You probably don't know this unless you're a sommelier, a German representative of the European Union, or just a serious wino, but this week (June 16 -- 22) is being billed as Riesling Week and in wine shops and restaurants from NYC to, well, San Francisco (Chicago and Vegas too) people are corking top quality Rieslings from Germany, Austria, and Alsace. It's part of a joint program between Wines of Germany and the European Union to push German wines stateside, so it's not exactly part of a grand old tradition, but still it's wine -- in very affordable tasting form, I might add -- which is cool. So start appreciating German wine this Thursday, June 18, at William Cross Wine Merchants (2253 Polk) in Russian Hill where from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. they'll be pouring lots of tasty white wines for your quaffing delight. $15 per person. For information call 346-1314.
-- Brian Bernbaum