It's a wine store and tasting room, but not quite as you know it. Smith Street newcomer Glou is shaking up the game, exclusively serving wine on tap, both to sip in and take away. An envelope-pushing concept from Rahel Goldmann (IDES, Hell of the North) and Ron Davis (Samuel Pepys, Le Pont Wine Store), the venue's built on a strong commitment to sustainability, though that doesn't mean it's about to go skimping on quality. If the thought of tap wine left you unenthused before, prepare to have your perceptions shaken.
Having spent a collective three decades working in upscale restaurants and wine stores across the world, Goldmann and Davis are keen to help revamp the local wine game, stirring positive changes and a shift to embracing more environmentally minded practices from end to end.
Doing away with single-use wine bottles, Glou instead pours all of its drops from taps, using an environmentally friendly Key Kegs system. And, rather than limiting themselves to the small pool of winemakers already offering tap wines commercially, the owners are working directly with their favourite sustainably focused wineries to keg a curation of top-notch wines straight from the barrel.
Expect the likes of the Barossa's Rasa Wines, Adelaide Hills legend Charlotte Dalton, and Victoria's own Ben Haines and Noisy Ritual. At the venue, you can get the wines poured into 500-millilitre, one-litre, or two-litre reusable takeaway bottles, just as you might with beer growlers. Bring back a vessel to refill again and again, or return it for a rebate.
Otherwise, pull up a seat in the minimalist space designed by Berlin artist Matthias George Koerner and Melbourne's Timmy Bourke Design, and quaff a couple of glasses alongside tapas-style Japanese bites courtesy of nearby Mono-XO. There'll be a program of industry tastings, masterclasses and winemaking events, too.
Not only is Glou creating less waste, it has also drastically reduced its carbon footprint by not having to transport all that extra weight in wine bottles. Which of course translates to more wallet-friendly prices for the customer. Wines by the glass are available for $8 a pop, while half-litres start at just ten bucks and you can score two full litres from a very reasonably $40. You can check out the full menu over here.