In 2020 we became picnic professionals, sourdough bakers and dedicated drinkers. Glou, a wine store and bar on Smith Street, is out to make the latter sustainable. The premise is simple: spend $8 on a reusable bottle (500ml, one litre or two litres); fill it with Australian biodynamic and organic wines on tap; and repeat (or return your bottle for a $4 rebate). You can also plant yourself on one of 18 seats and drink wine by the glass for $8 with snacks from Mono-XO up the road.
"Glou was an idea that popped up during lockdown as a way to sell wine and pay more respect to the effort that goes into producing wine in a sustainable way," says Ron Davis (ex-Samuel Pepys, Le Pont Wine Store), who owns Glou alongside partner Rahel Goldmann (ex-Hell of the North, IDES).
Knowing the effort it takes for winemakers and viticulturists to produce sustainable wine, Davis and Goldmann were frustrated that it ends up in single-use bottles that create carbon dioxide emissions when manufactured, labelled, transported and disposed of. Their solution is to buy wine directly from the barrel, transferring it into sustainable KeyKegs (recyclable, lightweight kegs that dispense liquid with air pressure instead of gas). This also enables Glou to sell wine at 30 per cent less than regular retail prices.
"Glou, glou" is the French equivalent of the English onomatopoeia "glug, glug", an apt description of the wines that will rotate monthly. The opening line-up of 10 includes Charlotte Dalton's Love You Love Me Semillon (RRP $39 bottle, but $26 a litre at Glou), Philip Lobley's Temptation Merlot, drops from Brunswick East local Noisy Ritual and Rasa Wines from the Barossa Valley. For non-boozers, there's Monceau Fuji apple kombucha.
Goldmann managed the refurbishment of what was previously Dingo's Bar, referencing her home in Berlin. Indoor plants, concrete flooring and metal finishes give the impression of an Aesop skincare store where you can quench your thirst, and as at Aesop, you can sample the product for free. In the near future, expect Sunday sessions, art house cinema screenings and winemaker chats at the rear communal table.
Open Tuesday-Sunday, noon-9pm (hours will change slightly after Christmas).
310 Smith Street, Collingwood, glou.com.au.