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.
So, without further ado, the LUSH Wines of the Year, 2011. Ha. No, silly, you have to come to the tasting to get a sneak peek and a secret sip… Read the rest of this entry »
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 »
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…
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Ten Questions With…
Ms. Lynn Dakulous
Lush staff member, and soon to be Doctor of Medicine
BIO: Ms. Lynn, wine-lover, snowboarder extraordinare, and soon to be fabulous medical student has been a LUSH for a little over 2 years. Formally a manager of the great Spiaggia, her knowledge and love of wine has taken her on many adventures, most recently to Oregon. The Wall Street Journal has also shown love to Ms. Lynn, honoring her wine and food pairing advice with an excerpt in a national article, alongside her very own pencil-sketched portrait featured in their wine section! While she will be leaving Lush to pursue becoming the most wonderful doctor ever, she will always have a place in our hearts, a stool at the bar, and a full glass at the ready. She is one tough, sassy lush lady that will be dearly missed by local customers in the ‘hood, as well as her Lush friends!
Ten Questions With…
Ms. Tatiana Abramova
Wine lover and collecter
Tatiana met the LUSH crew a couple of years ago while expanding her search for all things delicious in wine. She brought her gregarious disposition, challenging opinions, and a few bottles of wine to share. By day, Tatiana is a mild mannered, strict yet fun, Mary Poppinsish figure, shaping the lives of two little ones. By night, Tatiana is dedicated to increasing the depth of her wine knowledge and prowess, exploring the best menus in Chicago, and finding the perfect bottles to stock her cellar.
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10 Questions with…
General Manager LUSH Wine and Spirits
Leading lady of LUSH Wine and Spirits, Rachel is thoroughly dedicated to being the ultimate wine geek. An integral component of the company since the inception, Rachel has made LUSH the fun, nerdy, enterprising place it is today. With a special place in her heart for dusty Italian reds, lush and stony Savennieres, and funky American microbrews, Rachel keeps the shelves of LUSH stocked with the best and brightest. Also a cultural anthropologist by training, a Ultimate Frisbee fanatic athlete, and eco-warrior, she is on a mission to research and taste all things fermented and share the love and knowledge with fellow wine lovers. As the GM of LUSH, Rachel is incessantly drinking wine, talking about drinking, encouraging others to drink, teaching about drinking, writing about drinking and eating adventures, drinking, tasting, researching, and talking about drinking. Beer and mixology are captivating subjects that Rachel likes to experiment with, but her true love is super weird, eclectic, traditional and yet innovative wines. Stop in to say ‘hi’ to her at LUSH on Roscoe, keep a look out for her spunky pup, Tucker, and anticipate a late summer debut at the newest, up and coming LUSH on Chicago Avenue.
This is gonna be long discussion, so sit down, grab a glass, and get comfy.
Working at LUSH, I have the unique opportunity to be exposed to a vast and ever-evolving array of wine. Everyday that I come in, I have my own personal harem of bottles — bottles of which I know and love the aromas, flavors, and stories. But, when I go home, my collection consists of a measly few bottles, looking very lonely in my small metal wine rack.
I soon plan to buy a wine refrigerator, and begin stocking it with bottles that I want to hold onto for a while. There is something very majestic and romantic to me about buying a bottle of wine that I don’t plan to drink immediately — an investment in my future wine-drinking happiness. So, I would like to begin a column where I profile two wines that I plan to hold onto for a bit and discuss their aging potential. As I am somewhat of a novice at predicting how wine will age, I welcome any feedback. Read the rest of this entry »