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

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. Read the rest of this entry »

LUSH: Back to the Basics

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. Read the rest of this entry »

LUSH Staff Dinner 2011: Inovasi

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. Read the rest of this entry »

Guessing Game

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


LUSH 5th Anniversary Party, by invite

January 14th, 2011

RSVP required. Registration now closed. Each guest will need to check-in and provide valid state ID to attend.

LUSH University Village, 1257 S. Halsted Street

Friday, January 14th, 2011

7-9pm

Please join us for a wild & indulgent celebration at LUSH University Village, 1257 S. Halsted.  5 years, damn straight. Slinging wine, educating, and cultivating a love of the beverage lifestyle.  My how the time flew by.  Look how far we’ve come…and how many bottles we drank.  Thank you for the support and good times! This party is for our amazing clients and friends.

We are itching for a party, and would love to kick it with you.  We are inviting our wino friends to provide a delicious collection of wine, as well as a couple beer geeks to get the beer tapped. Snack Master Kelly is crafting a tasty, snacky party menu. We’ll be breaking out the fire pits on the patio, to keep us warm while we saber a few bottles. RSVP required, rachel@lushwineandspirits.com.

[Please note that Ms. Rachel will bounce if necessary. This is NOT a party for all of Chicago. This was a party with an INVITATION to a list of clients. Do not just show up and expect free food and drink.  Do not bring 8 friends for a free party. We are not a bar.  If you break something, you best expect the wrath and a bill. I am watching you. Help keep it FUN!]

New Snacks

January 8th, 2011

As promised, we’re always changing up the menu and adding new creations in the snack department at LUSH in West Town. Our newest additions include a delicious variation of scotch olives. The yummy Gordal olives are stuffed with Colonial Newsome’s Country Sausage then dipped in a light tempura batter and deep fried. They’re served with a yuzu aioli – what’s that you say, you’ve never had yuzu aoli? Well, here’s your chance to check it out. It’s so refreshing and zesty, perfect with the olives. We also just added a savory French Toast which I will be indulging in quite a bit. Inspired by hungry people on New Year’s Day, this is a version of savory French Toast topped with tomato mustardo. Yum Yum! Stop by to check these new snacks out.
-smk

Scotch Class 2010

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!

I heart Snacks #1

November 14th, 2010

by Snack Master Kelly Cosgrove

Snack Blog 1:

Well, it’s been an exciting few weeks getting the snack side of LUSH open.  From hours and hours of tasting cheeses (harder than it sounds!), meats, olives and anything you can think of, we’ve created a fun menu that I like to say is changing by the minute!  We have broken down our menu in to a few different sections: snacks, fermented milk products (aka cheese), cured pig parts, pasta and sandwiches.  One of our customers recently asked what the best item on the menu asked, and honestly, I don’t really know if I can answer that. Maybe it’s because everything’s so new, but I really and truly love it all!  I mean, how can you not love duckfat popcorn? Or thin slices of Prosciutto di San Danielle or Jamon di Serrano?  Or the fancy version of grilled ham and cheese using the delicious Colonel Newsom’s Preacher Ham?  Oh my goodness, I had better be visiting my gym often or I will have no clothes that fit!

Be sure to stop by often, there will new additions as the seasons change and most likely a “snack of the day” offering which will be super fun and exciting!


LUSH contacts

October 17th, 2010

Getting organized…
Ms. Kelly Cosgrove, Employee of the Years, is your brand spanking new Director of Snacks. Yes, do get excited. Very excited. More details coming soon. Mouthwatering details. Snacks at LUSH, private event catering, and delicious party platters! Keep in the loop for additional information. kelly@lushwineandspirits.com

Ms. Alica, is  your Event Coordinator, West Town and University Village. This gals plans a seriously rad party. Give her a holler to get your own private party shindig rolling, alicia@lushwineandspirits.com

Ms. Carrie is  your Event Coordinator, Roscoe Village. She’ll be in touch!  And, she will coordinate a kick ass event for you, customized LUSH style…carrie@lushwineandspirits.com. And, is now your direct line for warm fuzzies and do-goodin’. She is the Director of Charitable Donations for non-profits and local charities.

Ms. Rachael Thompson is your media contact for all the official details, copy, and such, give her a holler. thompson@lushwineandspirits.com.

For special orders, general information, events and all miscellaneous inquires, please email a store manager, Ms. Erin at University Village, erin@lushwineandspirits.com, Ms. Jane at Roscoe, jane@lushwineandspirits.com, or the GM at West Town, Ms. Rachel at rachel@lushwineandspirits.com.

Ms. Alicia, Events – alicia@lushwineandspirits.com
Ms. Carrie, Events  – carrie@lushwineandspirits.com
Ms. Kelly, Snacks – kelly@lushwineandspirits.com
Ms. Thompson, PR/Media – thompson@lushwineandspirits.com

Ms. Erin, Manager- erin@lushwineandspirits.com
Ms. Jane, Manager – jane@lushwineandspirits.com
Ms. Rachel, GM – rachel@lushwineandspirits.com

University Village / 1257 S. Halsted / 312.738.1900

West Town / 1412 W. Chicago / 312.666.6900

Roscoe Village / 2232 W.Roscoe / 773.281.8888

TWITTER: LushWine
WEBSITE: www.lushwineandspirits.com
BLOG: blog.lushwineandspirits.com
PHOTOS: lushwine.smugmug.com

Drinking at work: Raul Perez ‘Sketch’ Albarino

October 14th, 2010

2 weeks ago, the inbox floated up a message about this wine. A wine from Spain. A white wine from Spain. That was aged UNDER THE OCEAN.  So, of course, as Lush will do, we bought some. For all the shops.

And then, we had to open it.  During our official LUSH Snacks launch last night, tamer than you may imagine, we popped the cork.  Before the beautiful details, a bit of back story… Read the rest of this entry »