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The perfect way to end summer is with bare feet in the sand, eating tasty food, drinking good wine and all for a good cause. That is what An Evening on the Beach is and that is why it is the Please The Palate pick of the week. I look forward to An Evening on the Beach every year. I put the date on my calendar and wait in anticipation. This year, I had a last minute trip up to Mendocino for an event that was set to end at 4pm. I booked the 5:20pm flight out of Santa Rosa and left the event a little early to make my flight. I landed at 6:50pm, hopped in my car and headed straight to the Jonathan Club in Santa Monica. I arrived at 8:00pm, two hours after the event started but nothing would stop me from attending.
This story originally appeared in the Napa Valley Register.
Last week, I wrote about the dry riesling found in Nahe, Germany and the fact that 90 percent of German wine is dry. But fruity, sweet wines do still exist in Germany, specifically produced in the Mosel, Nahe and Rhinegau regions.
When we talk about “sweet” wine in Germany, we are not talking about overly sweet, cloying wines. We are talking about wines of finesse. These are wines with fragrance, fruity acidity and a mineral undertone. We are talking about riesling, considered the king of wine grapes in Germany. Of all the white wine grapes, riesling grapes produce the most intense and flavorful wines.
Unlike the dry riesling which is categorized under the VDP (“Verband deutscher Prädikatsweingüter”) system, the sweeter wines are classified under the traditional Pradikatswein. The levels of sweetness will vary and are dependent on when the grapes are picked. There is trocken (dry), kabinett (off-dry), spatlese (late harvest), auslese (select harvest), beerenauslese (berry select harvest) and trockenbeerenauslese (“dry berry select harvest”).
To differentiate between these different styles, it was best described to me by a winemaker who likened these styles to bananas. Kabinett is described as the perfectly yellow banana whereas spatlese is a banana with brown spots. Auslese is the banana that is almost entirely brown and trockenbeerenauslese is a dehydrated, concentrated banana.
The number of food and wine events that take place are numerous. And most of these events support worthwhile causes. But there are a few food and wine events that stand out above the others and one of them is An Evening on the Beach. After all, when you have your bare feet in the sand as you enjoy good food, good wine and good cocktails all for a good cause, then you have a night of good fun. And that is why this week's Please The Palate pick of the week is the annual event An Evening on the Beach. As it still feels likes summer, An Evening on the Beach is the perfect event for a summer evening. The 8th annual event returned to the Jonathan Beach Club in Santa Monica where two dozen restaurants, more than a dozen wineries and a handful of spirits were joined by 700 guests, everyone with their feet in the sand.