A New Generation Ripe to Taste Wine

Ace Hotel & Swim Club teams with Madcapra Falafel, California Wines for a Dionysian Desert Culinary Pop-up

Lori Cohen-Sanford Restaurants 0 Comments


While tennis rules the east side of the valley this weekend with the BNP Paribus Open in “full swing,” the Ace Hotel and Swim Club in Palm Springs will keep the west end swinging poolside with a “Culinary Pop-up” aptly titled, Eat|Drink|Dance|Sleep|Repeat.

The two-day pool party runs March 11-12 with multiple DJ’s creating a dance vibe in The Commune and Amigo Room. A carefully (but not too careful) selected group of California winemakers will be featured with tasting by the glass or as a full sampling of the seven wines and hard cider being curated by Wine Not!

Photo courtesy of Ace Swim Club & Hotel

The Ace  Swim Club & Hotel in Palm Springs is the setting for the two-day “Dionysian Desert Party” that will have music pumping for a poolside party this weekend.

Evan Enderle, partner of Wine Not!, event sponsor of the wines being sampled, wants to share his dream of having people go to a concert and head to the bar and order “a bone dry central coast Riesling.”

He sees wine tasting as a “social ritual” and believes wine should be accessible, shedding its reputation as “elite and intangible.”

Enderle says the current generation, defined between “drinking age through mid-30’s,” is ripe to enjoy wine anew, as it is “about the time you start to think about your first wine refrigerator.”

His own enjoyment of the access we enjoy in California to great wines has informed the choice to feature new winemakers doing fresh, new things with wine from Napa Valley to Paso Robles.

Photo courtesy of Wine Not!

Clean labels and bottles on ice translate the philosophy that wine can be enjoyed in a fun, non-fussy way and hold a wider appeal to a younger consumer. A Russian River Rose from Oeno Winery will be available for sipping by the pool this weekend.

Wines can be purchased by the glass for $10 or as a sampling 3-ounce pour of the eight offerings for $35. In addition to a well-chosen span of wines including Reisling, Sangiovese, Sparkling Chardonnay and Rose, a Hard Cider “bottled” in a tin can will be available and is touted by Enderle as, “a super drinkable cider angling to take the place of a Bud Lite.”

Photo courtesy of Wine Not!

Tin City Dry Hard Cider is made in “Tin City”/Paso Robles and may have the most perfect packaging for sundeck sampling.

What to pair with your wines and cider whilst jamming to the DJ? Well, if you are flowing with the idea that food pairings don’t have to be fussy to be celebrated, you will be swept along by the notion that falafel can be of James Beard Award-nominated caliber.

Madcapra Falafel, owned and operated by Sara Kramer and Sarah Hymanson, was just given some serious street-cred to go with the serious level they have taken “street food.”

Kramer, a James Beard 2016 “Rising Star” nominee, says the culinary pop-up at Ace Hotel & Swim Club is a good fit for their “friendly, playful, fun” take on falafel.

Kramer and Hymanson met in New York and have worked at several restaurants together. They opened Madcapra (a “mash-up” name stemming from “madcap” and “capra/goat” – a magical vegetarian creature) in May of 2015 as a falafel shop in Grand Central Market in Los Angeles (

Photo courtesy of Madcapra Falafel

Taste your favorite version of artisan falafel that has made Macapra owners Sara Kramer and Sarah Hymanson “Rising Stars” with  James Beard 2016 nomination for “chefs to watch age 30 and under.”

When asked why they chose this particular restaurant concept, Kramer explains that, “falafel is not well represented in a modern light in the wider contemporary sphere of the food world and it is an opportunity to reshape a familiar food and give it a fresh take.”

Eat|Drink|Dance|Sleep|Repeat, March 11-12, Ace Hotel & Swim Club, 701 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, 760-866-6180;

Lori Cohen-Sanford is a private/personal chef, cooking class instructor and owner of Nourishfoods Organic Meal Services — Tastes Around Town will appear weekly. Follow her on Twitter @nourishfoodsps.

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