Email Newsletter

May 30, 2008 at 10:19 pm (Uncategorized)

OOPS!  So, our email utility didn’t exactly work this week…sorry.  Instead, check out our blogged version!


FYI!  This is an initial test for our new email platform.  Hopefully, with just the use of my pinker finger, this will make all our emails send more quickly, reliably, and with more humor, wit, and charm.  Fingers crossed, thanks for playing, kids.


Well, we can almost, just almost, relax and bank on pleasant days to spend at the beach, on the porch and outdoor patios, drinking in pretty little beer gardens and noshing at our favorite restaurants seated outside.  Ah.  My favorite new place is gonna be the outdoor patio at Lush, 1257 South Halsted, but I am a bit biased, I suppose. 


WAHOO! We are moving TODAY, in the rain and possible hail, with carpenters and sawdust and plumbers and contractors and lushes.  Really.  Bring your cash, if you please, or risk our lives as we dash across Halsted street with credit cards until EVERY bottle, computer, glass, and lush has made the 50 yard dash to the EAST SIDE of the street.  Woot.


SPECIAL orders or private events are always welcome requests at Lush.  We like to go on adventures in wine hunting to track down those bottles that you absolutely can’t live without.  And, we also customize each event to your personal preferences, from intimate private tastings, moms’ night out, any sort of engagement/wedding/baby event, to client appreciation or birthday celebrations and graduation par-tays, we’ve gotcha covered.  So, get on down with a Lush style shindig!  Ring us anytime.


SPECIAL BEER ANNOUNCEMENT:  Bell’s (Kalamazoo ‘Faux-oberon’ Wheat and ‘Hop Soulution’ are here!


SPECIAL WINE ANNOUNCEMENT: Sea Smoke rolled in moments ago.  I already have a waiting list.  Call me right now.  $80 for Southing, $110 for ‘TEN.’



CLASS is in session….

Summer school is firing up…so check out our course offerings below for a good schoolin’.  Plaid skirts are NOT required, but an open mind and palate is.  Classes will run approximately every other week and bounce between locations to optimize your educational opportunities.  Stay after class for extra tutoring and chat with the geeky squad of Lush lecturers.  Come on in to see how Lush does school, a no-nonsense, down to earth wine course that is perfect for those who enjoy drinking wine, eating delicious food, and talking about it.  We will taste through a carefully chosen selection of hand-crafted wines designed to demonstrate the simplicity of understanding vino while breaking it down Lush style.  Come to our class and find out what wine is all about!   Please call Lance at 312-738-1900 or Rachel at 773.281.8888 to ask questions or reserve your seat in class by credit card. The class in non-refundable, so go all in or not at all.



MONDAY, JUNE 2nd, 2008



2232 West Roscoe

Chicago, IL  60618




Malt Mavens, Hopheads, and Beer Geeks:

LUSH is hosting the bestest beer course ever!  Beer girl, Sally and Barley Man, the caped wonder Anthony Norkus of GLUNZ Beer, will be conducting a comprehensive seminar on all things hoppy, malty, and fermented.  Watch in wonder as these guest lecturers leap over fermenters in a single bound, dry hop at lightning speeds, and catch wild yeasts at will.  
Our course will tackle the process of brewing, as well as seasonal brews, compare lighter and darker beer, and explore the mysteries of Belgium.  And, of course, we will be drinking continuously to demonstrate all the important key points.  Expect some serious small production brews and a few selections from our ‘back room’.  The super beer lectures will rock your world, and the beer fairy may make a brief appearance, or at least drop off a couple kick ass bottles.  Woot.
Please call Rachel at 773.281.8888 to ask questions or reserve your seat in class by credit card. The class in non-refundable, so go all in or not at all. Cost for the School of Lush at the Roscoe Village shop is $30 per person and space is limited to the next TWELVE people to reserve a spot.




MONDAY, JUNE 9th, 2008


1257 South Halsted
Chicago, IL 60607

So…you have your ‘list’ of Chicago’s best and most delicious restaurants that you are super excited to dine at…the anticipation, and often fund raising, before the big night out have you all wound up.  And, then, there is your hot date…or foodie friends, family from out of town, or your very own sky high expectations to grapple with, too. Mmmm, food.  But, one of the other most important factors that you may want to consider BEFORE hitting the restaurant doors are the beverages that will accompany your dream dinner.  And, by beverages, we mean WINE and more wine, and maybe some bottles of food friendly beer…
Once in the dining establishment, choosing just one dish can be an excruciating choice AND then ordering off a restaurant’s wine list can be incredibly intimidating. The wine list repetoire is probably in another language, the prices are monumental, your server may no help, and the list organization could be mystifying…and you necessarily want a bottle, or few, that pair well with each dish at the table and fit the different tastes and palates of your dining companions, and then there is the savvy involved as well. On top of all this, you have to worry about the wine choice actually tasting good with what you’re eating! It’s enough to make anyone go for the old standards. But, Lush wants to break you out of the ‘old standard’ habit, as restaurants can be exciting adventures and wine drinking opportunities. Restaurants often carry wines that are not available at retail wine shops, and the wine lists are generally chosen to specifically pair with the cuisine. With your head on straight, and wine as one of the most important factors in this dining experience, a few helpful insider tips about the language and organization of the wine list, the right way to talk about your preferences, and an adventurous attitude…you could be in store for a phenomenally sublime wine and food experience. Let us help you navigate your way through the jungle, and blow your mind with the LUSH crash course in ordering wine at a restaurant, as well as how to make the right decision for BYOB establishments.
Please call Lance at 312.738.1900 to ask questions or reserve your seat in class by credit card. The class in non-refundable, so go all in or not at all. Cost for the School of Lush is $50 per person and space is limited to the next TWELVE people to reserve a spot.





Like the sirens of Greek mythology, Sirene will tempt you. With a beautiful, nuanced aroma and flavor, Sirene embodies the rich tradition and history of absinthe.   Absinthe has always been a favorite spirit at North Shore Distillery, first as a curiosity on our world travels, then as a fascination. We have tasted many variations and have been working on our own recipes for years. Now that is possible to actually introduce one to the market, we are excited to share this incredible absinthe with you.


Creating Sirene
We take a fairly traditional approach to creating Sirene. We use the traditional trinity of absinthe ingredients along with a proprietary blend of additional herbs and spices to create Sirène’s richness and complexity. The process requires a significant amount of time, preparation and botanicals, but the result is worth the effort.


Absinthe Culture
Much more than just an interesting spirit, fascinating rituals and culture revolve around consuming absinthe. It has always been a social drink. Think of having a cup of coffee at the neighborhood coffee shop, a glass of wine at an outdoor cafe, or sharing a hookah at a Middle Eastern restaurant. Absinthe is best enjoyed while casually sitting with friends, enjoying the company and conversation, slow down for a few minutes and have the
experience. In today’s world, none of us take enough time for ourselves or to really enjoy the moment.


Enjoying Sirene Absinthe
Absinthe is traditionally enjoyed in a drip. Being avid mixologists, we have some fun and savory cocktail recipes with it as well.

Dixie Cocktail

3/4 oz Distiller’s Gin No. 6

1/2 oz Sirène Absinthe Verte
1/2 oz Dry Vermouth (Vya)
2 dashes Grenadine
2 tbsp. fresh Orange Juice

Shake all ingredients well with ice, strain into a small cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange twist. This is a very old cocktail (and a potent one), but it’s great.






Macon Villages $15

The limestone soil just south of Burgundy and organic agriculture in a very old vineyard make this an extra delicious, affordable little quaff.  This wine pours a brilliant light gold colour. The nose is lifted and perfumey with honey and white flowers aromas of acacia and hawthorn. The palate is seductive with a powerful and fruity nose, amplified by a subtle touch of wood with hints of almond. A touch of liveliness appears through high acidity and exotic and citrus fruit such as mango and blood orange on the finish.


Pouilly Fuisee $20something

Burgundy proper.  Great value and very delicious.  Brilliant pale gold with a nose of exotic passion fruit. This impression is continued by the frank, generous palate with its complex aromas of fresh butter, fern and lemon verbena. A harmonious, supple Pouilly Fuissé with a pure, long finish.





1257 South Halsted


 *Metered parking on the street, or Maxwell Street Parking Garage $2 for 2 hours.


EVERYDAY, ANYTIME: LUSH has officially moved, as of tomorrow?!!!! So, pack up that delicious food and trek on over to our patio and check out the first BYOF spot on South Halsted! Party like a rockstar, and drink like one, too.


Monday, June 9th, 7-9pm:  Restaurant Class on the new patio!  $50 per person for 5 courses and wine pairing, as well as the best edumactation you can get.




2232 W. Roscoe




TONIGHT!!! Friday, May 30th, 5-6pm:  For one hour ONLY, Jim will be sampling all the new BELL’S seasonal beer releases.  So, yeah, we know it says Kalamazoo on the label, but Larry Bell and the Bell’s brewery are behind the project…and their name is even on the 6 pack.  JOIN in the fun at the first ‘official’ release celebration party in the city!


Monday, June 2nd, 7:30-9pm: School of Lush does BEER! 


Wednesday, June 25th, 6-8pm:  The Minister of Rum, Sir Edward, will be assisting Lush in a critical evaluation of all things rummy.  Aged, white, dark, spiced, and oh so delicious.


Tuesday, July 23rd, 5:30-7:30pm: CHEESE!  Ms. Paula, Queen of formaggio, will be visiting from Texas to sample cheeses with our lovely little wines.  Yum yum yum.




As an antithesis, or at least full circle from last Sunday, we are exploring the gorgeous, sexy, and very marketable bottlings in the shop. These wines are the TOTAL package; small production, bodacious label and mind blowing wine. Artistic, innovative, and pretty labels certainly are eye candy. BUT, these taste good, too.

Each of these bottles piqued our curiosity, jumped off the shelf at us, or is one in an artistic series of customized labels. BIG colors, HEAVY glass, and sleek, fancy schmancy beauty are the trend here. The juice lives up to the hype, in our humble opinion, but YOU decide. Are these beauties beastly?! The proof is in the glass.


Sunday Afternoons with Lush is our way of sharing our love of wine and thoroughly enjoying the last moments of the weekend. We believe that tasting is the best way to learn about the endless flavor possibilities in the world of wine. Leave the text books at home…we are all about hands-on learning. Practice makes perfect, so the more tasting you do, the better you become at discerning the subtle nuances of aroma, flavor, and essential terroir of each wine. Each Sunday from 2 – 5 pm, Lush will have focused tastings guided by friendly wine geeks to help make you the practiced lush you esteem to be. These events are always complimentary. Feel free to bring your mother and anyone else who would appreciate exploring their Lush side.




1306 South Halsted

Chicago, Illinois 60607



2232 West Roscoe

Chicago, Illinois 60618






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Freaky good wine.

May 23, 2008 at 8:00 pm (Uncategorized)

So, I have this weakness for Syrah…and Grenache, and weirdly eclectic Italian wines.  But, mainly Syrah.  From anywhere.  But, it has to be extra delicious.  I fall for it again and again and again.  It is always so freaking expensive, too.  This job has ruined me in that sense.  I can never again just drink any wine, and I want the ones that are super small production and intellectual…and allocated. 

Here are a few wines that just dropped that I am lusting after.  This is just another way for me to indulge in them, I suppose. Although I am super high on all wines white and pink at the moment, I am showing some love for our more beastly, tannic reds in this post because they will not last long at all.   Yum.

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May 21, 2008 at 4:35 pm (Beer, Our Favorite Things, What we're drinking) (, , )

Ladies, gentlemen, and BEER fanatics…

Please welcome BELL’S beer back into Chicago.  Bottles should be landing TOMORROW, Wednesday, May 21st.  Mark your calendars for this phenomenal event…or, scratch that, put the pen done and come buy some freaking beer.


AMBER is the first brew to arrive. Bell’s flagship beer is crafted from mostly pale malt with some Munich and caramel malts. This gives it a slightly sweet flavor that is balanced by a melange of American hops. The result is a deep copper color and rich flavor.  Smooth, crisp, and enjoyable!


DRINK it tomorrow…fresh off the truck.


2232 West Roscoe

Chicago, IL 60618



Posted by Rachel

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Rum’s Bad Rap

May 8, 2008 at 2:05 am (Our Favorite Things) (, , , , )

This upsets me.

Phil Vettel posted this little blurb on “The Stew,” the Trib’s food and wine blog. Vettel writes that making Mint Juleps is “polluting perfectly good bourbon,” and he commends The Fifty/50 (2047 W. Division St.) for making 10 Cane Mint Juleps, which use 10 Cane Rum instead of bourbon.

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Speak, taste.

May 8, 2008 at 2:04 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

The food-fanatical among you should know and love the revelatory cooking blog Taste Memory, one woman’s loving tribute to all things comestible, replete with gorgeous color photos of the mouthwatering dishes she creates. A blog sidebar cites a tidbit from James Beard’s Delights and Prejudices, a work I recently devoured with great pleasure, wherein Beard discusses the blessings of a talent called taste memory, or “the ability to recall a taste sensation”–and there you have the blog title.

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Google map of Chicago BYOB restaurants

May 3, 2008 at 7:03 pm (Uncategorized) (, )

Thanks to the excellent Dr. Vino for creating this google map of Chicago BYOB restaurants.  For those of you who didn’t get a chance to attend our BYOB-themed free tasting on Sunday, this will be a good cheat sheet.  My personal favorites are Terragusto at 1851 W. Addison and Mado at 1647 N. Milwaukee.  If you’re planning on heading to a BYOB, make sure to let us know so we can help you pair up your wines with some of their best dishes.

Special thanks to Michael at for bringing this link to my attention.

Posted by Lance

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