I know, I know: you’re sick of hearing about Austin, Texas. Between the city’s popularity as a pandemic-move destination and its recent designation as one of the least affordable places in America, it’s gotten too much press for its own good of late. If you actually do live here, though, it’s incumbent on you to try to make the city your own, and there’s no better way of doing that than getting to know local vendors who are building community through their work. Enter Glou Glou Girls, a self-described “discovery and delivery service for natural wine” that’s best-known for its wine club, which delivers hand-selected bottles (plus tasting notes, pairing recipes, and the occasional sweet gift) anywhere within Travis County.
There are plenty of natural-wine delivery and pickup services around the country, from Primal in Los Angeles to Grapefruit Wine in Hudson, New York, but when Glou Glou Girls founder Siobhan McLoughlin, 25, found herself living in Austin mid-pandemic, she wanted to bring a fresh option to a town that boasted plenty of bars serving natural wine—LoLo and Nixta Taqueria are perennial favorites—but no dedicated selection and delivery service for the natural and organically farmed labels that she has long favored.
“I was bartending in Richmond, Virginia, and then the pandemic hit and I couldn’t work in the bar anymore, so I started curating little packages of wine for my friends,” McLoughlin tells me over pet nat and French fries at June’s, one of Austin’s most reliable spots for lower-intervention wines (and one of the few spots in town where you can always get a glass of skin-contact, which is essentially a white wine made from grapes with their skin left on, red wine-style). “The pandemic highlighted a lot about what I wanted to do moving forward; I really missed making a cocktail for someone that I knew they would like, and I wanted to open people up to this language of talking about wine and make them feel empowered to make new decisions in the bottle shop.”