Archive for the ‘What we are thinking’ Category

2011 LUSH Patio Series Schedule

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

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]

Nature is the Spirit: A lesson in Biodynamic Viticulture from Ted Lemon of Littorai.

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

(Hi everyone. I’m Cara Patricia, the current Events Coordinator for LUSH and full time student of wine & beverage. I originally published this article on my personal blog, DECANTchicago.com, which revolves around the strange world of Biodynamic viticulture.  Biodynamic is a step up from typical Organic and is quite confusing to most at first. I hope that the following article gives you a little more insight into what Biodynamic means and why we tend to be drawn to sustainable, earth-friendly, terroir driven wines in our search for deliciousness in winemaking at our LUSH stores. Some of wines I will talk about are available at LUSH. Cheers!)

What a great seminar we had at the Avenues in Chicago’s Peninsula Hotel!  Hosted by Maverick Wine Company, Ted Lemon, founder of Littorai in Sonoma,  held a very informative and excellent discussion about Biodynamic viticulture and winemaking. During which we also were able to sample eight of his wines using organic, sustainable, and full-on biodynamic procedures. (more…)

LUSH: Back to the Basics

Friday, February 11th, 2011

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. Alicia (alicia@lushwineandspirits.com) at West Town & University Village, get
some friends together, and have a more tailored tasting event. (more…)

LUSH Staff Dinner 2011: Inovasi

Friday, January 28th, 2011

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. (more…)

Guessing Game

Monday, January 17th, 2011

We are going to play a little guessing game here today.  Guess what beer I can’t wait to drink the shit out of?  Have you guessed it yet? Probably not because we don’t even have any quite yet.  It’s the Cisco Brewers ‘The Woods’ Cherry Woods which is an ale aged in oak with whole sour cherries and some of those delicious proprietary bugs to give it that slightly sour taste.  This little microbrewery out of Nantucket is amazing, at least from what I can tell from sampling a few of their beers.  I am really excited to get this stuff in and you should be too!

-smk


Scotch Class 2010

Monday, December 6th, 2010

This past Friday, Ms. Jane Lopes and I taught a rousing Scotch class to a private group of eight, partly populated by a Real Live Scotsman. To note that I was nervous, particularly given the audience, is a a gross understatement. Would I pronounce all those difficult words correctly? Would I remember the names of all the small parcels of land known as “The Islands,” when discussing the regions of Scotch production? [They are Jura, Arran, Mull, Orkney, and Skye, for what it’s worth.]

My fears turned out to be largely unfounded, with the group genial, and the Scottish guest happy to help with the quirks of pronunciation, and sharing stories about his childhood in the Outer Hebrides–where there are few Scotch distilleries–and summers cutting peat to be used for the family home’s source of fuel come winter. And, despite my initial apprehension, the result was a cozy little class peppered with many anecdotes, Jane’s encyclopedic spirits knowledge, my wisecracks, and a whole lot of new information floating around that jumble that is it my winter brain.

Now, we Lushies love to share new and exciting tidbits. Here are a few of my favorite facts and figures learned while prepping for and teaching the class:

* Scotch is always aged in used barrels. Happily, those Scots who brought their distilling techniques to the US are now benefiting from a beautiful cycle: since American bourbon can only be aged in new oak barrels, the Yankee distillers can recoup some costs by sending their once-used barrels over to Scotland, where they will contain another generation of whisky.
* I already knew this, but: in Scotland, it’s whisky. Not whiskey. Don’t even try it.
* Scotch took over Europe as the premier spirit of choice when the phylloxera louse destroyed grape production in the Cognac-producing parts of France.
* Once known as the “upper Highlands,” the Speyside region is only about 10 miles by 50 miles, yet contains the majority of Scotch distilleries in the nation. It’s named for Scotland’s longest river, the Spey, which is 200 miles long.
* A Scotch can be smoky but not peaty: there are many ways of drying malted barley, and peat is only one of them. That said, peat expresses a definitive sense of terroir, from both the water flowing through it, and the composition of the plant life decaying into peat [or, as Jane calls it, “unsquashed charcoal”].
* The more you know, the more you want to know. Time to go do some more research. Sip!

LUSH: Secret Wine

Monday, September 27th, 2010

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.

(more…)

Things I heart, take 7

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

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

School of LUSH: Summer courses

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

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.

Field Trip: Puerto Rico

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

by Ms. Rachel Driver

Recently, I ran away on a brief whirlwind of a trip to San Juan, Puerto Rico for a wedding and mini-vacation.  And, I realized how easy it is to get to PR, minus a passport, and within about 6 hours of travel.  Must go back. Often.  (more…)