Ten Questions With…
Manager, LUSH Roscoe Village
A native of sunny California, Jane grew up virtually surrounded by the vineyards of the Bay Area and exposed to the culture of eating, drinking, and breathing wine earlier in life than many of the Lushies, which may help to explain her deep-seated passion for all things fermented. The moment she walked into the shop for an interview, decked out with electric orange, rubber robot earrings dangling beneath her flaming locks, we knew she was meant for LUSH. In the precious few moments when not running the show as manager and wine buyer at LUSH in Roscoe Village, Jane’s [also tall & redheaded] doppelganger can be found slangin’ classic cocktails at the Violet Hour one night each week. Ms. Jane has an ingrained knack for discerning obscure nuances and flavors, as well as a gift for creating amazingly quirky flavor combinations and innovative, classically inspired cocktail recipes. Like both Rachel and Erin, curiously enough, Jane is also a University of Chicago graduate, rounding out the three stores’ trifecta of innate, total geekiness. Word on the street is that she harbors a literary nerd deep within, and may or may not have been a notoriously clever Shakespeare scholar while in school. True to her alma mater, Jane will happily get down and dirty and all educational with you over whatever wine or spirit about which your little heart desires to learn. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by Kelly
Wow, only take 6, huh? Sorry everyone, there are plenty of things that I’ve hearted in the past few months, I just haven’t written about them I suppose. Either way, here I am, falling madly in love with this wine. It’s the 2006 Melusine Lyra Gruner Veltliner from winemaker Marion Ebner. I mean, really, this is gruner? Heck yeah!
Let’s being with the story of the winemaker Marion Ebner. She grew up in Vienna and knew early on that she was interested in winemaking. She enrolled in school just for that – which I should mention is not that common. Most winemakers in Austria are born in in to the wine business…and most are guys. When she was 16, she landed an internship with a great winery in Austria and worked under winemaker Fritz Wieninger (whose wines are also delicious, may I add). She went on to work in a wine shop (awesome) and the the marketing side of wine while gathering some resources. She made a deal to cultivate some grapes in the Kamptal region and began producing the first small amount of the wonderful Melusine. The Melusine is not like other Gruner Veltliners – it’s a lot fuller bodied and has so much complexity, you’ll probably be thinking about it still 45 minutes after you taste it. The press quickly caught on to this small production wine, and with each vintage she gained more and more respect.
Now I’m sitting here drinking, er, tasting, the ’06 which is just utterly fantastic. As I mentioned before, it’s a fuller bodied gruner that sees some oak (French). I could just smell this wine all day long. If Melusine was made in to a perfume, that would be my scent. The nose is full of pineapple, citrus and white stone fruit (sweet apples anyone?). The palate is lush and complex with fresh fruit and a creaminess that is balanced by a beautiful acidity.
Only 222 bottles were brought in to the US and if I had the funds, I’d be buying a lot of this. However, lucky for you, we still have a little left…and if you get to West Town in the next day or so, we’ll still have some open to taste.
[Sometimes, us Lushes do some serious R&D…working super hard and all. This lovely piece of writing was crafted over Manhattans at the Twisted Spoke. Erin and Kelly busted ass while Shawn mixed up the cocktails. Enjoy!]
Wine Geek: Field Trip!
New York…what a wonderfully interesting place to be, be seen, and most importantly, to eat and drink! So many exciting places and things to try, I could hardly manage 5 days there. I will try my best to recount the best things that I ate and drank while there, but time went by in a New york minute – and please excuse my brain for any fuzziness, it just means I was having fun!
Day 1: After traveling, I really just wanted a nice beer to celebrate the trip, so my friend and I stopped in a brewpub in Union Square called Heartland Brewry. It’s a fun place to stop and have some brews not found here in the great midwest. The oatmeal stout was a touch too sweet for my taste, but the Bavarian black lagar was just what I wanted. Medium bodied with a nice coffee note, malty but not too sweet…hello New York! Read the rest of this entry »
This Christmas, the three LUSH managers plus our intrepid Employee of the Year[s], Kelly, all decided that in lieu of buying one another gifts, we would spend the money instead on getting together, the four of us, for a shared meal. Read the rest of this entry »
LUSH on Halsted officially has been graced with a tavern license from the City of Chicago, meaning we’ve set up some stools and are assembling a small, curatorial list of wines to offer by the glass. This is new territory for us, so let’s have fun together and see what we can whip up! Look for new selections coming out on a weekly basis, with a focus on variety and seasonality. Or, just buy a bottle, get cozy at the bar, and sip! We will also feature one draught beer that we hope to switch out regularly for whatever’s fresh, new and fun. So grab some friends and get to sippin’ at LUSH on Halsted!