TWO of Glasgow’s most popular culinary institutions have teamed up to launch Vin-Cru – a new casual wine bar, set to open in Merchant City Square next month.

Spearheaded by friends and fellow musicians Colin Campbell and John Baillie Jnr – owners of The Hug and Pint and Dennistoun Bar-B-Que respectively – Vin-Cru (pronounced “van-crew”, meaning “raw wine” in French) will focus on natural, low-intervention and biodynamic wines alongside a collaborative menu presented by both kitchens.

‘Natural’, ‘biodynamic’ and ‘low-intervention’ wines are made without the addition of chemicals, preservatives, added sugars or artificial yeasts.

John explains: “Each wine is unique and lively, with bold flavours and made by producers who are passionate, independent and have to be sourced through a small, dedicated network.

“Non-natural wine is the conventional way.”

Having been introduced to natural wine by a friend while on tour in Berlin a few years ago, John was hooked.

“My pal was running a bar and sat me down and really opened up this world for me,” he said.

“I’ve loved ‘conventional’ wine forever, but once you’ve been exposed to that soulfulness and depth of flavour, it’s difficult to go back. It’s all I’ve drank since. It’s one of those things that I’ve almost ruined for myself – in a good way.

“When I came back from my holiday, I just couldn’t find any places that did it here. There is the odd restaurant that did the occasional line but nothing committed to it.

“I’ve been friends with Colin for years and it just came up in conversation, and we both decided that it would be good to do.

“This unit came up and before I knew it this thing was happening. It’s really exciting.”

Colin adds: “We both agreed that this would be a great addition to the city’s incredible bar scene and have been looking for the right location for a long time now. It’s exciting that we’re finally on the home stretch to making this happen.”

Discussing the collaboration between both venues, he offers a taste of what to expect from the new venture: “Both of our current venues share a similar ethos – to be relaxed and casual but with a real dedication to getting the little things right and powered by a friendly and passionate crew of folk. Vin-Cru will carry that forward into our enthusiasm for wine.”

As well as specialising in natural wines, Vin-Cru will also offer a hand-picked selection of more ‘conventional’ wine types, as well as a curated range of beer, cider and fine spirits.

One of the ciders that will be featured is the new Re:Stalk, Grant Hutchison of Frightened Rabbit’s newest venture.

“It’s about getting people

involved and aware of what it is,” says John.