Lush Wine and Spirits: A Peek Inside Chicago's "Best Wine Shop"

Lush Wine and Spirits (3 locations) recently won the “Best Wine Shop” in Chicago voted by the Chicago Reader’s readers. This news prompted us to call our local Lush in Roscoe Village, 2232 W Roscoe, and set up a visit.

The huge, bright, Vegas-like sign in the window of the Roscoe store definitely catches the eye, but it’s not very indicative of what’s inside.  The interior of Lush is full of dark wooden shelves, and a beautiful wooden bar. Overall, the look is pretty typical of a specialty wine store. 

Manager Jane Lopes said Lush “appeals to everyone who cares about what they’re drinking.” If you’re just looking to “get drunk off of six-packs of Bud Light,” Lush is not your store.

It’s a neighborhood store. As their website instructs, “Hit the ‘hood on foot, by bike or with dog or babe.” These self-proclaimed “wine geeks, ” like Jane, will help you find the bottle that’s right for you, your friend, your boss, your date. That’s what Lush is known for–it’s one-on-one service.

I recently hosted a Girls’
, and two of my guests brought wine from Lush; both of them
raved about how helpful the staff was in selecting a bottle that we might like. Everyone we know, loves Lush; so hearing that it won “Best Wine Shop” was not a surprise to us.

Lush is also known for its events. When He Sips visited on Wednesday, Saurabh Kathuria from Vibrant Rioja was there to offer tastes of three wines from Rioja, Spain, which are available for purchase at Lush. 

He poured a 2008 Cortijo Viura, 2008 Cueto DOC Rioja, and the 2006 Rivarey Crianza.  All three were nice selections, and very affordable.  While He Sips enjoyed all three, he said the Rivarey was particularly good.

If you haven’t been to one of their three stores, this Fourth of July weekend seems like as good of a time as any to check out the wine shops that everyone in Chicago is talking about. All locations are even open this Sunday, the 4th, for their FREE TASTING events from 2-5 pm.

We’d take free wine over a badly cooked hot dog and a can of Miller Lite, any day.

More on the Store

Jane’s Favorite:  2006 Silex Par Didier Dagueneau, $120

Girls’ Night Pick:  2005 Domain Huet Vouvray Petillant Brut, $33.75

Number of Wines: 350 (much more in their West Town store)

Specialties: Small Producers

Events: See website, including free tastings on Sundays from 2-5 pm at all locations (Roscoe Village, University Village, and West Town)

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