with plants and monochrome artworks – a welcoming airiness.
While wine to-go is the main game, you can also pull up a seat and taste your way through a few drops. Hungry? Snack on a vegan cheese plate or nuts, or order some punchy Japanese small plates from nearby Mono-XO. Expect Royal Miyagi oysters; whipped mullet roe with ginger, shallot relish and crisps; and broccoli with furikake, black bean and sesame-mustard dressing. One of the Glou staffers will even cycle down Smith Street to pick it up for you.