Lush suggests summer wine options

June 3, 2011 10:43:16 AM PDT
Warmer weather means lighter wines are in demand, but there is more to choose from than just pinot gris and chardonnay.

ABC7's Hungry Hound went to local wine shop Lush Wine & Spirits, which has three locations around the city, to see if its small but expertly trained staff could offer three suggestions at three different price points.

When it comes to pairing up food to summer wines, the options are endless.

"If they use butter, they use oil, if they use citrus, it's kind of pairing the wines up with that. If they like sweet or not, oak or not. But we try to keep it light, refreshing, palate cleansing," said Lush Manager Rachel Driver.

We asked Driver to come up with three summer wine options, at different price levels. The least expensive: a tocai grape from Slovenia for $13.

"Really refreshing, really good with food, and it has a little bit of a menthol thing that keeps you interested. We're kind of obsessed with Slovenia right now. It's right on the border of Italy, so it's a very similar style, Adriatic influence on it. If you've had pinot grigio or tocai friuliano from Italy, it's very similar," Driver said.

Another suggestion: a fie gris from France that retails for $18.50.

"It's a hundred percent fie gris, which is very similar sauvignon blanc. It's from an area that there's a lot of flint, so you get a lot of gun flint, some smoke, and then pink grapefruit. Really refreshing, gorgeous with food, really nice in a glass by itself as well," Driver said.

Driver's third suggestion: the hard-to-spell-and-pronounce txokoli from Spain, clocking in at $22.50.

"It's a pink txakoli, from the basque region of Spain. The Basque region is really cold so you get this really under-ripe grapes but really crazy acidity, a little bit of pricklyness, lots of citrus, it's just amazing," Driver said.

Lush's location in West Town even has a small kitchen, where you can actually sit down and pair up some wine with your food.

1412 W. Chicago Ave.

Also located at:
2232 W. Roscoe St.

1257 S. Halsted St.

    Featured wines:
  • Slovenian tocai: $13
  • French fie gris: $18.50
  • Spanish txokoli: $22.50

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