Friday 8 May 2015

Who's afraid of natural wine?

Indie lives on but has traded its skinny jeans for an organic vineyard, its Pete Doherty for a lack of sulphates and its guitars for a handpicked harvest. And how refreshing. I’m talking about natural wines being the indie kids of wines: dressed down and talking back.

Where there was pomp and circumstance in the wine world, there’s now humour (just look at their labels: from Quentin Tarintino-esque gore-core, Brutal to Sauvé de la Cisterne with two men cleaning cisterns). Where there was full-bodied, meal-in-a-glass wines, we’re getting acquainted with a bit of bubble and spice. A nose of fruit is being substituted for the smell of something wild: earth, animals and last week’s turning leftovers. We’re learning to drink red wine in the sun on a hot day and we’re beginning to accept red wines that look like rosé and rosé’s that reminds us of lemonade. We’re sucking down minerals instead of butter and wondering how, despite it tasting bubbly, we can’t for the life of us see any bubbles nor, for that matter, see through to the other side of glass.

It’s an education and we’re getting all of this education at Glou Glou, Amsterdam’s first natural wine café (and shop). Situated in de Pijp and still managing to appear like it’s not, Glou Glou is the wine café you wanted to set up. You didn’t, however, and so can only crow about the genius who chose to use brown mosaics in the floor, who hung beads over the kitchen door and who refrained from all decoration except for posters from the vineyards it represents. You salute whoever it was who thought to source his charcuterie from de Pasteijbakkerij and to have his pies delivered, hot and crispy (today’s was steaming rabbit), fresh from the oven across the road on a tray. Of course no one was going to say no; no, they didn’t want a pie.

If Café Welling means anything to you, then the hint is in the fact that the owner, Paul Witte, used to work there. For the rest, it means that Glou Glou has reached the status of classic the moment it opened its doors. No frill is small enough to justify getting in the way of just drinking great wine in a great looking corner cafe. Glug glug
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