Verticals

March 4, 2010 at 12:42 pm (Current Events, Geek, Our Favorite Things, What we're drinking) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

by Erin

MINI-GEEK: Verticals? For serious geeks, there are a few bottles out there in the world that serve as holy grails for collectors: the Lafites and Latours and Cheval-Blancs of the world; Sassicaia, Opus One, Screaming Eagle; Sea Smoke Pinot, anything coming in magnum form, certainly, and hell, even weird whites from Baumard, Dagueneau, and their ilk. People who have access to these wines are very lucky, indeed, and their friends are luckier still if the bottle owner wants to share. Scenes from The Billionaire’s Vinegar come to mind, where some of the world’s wealthiest and richest wine collectors come together for several days and work through verticals of the wine, meaning they drink multiple vintages, in order, of the same wine. Truly a great learning experience, drinking through multiple vintages of one wine from one producer teaches the drinker about the subtle–and not subtle!– differences that one year’s varying meteorological activity can make on what is, essentially, the same agricultural product. Events like the California wildfires of 2008 lend a certain smokiness to some wines that was not present in 2007, and so on. Also, trying older vintages of a wine will let the drinker understand more about the aging process of specific varietals, not just the individual bottling.

We Lushies love partaking in vertical tastings where possible, and we don’t limit it to just wine. We’ve been known to throw big parties celebrating the many vintages of great beers, like Goose Island’s Bourbon County Stout [we still have some of the 2006 vintage!–ed.] and, among our staff and friends, the absolutely insane Three Floyd’s Dark Lord. Lushie Erin has a bottle of the 2005 Dark Lord stashed away in her cellar, to be unveiled soon with Lushie Brent during a completely ridiculous vertical tasting. So if you can keep those thirsty paws patient, stash away a bottle or two of your favorite wine or beer for a few years in a row, and get your learnin’ on. Slurp.

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LUSH Interview: 10 Questions with Ms. Lopes

January 28, 2010 at 1:47 pm (Current Events, Geek, Interviews, Our Favorite Things, What we are eating, What we are thinking) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Ten Questions With…
Jane Lopes
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 »

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French Wine Class: Session One

March 9, 2009 at 3:36 pm (class, French Wine) (, , , , , , , , , , )

Last night we taught the first in our series of three classes on French wine. The focus of the first class was the wines of Alsace, Loire, Languedoc, and the Madiran. These are some of my favorite regions in all of France (hell, all of the world!). So many delicious wines, different terroirs, and exciting winemakers. We chose to group these regions together because of some similarities in winemaking mentality and aesthetics. These are smaller regions, for the most part (okay, the Loire Valley is about 700 miles long!), with the best producers being small, family owned wineries. A lot of these producers are proponents of non-interventionist and biodynamic winemaking, really fulfilling the legacy of terroir so painstakingly implemented by the AOC system. Read the rest of this entry »

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