Get your GEEK on: Stocking a shop
Although quite a bit less geeky than usual in the intellectual sense, this topic is geeky in the most particular wine geeky slant of detailing the minutia of selecting wine and stocking the Lush shelves. In the interest of imbibing honesty and being open to the new neighborhood and the gorgeous expanse of space at the brand spanking new LUSH West Town, this little note is a window into the collective workings of a lush…
So, it’s been a few months since we anticipated opening the shop on Chicago Avenue. Instead of waiting and wishing, which we did a fair bit of anyway, we occupied our time compiling a comprehensive, tailored list of bottles that would debut on the shelves. Agonizing wait, fun list! With two established LUSH shops and several years of practice, we narrowed our spectrum and focused on the juice that we are lusting after, thoroughly enjoying and drinking more than just once, and that may be extremely limited in availability. Alas, not everything we want can hit the shelves immediately, but since we shift with the seasons and concentrate on neighborhood preferences, eventually we may get all the wines that keep us mesmerized and asking for more! So, with all those blank shelves, play away we did. Consider this moment as LUSH becoming more lush-y…courtesy, of course, of your support, flexibility, challenges, curiosity, and patronage.
On the wall, we definitely made room to toss up our favorites (Thackery and Dagueneau to name a few), yet made sure to squeeze in a column or two of super obscure producers, regions and grapes…delving into Slovenia, Austria, Hungary and Bulgaria, Israel, Croatia, and Lebanon…but also expanding our array of German, French, Spanish and Italian wine, whittling down Australia and the Americas to our favorite producers and special bottlings. We got a bit carried away with intriguing production techniques that include native yeast fermentation, carbonic maceration, aging in sunken concrete vessels or even amphora…winemakers pushing the limits of innovations, but also respecting and utilizing traditional methods. Making an appearance as well, back vintages and cellared selections. And, not only did we go over the deep end of wine geek, but scrounged up all the exotic, weird, and allocated brews available in Chicago, too. Lip zinging sour lambics, barrel aged monsters, limited edition bottlings; why yes, we do have a couple Sam Adams Utopias 2008 release; spiced brews, and extra teensy tiny micro-breweries. Two beer coolers give us more creative license and a column of ‘cellar reserve’ selections. All the libations that make us giggle and Twitter, blog and most importantly, share and educate. Chat us up about our endeavors into the more esoteric wines, and look for them at each of the LUSH shops. Can you tell we are excited? Yep. Lushes at play!