School of LUSH: Summer courses

July 23, 2010 at 10:15 am (class, Current Events, Our Favorite Things, What we are thinking) (, , , , , , , , , , )

RSVP to kelly@lushwineandspirits.com

SCHOOL OF LUSH:
Class is in session. Get schooled, LUSH style. Our classes are firing up, so check out our course offerings below for a good schoolin’. Plaid skirts are NOT required, but an open mind and palate is. Stay after class for extra tutoring and chat with the geeky squad of Lush lecturers. Come on in to see how Lush does school, a no-nonsense, down to earth wine course that is perfect for those who enjoy drinking wine, eating delicious food, and talking about it. We will taste through a carefully chosen selection of hand-crafted wines designed to demonstrate the simplicity of understanding vino while breaking it down Lush style. Come to our class and find out what wine is all about! Please email or call Kelly (kelly@lushwineandspirits.com, 312.666.6900) to ask questions or reserve your seat in class by credit card. All classes are 6:30-8pm, unless otherwise noted. All classes will be taught at our WEST TOWN location (1412 W. Chicago), unless otherwise noted. *Read the fine type or suffer the consequences! The class in non-refundable, so go all in or not at all. CLASS costs $35. MINIMUM of 10 students.

THE WIDE WORLD OF SAKE — rescheduled, stay tuned!
We are excited to welcome guest lecturer Mason Horowitz to LUSH to talk about all things sake! Mason works for Joto Sake, one of the premier sake importers to the United States. Joto is Japanese for ‘highest level’ and it quite aptly describes Joto’s producers as well as their aspirations as their importer. Joto’s breweries could also be described as jizake, or ‘local.’ They are located in different regions of Japan, produce their sake in small batches and primarily use locally raised rice. They have unique stories and contrasting flavors and styles. Joto makes a point to not only select the finest breweries, but also put an emphasis on educating the public on the oft-misunderstood sake. Join us as Mason takes us through the ins and outs of this delicious rice beverage and snag a bottle or two for your next BYO sushi excursion.

AUSTRALIAN WINE 101 — Sunday, August 1st

There is more to Australian wine than meets the eye. Between the mass-produced world of Yellow Tail and the cult-status stylings of Penfolds and Ben Glaetzer lies a whole world of terroir-specific, hand-crafted, artisinal wines that you don’t hear much about. Shiraz is the big name grape, but Australia also puts out some of the finest New World riesling, cabernet, chardonnay, grenache, and semillon. Australia is also a treasure-trove of experimentation: you’ll find such grapes as zinfandel, albarino, verdelho, pinot gris, and gamay being planted. There is much to know in terms of regions too: Barossa Valley might be the most famous, but the regions of Australia offer a case study in different climates and landscapes. From Hunter Valley to Margaret River, Adelaide to McClaren Vale, there are distinct regional differences around the country. The wines of Australia have gotten a reputation as being flashy and chock full of alcohol and fruit, but they can also display finesse, elegance, and a distinct expression of place and variety.

AMERICAN WHISKEY — Sunday, August 22nd
Scotch has certainly earned its spot at the top of the whisk(e)y hierarchy, with centuries of distillation and tradition, but American whiskey is nipping at its heels. Right now, if you haven’t noticed, there is a bit of an aged American whiskey shortage. No one knew ten — or even five — years ago that these spirits would be so popular! Bourbon and Rye are taking center stage in the American cocktail Renaissance, along with being many connoisseurs’ sippers of choice. We are also seeing incredible innovation — ‘single malts’ from Oregon and Colorado, wheat whiskey from Kentucky, and small batch ‘four grain’ bourbon from upstate New York, among others. It is an exciting time to be making and drinking American Whiskey, and there is much to know. We’ll go through the history of our homegrown spirits, how they’re made, and how best to drink them (this will be the most fun part!). Jump on the bandwagon, and discover what all the fuss is about.

VINOS DE JEREZ — Thursday, August 26th
The ultimate wine geek wine, Sherry — aka ‘Vinos de Jerez’ — is one of the most (if not THE most) misunderstood beverages on the planet. When I say Sherry, you think of something that Grandma drank or Mom added to her cooking. But there’s another side to these wines that the Spanish cognoscenti has been trying to tell us about for years. In the multitude of sherry types and styles lays a plethora of mind-blowing, meal-matching, and palate-pleasing wines. Slightly fortified, with varying degrees of oxidation caused by the mysterious and elusive yeast film called flor, vinos de Jerez are perhaps the most unique and site-specific wines made. Trust us on this one. This class will open you up to a whole world of wines you never knew existed.

*CUSTOMIZE your own class. Bring some friends…pick a date and a course topic. Email kelly@lushwineandspirits.com to find out more details.

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Standing Ovation

March 16, 2010 at 6:46 pm (Current Events, Our Favorite Things, What we're drinking) (, , , , , , , , )

In honor of the Oscars, I would like to make a recommendation for a whiskey that deserves a standing ovation – the 2009 bottling of Eagle Rare 17 year old Kentucky Straight Bourbon. (Round of applause). This is part of the Buffalo Trace Distillery’s Antique Collection, which was introduced about 10 years ago. The other 4 super limited whiskeys included in this collection are: Sazerac Rye 18 year old, George T. Stagg, William Larue Weller and Thomas H. Handy Sazerac.

The Eagle Rare 17 is a mash of corn, barely and rye and was distilled in the spring of 1992. What else was going on in 1992? Well, Silence of the Lambs won an Academy Award for Best Picture, Johnny Carson hosted The Tonight Show for the very last time, and I was just getting over my Paula Abdul phase. Hard to imagine at the same time, these folks were distilling and beginning to age a bourbon that wouldn’t be released for almost another 20 years! I had the pleasure of trying the 2009 release of Eagle Rare 17 year just the other night. Because they are such a limited release, we rarely have them open for tasting at LUSH (if we do, don’t miss the chance to give it a try!). Maybe it was the drink or two I had before (whiskey and amaro cocktail and a glass of the Eagle Rare Single Barrel), but I thought this bourbon was pretty darn tasty. Carmel and toffee with a hint of fruit on the nose, while the palate was smooth with a little more spice and a hint of vanilla. (And the crowd goes wild).

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Bourbon Heritage Month

October 2, 2009 at 9:50 am (Current Events, Geek, Our Favorite Things, What we're drinking) (, , , , , , , , , , )

As we move into October, we say good-bye to Bourbon Heritage Month. On August 29, 2007 the Kentucky Board of Tourism announced that the US Senate had approved the measure to designate September ‘Bourbon Heritage Month.’ Well, what exactly does this mean? Basically, it is a month long celebration of ‘America’s Native Spirit’, culminating in the annual Kentucky Bourbon Festival in Bardstown. It’s also a damn good excuse to drink bourbon, talk about bourbon, and learn about all the culture, people, and history that surround the spirit. Read the rest of this entry »

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ReCap: Whiskey Week Night #2 and #3

April 3, 2009 at 9:50 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

April 1st, 2009

Whiskey Fest, hosted by the Hyatt Regency, is an annual whiskey throwdown of the best traditional and innovative distillers in the world.  A few brewmasters join in on the fun with intense barrel aged brews, and a collection of local distillers are on display, as well.

One gigantic conference hall.  400 distillers. Oodles of whiskey. 4 hours.  Go!

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