Feb 9, 200608:37 AMThe Life
Feb 9, 2006 - 08:37 AMAs I wrote in an article in last November's Palm Springs Life, the addition of wine stores and tasting venues have added a new dimension to the good life in the Coachella Valley. The trend continues. Just yesterday, walking downtown a couple blocks from the PSL building, I discovered Wild for the Vine, a new store offering wine accessories, including a fun selection of glasses, wine bottle holders, vacuum pumps, and shelves. In fact, it was the shelves in the window that first caught my eye. The wavy upright posts were doing a hula, which made me wonder if you drank enough they would appear to stop moving. Scott and Debby Morgan, who previously took their business on the road, selling at trade shows, own the store at 390 N. Palm Canyon Drive. They have applied for a liquor license so they can also offer wine tasting. Scott says they plan to carry boutique wines priced from $10 to $60.
Then, last evening, I enjoyed the third session of Wine at Five, a wine-tasting series begun Jan. 18 at Miramonte Resort & Spa in Indian Wells. This week's theme was lesser-known varietals of California. Andrew Paciocco of Epic Wines led a group of about 20 through six wines: a chenin blanc from Napa, a pinot blanc from Dry Creek Valley, a sangiovese from the Sierra foothills, a cabernet franc from Santa Barbara, a mourvedre from Contra Costa County, and a petite syrah from Napa. John Snicale, Miramonte's director of food and beverage, provided gourmet cheeses, bread and crackers, and fruit. What surprised me most was the chenin blanc, because I long ago dismissed it as a cheap, sweet "starter" wine for unsophisticated palates. The Chappellet Vineyard '03 was surprisingly crisp and dry. I'm not ready to go out and stock my (quite small) wine cabinet with chenin blanc, but last night I decided one can never stop learning about wine. Good thing, because that's what the Miramonte's educational wine series is about. The current schedule, which continues through May 31, covers an array of themes. Some of the more interesting ones, for me anyway, are Old World vs. New World Syrah and Napa vs. Sonoma; most of the others cover wine regions (states or countries). The cost is $15 (information/reservations: 837-1628). Snicale said this spring he plans to move the event to the herb garden. Last night's tasting was held on the Piazza. Enjoying the wine, the balmy weather, and a pink-streaked sunset from the balcony terrace reminded me once more why I live here.
--Janice Kleinschmidt, Deputy Editor