Posts Tagged ‘Wine’

New Arrivals!

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

It’s been a busy few weeks for us LUSHes and we are loaded with new stuff for you to try! Here is a primer on some – by no means all – of them. Stay tuned for updates about upcoming wines and distillates. We will be posting here every week – promise!

2007, Nusserhof Sudtirol Lagrein Riserva, Alto Adige, Italy

The label, with its mix of German and Italian, already gives you an idea of this wine’s fascinating background. This wines hails from the Northern confines of Italy, a region nestled in the Alps, at the intersection of the Swiss and Austrian borders. It is known as Alto Adige in Italian, and Sudtirol in German – the language spoken in this region of what is technically still Italy is primarily German, rather than Italian, and most everything there, including this label, is bilingual.

Lagrein is one of the main red grapes grown in Alto Adige, along with Pinot Noir. Unlike Pinot however, Lagrein is almost exclusively grown in this region, and it is as multifaceted a grape as its environment. A good example will have the transparency, purity and silky tannins of pinot, along with the deeper fruit and slightly more brooding tones of a Northern Rhone Syrah. With age, it acquires a hint of gaminess which will also be familiar to Syrah lovers.

The producer here is Heinrich Mayr, from the Nusserhof winery, whose south-facing slopes offer ideal exposure for growing Lagrein. The wine is fermented using wild yeasts, and this Riserva sees no new oak, so what you get here is a very pure and traditional expression of Ladrein from Northern Italy. This will be a joy for those of you who like fuller bodied Pinot, or anyone curious about discovering a new wine region and its traditions!

$37

2009 Napolini Rosso dei Monti, Umbria, Italy

A newcomer to our beloved 10$ rack, we believe this will be your go to mid-spring grilling wine! From a winery that has been in the same family from generations, the farming is bo0th traditional and respectful of the environment. A cornucopia of local (Sangiovese, Sagrantino…) and european (merlot) varieties are blended and fermented together to make this wine, which sits for a year in stainless steel before bottling. This is deep and spicy from extended maceration with the skins, but not so much as to be heavy or too tannic. On the contrary, the texture is just peppery and a little rustic, and there is good acidity to keep things fresh and food friendly. This will do wonders with beefy and chewy cuts like hanger or NY strip. $10

NV Cattin Brut Cremant d’Alsace, Alsace, France

This is a Domaine that was founded in 1720 as a general purpose farm which also made wine, and became entirely dedicated to wine in the 1850s. The Maison Cattin became really famous, when one of the Cattin brothers, Joseph, opened in the early 20th century an Alsatian restaurant in Paris called la Cigogne, where his family’s wine took a prominent place on the list. The restaurant was a huge success, and as rich parisians and foreigners flocked to La Cigogne, the popularity of the Cattin wines started growing.

The winery has been growing since, reaching the size of 123 acres in the eighties with holdings in some of the best vineyards of the Alsace region. They make wine from all of the traditional varieties of the region, from riesling and sylvaner to pinot noir and pinot blanc. This Cremant is 100% hand harvested pinot blanc from a variety of parcels owned by domaine Cattin. It is fermented in stainless steal, then bottled and goes through a second fermentation in bottle. The wine is aged for at least a year in bottle before it’s sent to your table. This has the weight and fruitiness of pinot blanc, and low acidity. Ideal for aperitif or daytime drinking. $16.50

2010 Poderi Sette Terre, Pecorino, Terre di Chieti, Italy

First let make clear that the Pecorino involved here is not a cheese, but a grape variety. Sheep have always had a tendency to munch on the grape, and its name comes from the Italian word for sheep, pecora. Done.

This is a variety that went through a near-death experience. Pecorino had almost gone extinct thirty years ago, when global, critic-pleasing, money-making varieties slowly started to uprooting acres and acres of traditional grapes from the terroirs where they were supposed to grow. Thankfully it is now in the midst of a resurgence, and pecorino is actually growing.. This is probably because of the grapes delicious, as well as its tendency to naturally produce low yields and grapes which are naturally resistant to mildew. This is a lighter, fresh wine with a lively acidity and a minerally, almost salty finish. Amazing with fresher, softer goat cheeses. $10

2011 Tami Grillo, Sicily, Italy

Another wine, white this time, from Arianna Occhipinti’s negociant label, Tami. We all know the Nero d’Avola, and this is a white that is made along the same lines: a 100% native sicilian grape variety, left to ferment on its own, with very little sulfur added, only at bottling. This wine has the richness and the ripe aromatics of a warmer climate white, while retaining the acidity and minerality to make it feel incredibly fresh. There’s a peachy note to the nose, alongside some pretty stunning floral aromatics that are balanced by a really delicious savory and minerally streak – think ever-so-slightly-dirty martini, with a sprinkle of sea salt. $17.75

2006 Roger Belland, Santenay-Beauregard 1er Cru, Burgundy, France

Pinot noir from one of the most feminine and elegant – and not completely out of reach to non-millionaires – appellations in Burgundy. Santenay produces both red and white wines that are known for their versatility: in the cellar, they’re delicious and generous right off the starting blocks, with suave tannins and very pretty and delineated aromas, but they’re known to have enough structure to mature and develop classic mature Burgundy notes of wet earth while retaining the acidity and the fruit to keep them fresh. Versatility at the dinner table too of course: this will pair gorgeously with pretty much anything (make it fancy though, there are only a few thousands bottles produced from Belland’s tiny holdings in the appellation), but somehow squab or duck, or even a good old roast chicken seem ideal. The Belland domaine has been in the family for 6 generations and this particular bottling is made in very small quantities. 30% of the grapes are not destemmed before crushing, which will add a certain amount of structure and help the wine age better. It also sees a bit of new wood after fermentation, but by now the wood has integrated and doesn’t feel like a separate element. The Domaine says this should reach peak drinking at 8 years of age. It is 7 now, and drinking beautifully already! $40

2010 Pinot Noir, Starr Ridge Vineyard, Davis Family Vineyards, Russian River Valley, CA

There’s a lot that could be said about Guy Davis and his wines, single vineyard Pinots, Chardonnays and Syrahs from the Russian River Valley. They’re made with love in very small batches. I have recently come across this testimonial, from someone who goes by the name Mindy T in Chicago wine circles:

“a super cool wine from a super cool man, Guy Davis. This is called 2010 Starr Ridge and was given 93 points by Parker.  The Starr Ridge Vineyard is owned by Guy’s friend and is the warmest of his PN sites, being north of the transition where the Russian River turns west toward the Pacific Ocean….lush, juicy dark cherry, mint, flowers and the coolest spices that float from the glass.  This is a Pinot that can age but is delicious at the moment.” $48.50

Petal and Thorn, Imbue

Our trusted source Mindy T says “this might be the coolest thing on the face of earth.” What else is there to add? Well, quite a bit, actually.

The base wine of this beauty is an Oregon Pinot Gris, which was reinforced to 18% by adding a brandy distilled from the same wine. The wine is then macerated with a mix of ten dried botanicals, sourced from organic producers when possible. The idea behind this poetically named wine is to find a balance between the sweetness and acidity of a tokaji or a Sauternes, and the herbal, medicinal bitterness of an amaro. Pour over a few ice cubes for aperitif.  $34.50

2009 Ben Marco Expresivo, Mendoza, Argentina

There’s just a lot going on here. This is Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon, peppered with a hint of Syrah and framed by a touch of Tannat and Petit Verdot, all grown on the high perched vineyards of Mendoza. This is a Bordeaux blend taken on an Argentine honeymoon. The average age of these vines is a whopping 42 years, which allows the perfectly farmed fruit to express an earthy sense of place on top of the warm cherry and cocoa note. To add some spice and structure to this already luscious experience, this wine has seen extended aging in all new French oak. This makes Ben Marco a great candidate for the cellar or the decanter – in any case, it calls for steak, the bloodier the better. $21

2011 Antxiola, Getariako Txakolina, Basque Country, Spain

Don’t let yourself be intimidated by all the Xs and the consonants, this is drinking wine in its purest form, tart, fizzy liquid stones to be guzzled in large quantities. A light effervescence and low alcohol levels (9-10%) make this the mineraly Basque cousin of Portuguese Vinho Verde. Getariako Txakolina is a rather new appellation for what is a very old Basque wine – officially recognized as a DO in 1989, when Txakoli was if not extinct mostly forgotten and home made. This is a perfect Spring sipper, and will work perfectly in most places where Riesling is called for duty. $18


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…)

Geek Alert: Book signing and wine tasting

Friday, September 10th, 2010

The LUSHes are all nerded out…join in the fun, kids! Free.  Educational.  Books. An author. Wine. Winemakers!

Wednesday, September 15th, 7-9pm: Palmento: A Sicilian Wine Odyssey, by Robert Camuto.  Book signing with the author and wine tasting with Frank Cornellisen and Alberto Aiello Graci, winemakers from Mount Etna, Sicily.  Discover the flavors, the soil, the passion of the vine in Sicily.  Interactive tasting and education.  Free. Please RSVP to kelly@lushwineandspirits.com.

LUSH West Town – 1412 W. Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60642, 312.666.6900.

TimeOut Chicago EatOut Awards 2010

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

Rock the vote…
LUSH has been nominated as one of the best wine shops in the city. Please excuse us while we fan ourselves and try to remain calm…eeeeee! So exciting. Please share your love and support of all things LUSH by voting. The TimeOut Chicago 2010 EatOut Awards are about indulging in the good stuff...food and booze, with a close pulse on the city and what is brand spanking new or established and still performing wonders peddling deliciousness. Vote your most bestest favorite restaurant, chefs, bartender, blogger…and wine shop! We heart you!
www.timeoutchicago.com/eatoutawards

OR

TEXT ‘Wine 1′ to 46786.

Random Snippets: Root, Leaf, Flower or Fruit?

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

Totally geeky…

If you are into it, following the biodynamic calendar may help your booze taste better.  The calendar was actually created to help guide planting, sowing, and such…but, it applies to wine flavors, too! [Mr. Steiner developed and shared the principles of biodynamic farming, you can Google him and get the full run down…kinda like extra organic with a side of the mystical…but basically all about ‘living’ soils and a truly sustainable approach to farming].

Apparently, drinking on a ‘root’ or ‘leaf’ day is not ideal to show off the assests of the wine.  Brings out the dirty, earthy funk.  But, to highlight the juice, do drink on a ‘fruit’ or ‘flower’ day, as the deliciousness of the wine is at the forefront and ready to shine.  You can find a fairly concise explanation here and a link to get a calendar…http://stellanatura.com/use.html.   LUSH suggests putting it to the test.  Practice, study, and conduct research.  SIP on each type of day.  Same wine.  Same situation.  Different bottle, duh.  Let us know what you think!  Of course, practical matters take precendence…like food pairing and the company and such.  And, if you want to drink, just do.  Drink what you like when you want.

rd

Lush: West Town Launch Party

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

LUSH WEST TOWN
1412 West Chicago Avenue
312-666-6900

Launch Party
Friday, December 4th
6-9pm

LUSH West Town was licensed and we cranked it up, whipped that shop into some sort of presentable shape, and are OPEN. Doors are open everyday at noon until 10pm. Now, mind you, this is Lush in the raw…partially stocked, lacking our signature rolling carts, mounted wall art, and some supplies…but WITH open bottles, very excited Lushies, and lots of super geeky bottles and two, yeah, count ’em, two!, beer coolers.

CELEBRATE our launch, the holidays, or just for the hell of it. Please join in the wild and raucous celebration THIS FRIDAY, December 4th, 6-9pm, as we open to the holiday and revel in the sweet sweetness of having a shiny, brand spanking new play thing. This is absolutely a LUSH style shindig with many bottles open and flowing…wine, beer, and perhaps a bit of HUM and bubbly, too…small nibbles and a very warm welcome to neighbors, friends, and lushes all. Yeehaw, it’s a party.

YOU are invited.  And you.  And all your friends.

P.S. Ms Kelly is celebrating her birthday, as well.  Make sure to wish her a happy celebration!

Wine Tasting: Robert Craig 9/17/09

Friday, September 11th, 2009

This just in, Pure Wine Co is bringing in Mr. Robert Craig, the vintner himself, to schmooze at Lush on Roscoe.  Kick it with a real life winemaker.  Based in Napa Valley, this gentleman crafts some serious Cabernet from Mount Veeder, Howell Mountain and the like…as well as Chardonnay from Durrell.  We will be accepting paid pre-orders at the tasting.  Come thirsty!

Thursday , September 9th, 2009

6-8pm

Roscoe Village LUSH : 2232 West Roscoe, Chicago, IL  773-281-8888.

Free!  However, we very much appreciate your kind consideration with a prior RSVP.  rachel@lushwineandspirits.com

Hot times, summer in the city.

Friday, May 22nd, 2009

By: Ms. Wendy, wine geek extraordinaire.

Is there anything better than Chicago in the summer? Cubs games, lake trips, biking trails, picnics in one of our hundreds of parks, swimming pools and sidewalk cafes keep the hope in our hearts during those long, lonely winter months. For me, personally, it’s knowing that my palate will once again crave white wine! Perfect, crisp, refreshing white wine. Hints of honeydew, airs of apricot, achingly acidic white wine captures the essence of summer weather. Lucky for me, I work at a wine store and have access to hundreds of delicious bottles just waiting to be chilled!

A little bit about me: I have a tendency to get very excited.  As a result I often get overwhelmed when the moment comes to make a decision.  I want to choose a bottle that best captures what I’m feeling at the moment and one that will, hopefully, agree with the palate of whoever I may be entertaining.  To keep my enthusiasm in check, I’ve created a list of “must drinks” for the summer. To further simplify things, I’ve separated it into categories.   Lists make everything better.  (more…)

OYSTERS: The Aftermath

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

Well, my friends, you may be expecting to peruse a set of crazy pictures of slimy grey creatures…however, my camera remained safely nestled in its case, in my bag, tucked under the cabinet for the duration of LUSH Oyster Fest. Bummer. But, lucky for us, I have very photographic memories to share. And, for all you squeamish folk, no graphic depictions of oysters.

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Crab Boil: the aftermath

Friday, September 12th, 2008

Splattered in crab juice and Tokaji, we were happy. Check out the photos of our lovely evening…waiting, waiting, waiting for the water to boil…and then, bashing crabs and eating ourselves silly!

The MENU:

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