Archive for March, 2009

Things I heart, take 3

Friday, March 27th, 2009

by:  yes I am still “Employee of the Year,” Kelly

Yay, spring has sprung and that is a cause for celebration!  What do I want to grab to celebrate but the ever delicious 2005 Quita de Cabriz Bruto of course.  Let’s just get something out in the open, I really heart Portuguese wine.  We carry quite a few at LUSH which means I have had the chance to try quite a few.  Usually they are made with grapes indigenous to Portugal, so you will rarely find a Cab, Merlot, Chard blah blah blah but rather find grapes like Maria Gomes, Baga, Bical rah rah rah.  In fact, I believe that they grow over 500 different varietals, so the possibility of trying something I have never tried before is endless!

With all that being said, I do love to grab a bottle of the Quinta de Cabriz Bruto becuase, well, it’s delicious.  Made from a blend of Malvasia Fina and Bical, this sparkling is super refreshing while having a really nice balance to it.  Lots of citrus notes without being too acidic.  Yay for celebrating spring with this sparkling wine!

LUSH Interview: 10 Questions with Fernando Beteta

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

LUSH Interview, 10 Questions with…

Fernando Beteta,

Sommelier and Manager of NoMi at the Park Hyatt

At the Park Hyatt Hotel
800 N. Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 239-4030

BIO: So, this kid knows a thing or two about wine…and food. When Fernando speaks of his mom’s cooking, he is evoking the essence of real freakin’ authentic Guatemalan food. But, he has traveled extensively, sampling language, culture, food and beverage from the east and west, as well as the middle, up and down. Mr. Beteta is graced with an advanced palate, a good nose, and a charming personality. His wine and menu pairing is quite lovely and he is absolutely adept at pulling off such a prestigious and demanding position at NoMi. Fernando has dashing good looks and a rockin’ collection of awards, including 3 editions of ‘Best Young Sommelier Midwest’ by L’Ordre Mondial Des Gourmets Degustateurs Chaine Des Rotisseurs and is officially a ‘Rising Star’, although we think his star quite high enough at the moment. Wanna meet us at NoMi for a glass of wine?


Chicagoist Podcast: LUSH and WhiskeyFest

Monday, March 23rd, 2009

Our very own Ms. Rachel Driver, manager of LUSH, was live online this afternoon chatting about WhiskeyFest, and the LUSH Week of Whiskey. Check it out…

But, the lineup of events is also posted below, so you can be in the know about all the FREE Lush tastings. It’s all whiskey all week…and whiskey barrel aged beer, and cocktails, and whiskey barrel aged rum…can you tell we are EXCITED?!


French Wine Series: Sessions 2 & 3

Monday, March 23rd, 2009

We just finished up the final session in our French series last night. And what a way to end it, focusing on the wines of Bordeaux and Champagne! Two heavy hitting regions that can be rather intimidating, we wanted to provide an overview of the terroir, the grapes used, how the wines are made, and important information for buying wines from these areas. And we wanted to open wines that would demonstrate the variety that each region has to offer! The wines we poured were:


LUSH Interview: 10 Questions with Tatiana Abramova

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

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.

LUSH Interview: 10 Questions with Jeremy Kiens

Friday, March 13th, 2009

LUSH Interview

10 Questions with Jeremy Kiens

Chef de Cuisine, Tallulah

539 North Lincoln Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60625


Chef Tony Graves has created a seasonal menu, well versed contemporary and world cuisine, that is complimented by Tallulah’s elegant and modern interior.  Simple, stylish, and full of dynamic flavors, Tallulah is an excellent dining adventure.  Chef Jeremy Kiens rocks the kitchen.  I highly recommend popping in and getting your eat on. (more…)

Kallari Project Chocolate and LUSH Wine

Friday, March 13th, 2009

Presented by Ms. Erin and Ms. Rachel at the Fine Arts Building, 410 South Michigan

Kallari Chocolate, Ecuador

LUSH is sticking to our eclectic tendencies and love of all things interesting, odd, and delicious, thus pairing Ecuadorian chocolate with LUSH wine is a tasty challenge!  Pairing wine and chocolate sounds like a brilliant idea…and it is, if properly executed with balanced flavors.  The trick to compatibility is to carefully match the right wine with the right chocolate.  But, since taste is a very subjective matter, you will have to experiment.  Sigh, such a tough task. (more…)

French Wine Class: Session One

Monday, March 9th, 2009

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. (more…)

Drinking at work.

Friday, March 6th, 2009

Cream Wine Company just did a very unprecedented thing, considering.  They put some very obscure, very delicious wines on sale.  Apparently, not every wine shop and restaurant in the city of Chicago buy weird wines from small producers.   But, as a lush, I love it!  Hopefully not too many other shops catch on before I can drink, er, I mean sell it all.

But, this inspired me to open a few really cool things on this very sunny and warm ‘spring’ day.  So, please read on for an account of what happens when I drink at work…and then do a bit of research and spout random facts that are cluttering my head.


LUSH Interview: 10 Questions with Paul Kahan

Friday, March 6th, 2009

Ten Questions With…

Chef Paul Kahan

avec, Blackbird, Publican


Chef Kahan likes good food.  He creates amazing, delicious dishes.  He seems to be one of the pivotal components within the architecture of all things culinary in Chicago.  At Blackbird, he crafts forward thinking plates with finely tuned technique, at avec, the fare is sublimely simple with a lovely Mediterranean kick, and at the Publican he plays with pig.  Yeah, he won the James Beard Award for Best Chef Midwest, too.  He is a powerful force, but exact, and executes simply tasty and entertaining meals with great prowess. (more…)