The neighborhood that I grew up in, in Southwest Detroit was at one time predominately a German area of the city, and there were other pockets elsewhere in Detroit as well. The area was once called “Ferndale” more as borough of the city, just as another section was and still referred to as Delray. I mention all of this, because with my last name, which is of Armenian descent, my late Mother who grew up in the old neighborhood was of German descent. As an homage to my Mother, who passed away while I was in the Tenth grade I periodically will go to a German restaurant, though the food is not what I grew up on.
One of the other areas that was at one time heavily populated by German immigrants was in Northern Detroit. The Dakota Inn Rathskeller is from that area and still has a great following to this day, even though the area is no longer a Germanic area of the city, but then neither is my old neighborhood. The restaurant dates to the days of the Great Depression and has weathered quite well, and I remember going there during my high school and college days. It was a place that I could go to, to get Potato Pancakes, Red Kraut. Hot German-style Potato Salad and Jager Schnitzel as well as other traditional German dishes. I also remember some great desserts, which for some odd reason does not excite me as much these days (and I guess I can blame that on maturity).
I remember in my youth trying to enjoy as many different wines from the world, and I still attempt to do this, even today. One of the times I had a bottle of Dr. Burklin-Wolf Ruppertsberger Geisbohl Riesling Spatlese, but alas the vintage year must have been on the neck of the bottle and I did not record it, when I saved the label. This particular wine is from the Rheinpfalz of Germany, which according to my notes is the largest wine producing area of Germany. The two biggest varietals found in this area are the Sylvaner and Riesling. I was told by wine merchants back then to remember the three B’s of Germany, and though in music it was Bach, Beethoven and Brahms, in wine it was Bassermann-Jordan, Burklin-Wolf and von Buhl. This particular bottle was by Dr. Burklin-Wolf and was a Riesling, which meant that it had two plusses already for the area. The wine is from the village/town of Ruppertsberg which is in the center of the Rheinpfalz and this area is known more for Riesling wines, and the vineyard is Geisbohl, which is a monopolized vineyard of Burklin-Wolf (if my research is correct). Then the wine was a Spatlese, which is higher up the wine chain and indicates that it is a later harvested group of grapes and hence it is listed as Qualitatswein Mit Pradikat. All in all, as I rediscover some of the wines that I had in my youth, I am quite pleased that I did better, then one would imagine for a kid, though I am sure that I would probably enjoy this wine more today, then I did back then.