Blurred Lines

A wineshop owner tries his hand in the vineyard

Most wine shop owners spend their days curating a selection. 

Mitch Einhorn actually went out there and made the stuff. 

The owner of Chicago's Lush Wine & Spirits has recently released two wines under the label Chateau Nomad, a collaborative effort with a winemaker in California's Sierra Foothills. The name refers to the freewheeling approach that Einhorn brings to the barrel: Coming from the wineshop, rather than the vineyard, Einhorn is free from loyalty to a specific region or style.

"We wanted to try to make things that no one else was making," says Einhorn, who describes the results as "California wines with a global perspective." 

His Chateau Nomad Mourvedre-Muscat rosé ($18 for 750 ml), for example, channels Portugal's lively, acidic Vinho Verde. Green-apple flavors and a touch of carbon dioxide, which makes it tickly on the tongue, bring Spain's Txakolina to mind. Let this one breathe for 15 minutes before pairing it with grill-marked chicken or snapper

Nomad's Chardonnay ($25 for 750 ml) is silky and round after two years resting on the lees. It's produced in a Burgundian style, and is only subtly oaky, but bold acidity marks it as a New World wine.

Sample both by the glass at all three Lush locations, alongside robust snacks like Manzanilla olive tapenade and avocado-grapefruit-shrimp toasts. Or bring the bottles to the park, as these wines shine alfresco.