When's the last time you heard that intimidating yet invigorating chant, "chug! chug! chug!"?
In my younger days, that chorus was both a signal that it was time to prove myself and that my friends and I — as well as the people who we desperately wanted approval from — were about to have a good time. Unfortunately, though, back then, the chug chant was always paired with a heaping dose of self-doubt and slightly warm, cheap beer or worse, a Smirnoff Ice. While I am, for the most part, glad to be past that point in my youth, there was something both literally and figuratively intoxicating about being able to slam back some booze instead of having to stand around savouring every last drop in the name of civility. That's why I'm so glad to have discovered what many aficionados are now referring to as "glou-glou wine." Think of these wines as a much more sophisticated and delicious version of those light beers we once chugged. And thankfully, they don't come with any of the social pressure.
According to Coly Den Haan, owner of Vinovore, a Los Angeles-based wine shop that focuses on female winemakers, "glou-glou" translates in French to glug-glug. That's right, glug-glug, as in the sound a bottle of wine makes when you tilt it upside down to pour a liberal amount in a glass or better yet, directly into your mouth. "Describing a wine as 'glou-glou' pretty much implies that it goes down super easy and delicious, so much so that you can drink a whole bottle without even noticing," Den Haan explains.
"Glou-glou" can be used in reference to many different types of wines, but refreshing reds are often the recipients of the descriptor. "The first time I heard the term was in reference to a Beaujolais, a chillable, fresh light-bodied red made with the carbonic style of fermentation. Those style of reds first come to mind when someone asks for a glou-glou wine," Den Haan says. The term is also often associated with natural wines, but not exclusively. "Most natural winemakers lean toward lighter, fresher style wines with juicy acidity and lower alcohol, which absolutely makes them more glug-worthy," the Vinovore owner shares. Sounds so much better than anything I've ever chugged out of a beer bong.
If you'd like to try gulping some glou-glou wines, Den Haan has a few recommendations. She suggests VDC Arrakis, which is made from 50% pinot noir grapes and 50% chardonnay grapes. She also describes Amplify Wines' 2019 Carignane as "totally crushable" and says she "cannot stop drinking" Montemelino's Rosato. Den Haan also happens to make her own glou-glou wine called Fantasy Jungle, which is fresh, funky, and fun. I'd down any of these over being Iced any day.