LUSH Staff Picks 2011: The Veterans

December 20, 2011 at 3:45 pm (Our Favorite Things) (, , , , , , , , , , )

All day, every day, the Lushes have been searching and exploring…challenging our palates to expand as we try new grapes, regions, producers, and styles. We have discovered what we adore, what we LOVE and what do not care for. And, we discovered that our tastes have evolved, twisted, turned, and ended up in new places, the same places, and places we never imagined we would go. As a staff, we have a very eclectic, bizarre, and sometimes frightening taste in all things fermented.

Set to task, dedicated to choosing our very most favoritest wines, we set a very strict set of criteria…we want outrageous quality for the cash, of course, but we also require craft winemaking, juice that speaks of where it comes from and that inexplicable, intangible, expression of something extraordinary.Our staff picks of the year are titillating, intellectual stimulating, and definitely remarkable…unforgettable, even. So, we are memorializing our favorites of the year in this year end rewind.

So, without further ado, the LUSH Wines of the Year, 2011. Ha. No, silly, you have to come to the tasting to get a sneak peek and a secret sip…

 

Read the rest of this entry »

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LUSH Staff Picks 2011: Newbies

December 20, 2011 at 3:40 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

All day, every day, the Lushes have been searching and exploring…challenging our palates to expand as we try new grapes, regions, producers, and styles. We have discovered what we adore, what we LOVE and what do not care for. And, we discovered that our tastes have evolved, twisted, turned, and ended up in new places, the same places, and places we never imagined we would go. As a staff, we have a very eclectic, bizarre, and sometimes frightening taste in all things fermented.

Set to task, dedicated to choosing our very most favoritest wines, we set a very strict set of criteria…we want outrageous quality for the cash, of course, but we also require craft winemaking, juice that speaks of where it comes from and that inexplicable, intangible, expression of something extraordinary.Our staff picks of the year are titillating, intellectual stimulating, and definitely remarkable…unforgettable, even. So, we are memorializing our favorites of the year in this year end rewind.

So, without further ado, the LUSH Wines of the Year, 2011. Ha. No, silly, you have to come to the tasting to get a sneak peek and a secret sip… Read the rest of this entry »

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Celebrating National Boss’ Day

October 16, 2011 at 10:47 am (Current Events, Our Favorite Things)

SUNDAYS WITH LUSH: 10.16.2011

Mitch’s picks
You know him. You can’t miss him. Big n’ burly, bearded, ponytailed, and larger-than-life, the captain of this crazy Lush ship is the magical Mitch Einhorn, and this Sunday is devoted to wines that he chose himself. His palate is as big as his personality; expect lots of crazy California Rhone blends, but also weird, super intense Austrian powerhouses, and maybe some northwest loving throw in there, too. Get inside the brain of our fearless leader by sipping on some of his favorites this Sunday. Read the rest of this entry »

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LUSH: Back to Basics

May 26, 2011 at 11:58 pm (BYOB, class, Current Events, Geek, Our Favorite Things, Special Events, What we are eating, What we are thinking, What we're drinking) (, , , , , , , , )

by Ms. Jessica Tessendorf

LUSH lingo leaving you a little bamboozled? Let’s get straight to the facts. An honest to
goodness list of everything your neighborhood LUSH can provide just for you.

1. FREE booze! If the lights are blinking, you’re drinking. 12-10, 7 days a week. Anything
we have opened is fair game.
2. FREE Scheduled tastings. 2-5 each and every Sunday afternoon. Check out the website
or call your local shop to see what the weekly theme is. Not a wine fan? 25% of our
scheduled tastings are either beer or spirits. We provide the topic, the booze, and some
tasting notes, you provide your face.
3. Personalized tastings. Pick a topic, or don’t. Have it blind, or not. Have some snacks
to pair, or drink your food. Set a date with Ms. Carrie (carrie@lushwineandspirits.com) at Roscoe Village, or Ms. Alica (alicia@lushwineandspirits.com) at West Town & University Village, get
some friends together, and have a more tailored tasting event. Read the rest of this entry »

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Nature is the Spirit: A lesson in Biodynamic Viticulture from Ted Lemon of Littorai.

May 26, 2011 at 11:55 pm (Current Events)

(Hi everyone. I’m Cara Patricia, a full time student of wine & beverage. I originally published this article on my personal blog, DECANTchicago.com, which revolves around the strange world of Biodynamic viticulture.  Biodynamic is a step up from typical Organic and is quite confusing to most at first. I hope that the following article gives you a little more insight into what Biodynamic means and why we tend to be drawn to sustainable, earth-friendly, terroir driven wines in our search for deliciousness in winemaking at our LUSH stores. Some of wines I will talk about are available at LUSH. Cheers!)

What a great seminar we had at the Avenues in Chicago’s Peninsula Hotel!  Hosted by Maverick Wine Company, Ted Lemon, founder of Littorai in Sonoma,  held a very informative and excellent discussion about Biodynamic viticulture and winemaking. During which we also were able to sample eight of his wines using organic, sustainable, and full-on biodynamic procedures. Read the rest of this entry »

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2011 LUSH Patio Series Schedule

May 26, 2011 at 11:49 pm (Current Events, patio events, What we are eating, What we're drinking) (, , , , , , , , , , )

PATIO SERIES: LUSH UNIVERSITY VILLAGE
1257 South Halsted
Chicago, IL 60607
312.738.1900

Holla. Shout from the rooftops and tell all your friends; Lush in University Village has a rocking patio that is just itching to be used every single day of sunshine and warm(er) temps. And, what better way to utilize the short Chicago summer than to sip away the evening and EAT outside! The Lushies have been whipping up a full schedule of food and wine events, so please join us for a lovely evening, or jump in on them all! RSVP required and all reservations are NON-REFUNDABLE. Serious. Each event is open to 25 people. Groups are welcome and encouraged.  We expect to serve 4 courses, family style, and pour you the approximation of 4 glasses of wine. Yes, that translates to MORE than you could feasibly eat or drink. Please consider arranging transportation. The cost will fluctuate depending upon the event. More details to come. Call 312.738.1900 to reserve a seat. You may also email erin@lushwineandspirits.com. EAT, DRINK, and be MERRY with us!

Saturday, June 4th, 6-8:30pm: PATIO SERIES – PAELLA.
The anticipation has been building, and, once again, our first dinner event of the season has arrived! Kickin’ off the summer patio series of pre-fix dinner parties at LUSH. e are taking reservations RIGHT NOW for the Paella dinner. You don’t want to miss the Mario Batali in Spain inspired 30 quart paella pan, buckets full of wine and pitchers full of sangria! We will have traditional tapas and extreme, iced buckets of refreshing boozy beverages, as well. Really. Dig in. A full meal, many full glasses, and a knee slapping good time.  Bring friends. Lush style with the lushie family. Cost based on market price of seafood. Taxes & tip included. RSVP required and the seat is non-refundable, period. $45

Saturday, June 25th, 6-8:30pm: RIBS and Rose and Zinfandel.
Smoked. Grilled. Rubbed with love.  And delicious spices. The wines are pairing perfection. Taxes & tip included. RSVP required and the seat is non-refundable, period. $65.

Friday, July 8th, 6:30pm: Chix & Bubbles
Fried Chicken and bubbles. One of the finer pairings in life. Finger lickin’ good. The bestest picnic around. Taxes & tip included. RSVP required and the seat is non-refundable, period. $65.

Saturday, August 20th, 6:30pm:  Maryland Blue Crab Boil
Running of the crabs! This is the season of fresh crab. Boys only will be boiled. Tiny hammers and little forks. A napkin bib. And crispy wines. Taxes & tip included. RSVP required and the seat is non-refundable, period. $65.

Sunday, September 18th, 1-6pm: Oysters
A lovely little brunch of fresh oysters. East coast, West coast, and bi-coastal. Ranging from salty to creamy, fruity and funky. Taste the delicious morsels in a rocky little package.
$3 per oyster OR $32 per dozen [reserve your dozen. free wine samples with purchase. wines also available to purchase separately BTG]

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Stillwater Artisanal Ales

May 26, 2011 at 11:40 pm (Beer, Current Events, Geek, Interviews, Our Favorite Things) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011
4-6pm

LUSH West Town
1412 W. Chicago Avenue
Chicago, IL 60642
312.666.6900

The original gypsy brewer, Brian Strumke, popped in to LUSH West Town for an impromptu tasting of his Stillwater Artisanal Ales.  Based in Baltimore, Maryland, this rockin’ beer dude makes beer all over the world.  He has paired up with 12% Imports, headed by Brian Ewing, to form a most dynamic duo.  Alas, no brewery.  But, no problem.  Following suit to Mikkeller ‘in’ Denmark, Stillwater beer is crafted on borrowed time with borrowed space in breweries far flung.  It is about good beer. And good relationships. And beer.

We tasted American. English. And Belgian style brewing.  Beautiful (and creepy) labels catch the eye. The rest happens in the bottle, in the glass, and with friends.  It is all about collaboration. So, join LUSH and Mister Strumke for an epic evening of beer…swing by to check it out. More special, rare, and delicious gypsy ales jumping onto the shelves soon.

jip-sē brü-ər
modus operandi:
‘A sincere artist is not one who makes a faithful attempt to put on to canvas what is in front of him, but one who tries to create something which is, in itself, a living thing.’ -Sir William Dobell

‘The goal of Stillwater Artisanal is just that, living art. Although packaged within a medium often overlooked for its artistic merits, our desire is to offer something new and intriguing. We present more than just a fine crafted beverage, rather an occasion that evokes an emotion and inspires contemplation. For art is not a sum of actions but rather an approach to life. We draw our inspiration from the world around us, whether that be a season, location, or even humanity itself. Our intent is to encapsulate this muse exhibiting an artistic rendition to the best of our abilities.’  –  http://stillwaterales.blogspot.com/p/stillwater-portfolio.html.

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LUSH Staff Dinner ’11: Inovasi

January 28, 2011 at 4:45 pm (Current Events, Our Favorite Things, Special Events, What we are eating, What we are thinking, What we're drinking) (, , , , , , , , , )

 

Chef John des Rosiers, INOVASI

LUSH Staff Dinner

Wednedsay, January 12th, 2011

Chef was gracious enough to personally cook a 20 course tasting menu, served family style, as well as allow us the very amazing opportunity to share our cellar.  With 20 wine nerds and a few Twisted friends, we were absolutely a force to be reckoned with. Although, I think our chaos was mainly contained and all in good fun.  The menu is listed below. Any mistakes are on me, and Chef, my apologies should I misrepresent any courses. I was writing furiously as you so diligently and eloquently punctuated each dish presentation.  Chef also accommodated a gluten free request. What a  marathon.

The wine list is also below. We had two corked bottles, sigh, but everything showed beautifully. Most paired extremely well with dinner. Brilliant evening. And in good company.  A great thanks to Mr. Mitch Einhorn, as well, for the extravagant treat. Talk about staff appreciation! Thank you.

We hopped the Metra. Sorry daily commuters…but, c’mon, it was probably really FUN, too.  All of us, on the train. We zipped through 3 bottles of Champagne, one of which was in magnum, as well as a sparkling French cider and at least two whites.  Only one cork bounced off the train wall, as Colyn promised to catch it and then ducked.  Not enough practice, I suppose.

A short dash through the snow, past Wisma (looks amazing!) into Inovasi.  The regulars were a tad bit scared of the stampede as we all rushed inside excitedly chattering.

FOOD

To begin:

Charcuterie [Speck, Lomo, and Coppa from Becker Lane, Virginia; pickled cauliflower, mustard ‘custard’, brioche]

Assortment of Chicken Wings [fried, BBQ, with sauce of yuzu skin and soy glaze]

Flatbread [St. Benedictine cheese, black truffle, artichoke, polenta, emental cheese]

Tacos [corn tortilla, grits, carmelized onion, foie gras, chocolate and spice sauce, pecorino cheese]

 

Next:

Warm Beet Salad [shaved, raw brussel sprouts, soy, ginger, macademia nuts, Sicilian blue cheese]

Shrimp/Mussels, Squid/Calamari [coconut, soy, mirin, ginger]

Snails in Prichard’s Bourbon [duck reduction, basil, garlic, marsacpone and pane grille]

 

Main: (complicated, layered ingredients and a loud party made it difficult to record details…)

Haddock Casserole [carolina gold rice, fresh haddock]

Raw Chinese Cabbage [raw cabbage, sake, pecans, pesto]

Beef Sirloin [red quinoa, celery, creme fraiche, sage, brown butter, burned bacon (yes, burned)]

Pork Shoulder [chestnuts, macademia in butter, sea island red pea]

Chicken Leg Confit [goat, chorizo, house thousand island, cognac, cornichon, capers]

Bison [polenta, golden raisin, walnut, cinnamon schnapps]

Cheese & Dessert: (about this time, my writing becomes illegible…)

Tripel Cream Brie skewer [on toothpicks, tempura, egg, cream, sourghum, pistachio crumble]

Bread Pudding [amaretto pudding, vanilla, brioche, custard, tuscany]

Dark Chocolate [hazelnuts, espresso, amaretto, cherry]

Gelato [cranberry, cherry, chocolate]

Majuri Chocolate [I give up…this is totally not right…all well, it was delightful!]

WINE

BUBBLES

NV Michel Arnould Brut, Verzeney, Champagne, France

2002 Launois Pere et Fils Grand Cru Special Club Blanc de Blancs, Mesnil, Champagne, France

 

WHITE

2008 Ermacora, Collio, Italy – Pinot Grigio

2006 Muros De Melgaco, Vinho Verde, Portugual – Alvarinho

 

2007 Domaine Huet ‘Le Mont’ Sec, Vourvray, France – Chenin Blanc

2004 Fichet Puligny-Montrachet, Cotes de Beaune, Burgundy, France – Chardonnay

2003 Parent Corton Grand Cru, Cotes de Beaune, Burgundy, France – Chardonnay
1996 Rolly Gassman, Alsace, France – Tokay-Pinot Gris

 

2000 Diel ‘Dorsheimer Pittermannchen’ Spatlese, Nahe, Germany – Riesling

 

Scholium Project White, California

 

RED

2006 Rolly Gassman, Alsace, France – Pinot Noir

2006 Gros Tollot ‘Carretals’, Minervois, France – Carignan

1997 Chateau Beaucastle Chateaneuf du Pape, Rhone Valley, France – Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre

 

2007 Umathum, Burgenland, Austria – Pinot Noir

2006 Moric ‘Neckenmarkter’, Austria – Blaufrankisch

 

2008 Lo Triolet, Vallee D’Aoste, Italy – Gamay
2002 Fattoria Le Terrazze ‘Planet Waves’, Marche, Italy – Merlot, Montepulciano

1997 Perzalo ‘Vulcano’, Campania, Italy – Aglianco

 

2000 Fra Fulco, Priorat, Spain – Carignan

2003 Esporao Private Selection Rouge, Alentejo, Portugal – Garrafiera

 

2000 John Alban Vineyards ‘Estate’, Edna Valley, California – Grenache

2006 Tablas Creek ‘Panopolie’, Paso Robles, California – Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, Counoise

2005 Couer d’Alene ‘Opulence’, Couer d’Alene, Idaho – Syrah

2004 Peay ‘La Bruma’, Sonoma Coast, California – Syrah
2005 Demuth Kemos ‘Bei’, Napa, California – Cabernet Sauvignon

BEER, CIDER and SHERRY

2010 Eric Bordelet ‘Granit’, France – Apple Cider

30 year Tradicion Palo Cortado, Jerez, Spain – Palomino Fino

And, after all that, we skeedaddled back to the last train.  And proceeded to do train burpees and cartwheels and pull ups. A train dance party also ensued…while we sipped on a flask of amaro.

Some of us went home. And some of us went on over to the Twisted Spoke for Pappy Van Winkle bourbon Manhattans. And another dance party.  Good times. Wild times. Check lushwine.smugmug.com for detailed pictures documenting our suburban dining and drinking adventure. Our apologies to clients the next morning…

Gotta love kickin’ it with the Lushes. Another good party. Another good year a’comin.

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LUSH 5th Anniversary Party, by invite

January 14, 2011 at 11:17 am (Current Events, Our Favorite Things, Special Events) (, , , , )

RSVP required. Registration now closed. Each guest will need to check-in and provide valid state ID to attend.

LUSH University Village, 1257 S. Halsted Street

Friday, January 14th, 2011

7-9pm

Please join us for a wild & indulgent celebration at LUSH University Village, 1257 S. Halsted.  5 years, damn straight. Slinging wine, educating, and cultivating a love of the beverage lifestyle.  My how the time flew by.  Look how far we’ve come…and how many bottles we drank.  Thank you for the support and good times! This party is for our amazing clients and friends.

We are itching for a party, and would love to kick it with you.  We are inviting our wino friends to provide a delicious collection of wine, as well as a couple beer geeks to get the beer tapped. Snack Master Kelly is crafting a tasty, snacky party menu. We’ll be breaking out the fire pits on the patio, to keep us warm while we saber a few bottles. RSVP required, rachel@lushwineandspirits.com.

[Please note that Ms. Rachel will bounce if necessary. This is NOT a party for all of Chicago. This was a party with an INVITATION to a list of clients. Do not just show up and expect free food and drink.  Do not bring 8 friends for a free party. We are not a bar.  If you break something, you best expect the wrath and a bill. I am watching you. Help keep it FUN!]

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Staff picks 2010: The Veterans

December 30, 2010 at 6:30 pm (Our Favorite Things, What we're drinking) (, , , )

Sunday Tasting – December 12, 2010

You HAVE to make this tasting. The most epic of all!

All day, every day, the Lushes have been searching and exploring…challenging our palates to expand as we try new grapes, regions, producers, and styles. We have discovered what we adore, what we LOVE and what do not care for. And, we discovered that our tastes have evolved, twisted, turned, and ended up in new places, the same places, and places we never imagined we would go. As a staff, we have a very eclectic, bizarre, and sometimes frightening taste in all things fermented.

Set to task, dedicated to choosing our very most favoritest wines, we set a very strict set of criteria…we want outrageous quality for the cash, of course, but we also require craft winemaking, juice that speaks of where it comes from and that inexplicable, intangible, expression of something extraordinary.Our staff picks of the year are titillating, intellectual stimulating, and definitely remarkable…unforgettable, even. So, we are memorializing our favorites of the year in this year end rewind.STAFF PICKS! Vol. 2 : Veterans!

Read the rest of this entry »

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