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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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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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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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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Staff Picks 2010: Newbies

December 30, 2010 at 6:27 pm (Our Favorite Things, What we're drinking) (, , , )

Sunday Tasting – December 12, 2010
STAFF PICKS! Vol. 1 : NEWBIES

This SUNDAYs with LUSH tasting is all about the LUSH Staff.  The new kids to be exact.  Taste their learning process. Geek out! No easy task for a lush, picking just ONE bottle that forever represents this very year. All of  this very year in a bottle.Our staff favorite wines of the year are a moment captured by a sip, a sigh, a wisp of pure delight…these wines are what we crave, what excites us right now. In an ever evolving world of imbibing, this is the snapshot of the best hits of 2010.

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. Read the rest of this entry »

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Drinking at work: Raul Perez ‘SKETCH’

October 14, 2010 at 8:58 pm (Current Events, What we're drinking) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

2 weeks ago, the inbox floated up a message about this wine. A wine from Spain. A white wine from Spain. That was aged UNDER THE OCEAN.  So, of course, as Lush will do, we bought some. For all the shops.

And then, we had to open it.  During our official LUSH Snacks launch last night, tamer than you may imagine, we popped the cork.  Before the beautiful details, a bit of back story… Read the rest of this entry »

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LUSH: Secret Wine

September 27, 2010 at 9:54 am (Current Events, French Wine, What we are thinking, What we're drinking) (, , , , , , , , )

I love contests. I am fairly competitive, and always love a good game and friendly challenges.  And, if wine is involved, all the better.  Thus, when Ms. Cara of Decant Chicago blog mentioned the Secret Wine contest, I just couldn’t resist.  Exhilarating!

http://en.secret-wine.com/Reglement

The simple rules involved registering as one of the first 85 bloggers, eagerly awaiting 3 bottles of blind wine, and then voting.  At stake, a trip to France! Awesome. I am SO in. And game.

The wine arrived, re-bottled, re-corked, and labeled with ‘Secret Wine’ and a number.  Instructions were to guess the appellation. Just the appellation. Not the grapes, or the year, or the producer.  Seems simple, right?  Not so much.

After completing some very brief research into the host company, Clare de Lune, a French wine PR company, I surmised that the wines are most likely from the regions the company represents in France.  However, even with all that narrowing down and focus, it is still extremely difficult to pick just one. And, yes, I am also well aware that making assumptions when blind tasting is involved is risky business.

The contest is still running, but we have been encouraged to share, in detail, our tasting experience and reasoning process.  Much tasting.  Very fun.  And surprising.

One vote only. Apparently, all guesses thus far are not quite correct. So, the waiting continues while the remaining bloggers catch up and vote. Until then…the wines are still secret.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Things I heart, take 7

August 19, 2010 at 8:48 am (Current Events, Our Favorite Things, What we are thinking, What we're drinking) (, , , , , , , , , )

by Ms. Kelly

Things I heart, take 7: 2007 Vinedos de Ithaca ‘Odysseus’ Pedro Ximinez

Sigh, this wine is so good.  It’s so good that I’m tempted to take a bottle home with me and skip my plans for the gym!  Hailing from the Gratallops in the Priorat region of Spain, this is one winery not to be overlooked.  I am not alone in my love for this winery as it seems to be a constant favorite among the lushes.  The young rockstar winemaker, Silivia Puig, is creating some fascinating wines that are truly unique – I mean, how many other dry Pedro Ximinez do you find around?  This wine is just beautiful with a little hint of petrol on the nose, lots of minerals with some nice floral notes and citrus fruit while being soft and pretty on the palate.  It is really well balanced with a little hint of oxidation coming through.  BEWARE though, this wine is so delicious that when followed with a…hmm, lesser quality wine I suppose I would say…it really shows how extremely well balanced and beautiful the PX is and makes it a little sad to drink anything but that!  As normal, my recommendation would be to stop by and pick up a bottle of this as soon as humanly possible, you never know when I’m going to win the lottery and buy all that’s left!!

Cheers, KC

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hum, ineeka tea, and a spirited dinner…tonight!

July 27, 2010 at 10:15 am (Current Events, What we are eating, What we're drinking) (, , , , , , , )

TONIGHT, July 27th, 2010.

Kith and Kin will be hosting a 6-course dinner together with The Hum Spirits Company, Rare Tea Cellars and Ineeka Organic Green Tea.

http://thechicagofoodie.com/2010/07/

Tea, botanical spirits and regional American cuisine come together in food and cocktails at Kith & Kin, where the restaurant’s poised to serve a spirited dinner on July 27. Executive Chef David Carrier is teaming up with Adam Seger of HUM Spirits, Rodrick Markus of Rare Tea Cellar, and Shashank Goel of Ineeka Organic Tea to create six courses of HUM- and tea-infused food with cocktails.
The evening will begin with a cocktail reception at 6:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 7:15 p.m. First course is a “Southern Buffet” of pimiento cheese crock, egg salad, biscuits with smoked mullet and wasabi-smoked oysters served with HUM sweet tea, ice cold barley pop beer and Ineeka Organic Green Tea bier.

Second course is a summer soup of chilled jasmine-infused sweet peas poured around lamb carpaccio, mint and toasted Parmesan. Southern Belle is the accompanying beverage made from jasmine tea, HUM botanical spirit and Champagne.

Rod & Reel is the third course, consisting of tea-poached halibut, Pharoah’s Lemon tea hollandaise and tea-blanched asparagus. The plate is paired with Organic Fizz, a blend of Ineeka Green Tea bier, HUM, egg white and Rare Tea Cellar’s Pharoah’s Lemon tea.

Fourth course is Barbecue Kith & Kin Style. The jerk spice-inspired dish features spit-roasted wild boar sausage and stuffed goat with yucca puree, paired with Not Yo Mama’s Colada, made from HUM, pineapple, lime, raw coconut nectar, bitter lemon, ginger, thyme and Comet’s Tail cracked pepper.

The cheese course is dubbed Damn Good Cheese, featuring Asher blue cheese, HUM-infused chutney and grilled bread. The accompanying Fancy Adult Tea is a HUM-spiked Rare Tea Cellar Vintage 2008 Blood Orange Pu-ehr.

An adult Brown Cow float is for dessert, made with housemade tea ice cream, HUM and Ineeka Green Tea bier.

Cost is $65 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Reservations are required and can be made by calling (773) 472-7070.

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LUSH & Mollydooker Blending Seminar and Pig Roast

July 23, 2010 at 10:08 am (Current Events, Our Favorite Things, Special Events, What we are eating, What we're drinking) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

RSVP to kelly@lushwineandspirits.com.
LUSH University Village
hosts MOLLYDOOKER Winery
‘Blend a Hand’ Seminar

MOLLYDOOKER (Aussie for left hander),  is a cheeky, fabulous winery in McClaren Vale, Australia, under the brilliant hands of Sarah and Sparky Marquis.  This dynamic duo is a remarkable husband/wife team that loves what they do and have fun doing it, and make wines that definitely exhibit that passion.  Wines are crafted with the ‘wow’ factor in mind, and each bottle is totally intent on shaking things up a bit.  Sparky created a specialized watering program and an entire new measuring system to better translate the science behind the big flavor punch and luscious textures of the Mollydooker wines.  Let’s get a bit messy and wild…

LUSH adores the punchy labels and indulgent wines of Mollydooker, and sent out a big, loud invitation to Sarah and Sparky to come on by, in person, and hang with the Lushes.  It is an incredible honor to welcome Sarah and Sparky to the shop to not only share their wines with us, but also to teach us some of the secrets to blending great wine. This seminar is totally hands-on and folks will have the opportunity to actually blend their own wines under Sarah and Sparky’s guidance. So, join LUSH for a crash course seminar in blending (tasting, drinking, and nibbling) with Sparky.  There will, of course, be plenty of  wine to sip on.  AND, in true LUSHified style, with will be throwing down and hosting a 4 course PIG ROAST, as well. Expect yummy, wine-friendly food (the menu will be all along the lines of meatmeatmeat and finger-licking good barbecue on the grill with all the fixins’). This seminar is going to be crazy fun and super informative, as well as tasty, and we really want y’all to come play with us! Shake up your routine, blend your own wine, and love learning.  EAT.  DRINK. Grab a few friends, your mom, or a hot date and get on down with Mollydooker.  This is education the fun way…casual, interactive, and extremely delicious. Reservations are required, and registration will close on July 31st.  $75 inclusive of tax and tip. Please RSVP immediately to kelly@lushwineandspirits.com.

DETAILS:
Wednesday, August 11th, 2010
6pm – 8:30pm

Open to 100 guests, $75 each [inclusive of tax & tip]

LUSH University Village
1257 South Halsted
Chicago, IL 60607
312.738.1900

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