The Vino Voice

Valentine Wines to Your Heart!

Valentine Wines to Your Heart!

By | February 11, 2015 at 10:45 pm | No comments

By Rick Riozza Rosé bubblies always seem to blush romance; and, they are some of the tastiest sparklers around. Rosé Champagnes and rosé sparklers tend to have a richer, more robust flavor than their non-rosé counterparts and often more suitable with a variety of foods. ...

Posted in: Columns, The Vino Voice

That Sinatra Swing is Underway at Fantasy Springs

That Sinatra Swing is Underway at Fantasy Springs

By | February 5, 2015 at 3:50 am | No comments

Start spreading the news—the yearly cluster of celebrity sightings are going on at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, the venue to the 27th Annual Frank Sinatra Starkey Foundation Celebrity Invitational Golf Tournament, co-hosted by Barbara Sinatra and Robert Wagner and...

Posted in: Columns, The Vino Voice

New Year’s Wine Resolutions

New Year’s Wine Resolutions

By | January 29, 2015 at 1:18 am | No comments

By Rick Riozza Every talk show in town is telling us that by the third week of January most of our new year’s resolutions have already gone by the wayside. Well they can’t be talking about us wine enthusiasts, because one, we’ve just barely made them, and two, when it...

Posted in: Columns, The Vino Voice

Moscato Madness!

Moscato Madness!

By | January 22, 2015 at 4:15 am | No comments

By Rick Riozza Funny—isn’t it? Your wine friends think there’s some semblance of vino sensibility going on, so when you show up at their little dinner soirée and unveil a bottle of Moscato, they readily think it’s a gag gift. Of course when they realize that’s all...

Posted in: Columns, The Vino Voice

Tasting The Top 100 Wines of 2014

Tasting The Top 100 Wines of 2014

By | January 15, 2015 at 11:30 am | No comments

By Rick Riozza It surely is the longest day. But it’s best to make a game of it: trying to commandeer as many top rated world class wine and then take each bottle down to Chinatown—to eat, drink, take notes, and think (and of course, the thinking part also includes...

Posted in: Columns, The Vino Voice

CFR Wines Get Around Town

CFR Wines Get Around Town

By | January 8, 2015 at 3:22 am | No comments

By Rick Riozza If the Open Range Red Blend bottle wine from Casey Flat Ranch could sing, I already know the tune it would be crooning: ‘round ‘round, get around, I get around—yeah get around ooh ooh… How a group of Capay Valley wines have already made their mark...

Posted in: Columns, The Vino Voice

The Last Picture Show Wine Pairing

The Last Picture Show Wine Pairing

By | January 1, 2015 at 1:50 pm | No comments

By Rick Riozza Hey! Once again we vino literati get to dream out loud with our favorite film and wine pairing schemes as we join in the glam and glitz of the 26th Annual P.S. International Film Festival. With over 190 films from over 65 countries during the next 12 days,...

Posted in: Columns, The Vino Voice

Candace’s Choice Sparklers at Total Wine

Candace’s Choice Sparklers at Total Wine

By | December 23, 2014 at 9:10 pm | No comments

By Rick Riozza Total Wine & More in Palm Desert is the largest wine, spirits, and beer store in our galaxy. It’s so large that it has its own gravity field: whenever I pass by the behemoth store, I cannot stop my car from veering into their parking lot. It’s been...

Posted in: Columns, The Vino Voice

Simply Having a Wine-derful Christmastime

Simply Having a Wine-derful Christmastime

By | December 18, 2014 at 5:50 pm | No comments

By Rick Riozza It never fails; time simply rushes through at this end of the year. And every so often the hustle and bustle gets in the way of thinking through a nice wine choice or so for the gatherings and holiday meals. As your friendly neighborhood wine steward at...

Posted in: Columns, The Vino Voice

Christmas Chianti Comes Home for the Holidays

Christmas Chianti Comes Home for the Holidays

By | December 11, 2014 at 1:20 pm | No comments

By Rick Riozza At this time in our desert wine community, the holidays, families, friends, and snowbirds gladly appear and there is no better way to exhibit brotherly affection than for us to join with all the good company for a warm toast along with a fine bottle of wine. I...

Posted in: Columns, The Vino Voice

Cold Duck Today–Hot Tamale!

Cold Duck Today–Hot Tamale!

By | December 3, 2014 at 10:00 pm | No comments

By Rick Riozza I just can’t believe all the urgency plastered on many of my in-coming emails this week as to what wine to pair and match with the right tamale! For sure, The Indio International Tamale Festival that is being held this up-coming weekend, December 6-7, 2014...

Posted in: Columns, The Vino Voice

The New French Chef in Town at Citron

The New French Chef in Town at Citron

By | November 27, 2014 at 11:45 am | No comments

By Rick Riozza Perhaps I need to be pinched, but it seems as though Christmas has come early this year with the arrival of Chef Patrice Martineau, the newly named the Executive Chef at the illustrious Palm Springs’ Viceroy Palm Springs Hotel that houses the celebrated...

Posted in: Columns, The Vino Voice

Thanksgiving Picks at Dan’s Wine Shop

Thanksgiving Picks at Dan’s Wine Shop

By | November 19, 2014 at 8:30 pm | No comments

By Rick Riozza Dan Sullivan is one of the venerable wine wise guys in our valley. He's been a wine purveyor in the area for almost 20 years, and, has a very loyal clientele. Often, when I ask people where they predominately purchase their wine, I get a lot of "Dan’s...

Posted in: Columns, The Vino Voice

Festive Mediterranean Wine Dinner at Catalan Restaurant

Festive Mediterranean Wine Dinner at Catalan Restaurant

By | November 13, 2014 at 11:55 am | No comments

Festive Mediterranean Wine Dinner at Catalan Restaurant As most of you foodies & vino lovers already know, there’s nothing more pleasurable than to travel the Mediterranean to dine and drink at the various country locales. On the evening of November 18, 2014, exquisite...

Posted in: Columns, The Vino Voice

Wine Dinner Season Begins at bluEmber with Dierburg & Star Lane

Wine Dinner Season Begins at bluEmber with Dierburg & Star Lane

By | November 6, 2014 at 1:32 am | No comments

By Rick Riozza Do you smell that? Do you smell that! I love the smell of winemaker dinners in the evening. And along with the new season of cozy weather comes comforting wafts brought to you by our valley’s famed restaurants and great chefs. It’s where the...

Posted in: Columns, The Vino Voice

Beautiful Napa Valley Red Blend & Cab Franc Rosé from Virage

Beautiful Napa Valley Red Blend & Cab Franc Rosé from Virage

By | October 30, 2014 at 3:34 am | No comments

By Rick Riozza “Virage" is a French word meaning a turn in the road, a change in direction. It also can reflect a change in orientation or perspective. It’s the name taken by epicure multitasker Emily Richer for her wine business. I like Emily Richer’s quick bio...

Posted in: Columns, The Vino Voice

Trick or Treat: Haunting Hootch for Halloween

Trick or Treat: Haunting Hootch for Halloween

By | October 22, 2014 at 8:01 pm | No comments

By Rick Riozza There’s nothing more disturbing and frightful than an empty glass of wine on Halloween. Whether you’re by your lonesome stuck in some haunted house or with a bunch of zombie-clad costumed characters, no one is happy when the wine bar is bare. The days of...

Posted in: Columns, The Vino Voice

Bellatrix Wine Dinner Features Seven Hills Winery

Bellatrix Wine Dinner Features Seven Hills Winery

By | October 15, 2014 at 9:11 pm | No comments

By Rick Riozza The last time we wrote about Bellatrix Restaurant’s wine events, the season was winding down. Now it’s winding back up so I thought I’d alert all you foodies and vino lovers. Almost everyone in the valley has seen the large stand-alone...

Posted in: Columns, The Vino Voice

My Wild Wine Weekend with Bridget Bordeaux

My Wild Wine Weekend with Bridget Bordeaux

By | October 8, 2014 at 5:38 pm | No comments

By Rick Riozza Once when I was young, I decided to take off to France on my first adventure out of the states. And although I had some years of high school French, my plan was simply to drink plenty of wine as moi français always gets better after a few...

Posted in: Columns, The Vino Voice

Swift Winemaking & Packaging

Swift Winemaking & Packaging

By | October 1, 2014 at 5:05 am | No comments

By Rick Riozza One of the more imaginative new-wave of winemakers here in California is Orin Swift. Actually his name is David Swift Phinney and the quick history on Orin Swift Cellars dates back to 1995 when on a lark, David took a friend up on an offer and went to Florence,...

Posted in: Columns, The Vino Voice

Pinot Envy Way Down Under

Pinot Envy Way Down Under

By | September 24, 2014 at 8:03 pm | No comments

By Rick Riozza Man!—there’s some really tasty and reasonably priced Pinot Noir coming out of a small country that has recently made a huge mark on yet another wine: Sauvignon Blanc. The wide world of wine just gets better and better. We know the famed Red Burgundy...

Posted in: Columns, The Vino Voice

A Bottle a Day Keeps My Money Away

A Bottle a Day Keeps My Money Away

By | September 17, 2014 at 9:54 pm | No comments

By Rick Riozza Playing the game of wine gets you everywhere. I always like to start the game with a nice bottle of shut-the-hell-up. In more pleasing terms, let’s first enjoy the glass in front of us—which includes viewing, sniffing, tasting, sensing and memories…...

Posted in: Columns, The Vino Voice

Breaking the Ice with Moët & Chandon

Breaking the Ice with Moët & Chandon

By | September 10, 2014 at 10:02 pm | No comments

By Rick Rizza Who would have thunk?! Never in a hundred harvests would I have expected a world famous premium Champagne producer to be encouraging all God’s creatures (well—the adults of course) to pour their liquid gold into a tumbler of ice for the ultimate chill...

Posted in: Columns, The Vino Voice

Tasting “Sideways” – A Decade Later

Tasting “Sideways” – A Decade Later

By | September 3, 2014 at 6:40 pm | No comments

By Rick Riozza Sideways is probably the ultimate wine tasting movie and one of the funniest wine films around. It’s also a hard-hitting one to watch at times, as it portrays a couple of the 50 ways to leave your lover. But an intelligent, fun, and moving wine movie it is,...

Posted in: Columns, The Vino Voice

 ¡¡Ay-Ya-Yie!! Still Stuck in Spain!

 ¡¡Ay-Ya-Yie!! Still Stuck in Spain!

By | August 27, 2014 at 10:47 pm | No comments

By Rick Riozza Sorry guys!—I know you’re no doubt jonesin’ to be comfortably reading about a warm and lovely—or a cool and lovely, California wine after having the last three columns here covering Spanish and Italian vino ad absurdum (really!?). For after bottles...

Posted in: Columns, The Vino Voice

Speaking Spanish to your Wines

Speaking Spanish to your Wines

By | August 20, 2014 at 3:55 pm | No comments

By Rick Riozza Hey—it seems that this column has recently gone on a vacation, as the world is accustomed to do in the month of August, two weeks ago with our coverage on Sangria in Spain (along with the bottled stuff in the U.S.), and, last week where we partied hearty all...

Posted in: Columns, The Vino Voice

Vino with a Thousand Shooting Stars

Vino with a Thousand Shooting Stars

By | August 13, 2014 at 11:35 am | No comments

By Rick Riozza Last week’s stellar CV Weekly’s cover designed by Robert Chance (celebrating the annual Persied meteor shower in the Joshua desert), brought to mind that this event is wonderfully observed in Italy/Sicily and is known as “La Notte di San...

Posted in: Columns, The Vino Voice

Ole! Sangria Ole!

Ole! Sangria Ole!

By | August 6, 2014 at 10:54 pm | No comments

By Rick Riozza Since we’re all dying out here in the heat, I thought all of us old wine guards (those of us who have been drinking wine forever but hate the idea of mixing in stuff—as in a wine cocktail) would relent and join the new young wine lovers among us and simply...

Posted in: Columns, The Vino Voice

Jeff’s Summer Picks at Total Wine

Jeff’s Summer Picks at Total Wine

By | July 30, 2014 at 6:43 pm | No comments

By Rick Riozza For any of you wine lovers who have somehow missed the behemoth of a liquor store, Total Wine & More in Palm Desert, you obviously need a pair of glasses or an atlas.  The place is huge, has its own airport and can serve as an army base if need be. Just...

Posted in: Columns, The Vino Voice

A World’s View from a Castle Wine

A World’s View from a Castle Wine

By | July 23, 2014 at 5:02 pm | No comments

By Rick Riozza Hey—I thought I was on vacation; I had no agenda, I was just going over to the local winery and taste some wine. But as soon as getting to the Belle Marie/ Chateau Dragoo property, off Interstate 15 just north of Escondido, I thought again what I always think...

Posted in: Columns, The Vino Voice

10th Anniversary Celebration at Zin American Bistro

10th Anniversary Celebration at Zin American Bistro

By | July 16, 2014 at 8:42 pm | No comments

By Rick Riozza Mindy Reed is the owner, food & wine director, and somm of both Palm Springs’ Zin American Bistro and Alicante which are hotspots with the locals and tourists. These eateries have attracted a serious following of foodies for the past ten years where Mindy...

Posted in: Columns, The Vino Voice

Break Out Red for Summertime

Break Out Red for Summertime

By | July 9, 2014 at 9:10 pm | No comments

By Rick Riozza I know—a lot of you red wine drinkers are jonesin because all we’ve been writing about this season are summer white and rosé wines. So to keep our egalitarian wine community happy, let’s indeed take a break from that coverage and plunge into what we can...

Posted in: Columns, The Vino Voice

Cool Hot Summer Wine Haunts

Cool Hot Summer Wine Haunts

By | July 2, 2014 at 7:50 pm | No comments

By Rick Riozza Around this hot time of year, I usually get a bunch of comments about where & when, how & why I should be writing or at least commenting on some of the wonderful and refreshing wine venues happening around town. So here you go . . . A shout-out to my...

Posted in: Columns, The Vino Voice

Summer’s Run for the Rosés

Summer’s Run for the Rosés

By | June 25, 2014 at 3:00 pm | No comments

By Rick Riozza Well—I’m rather flattered that LA Times food and wine writer, Irene Virbila, one of my favorite gourmet critics around town, utilized the title of her latest wine article “a Bouquet of Rosés”, the same title I used a couple of years ago for one of my...

Posted in: Columns, The Vino Voice

The Wine Steward of Rancho Mirage

The Wine Steward of Rancho Mirage

By | June 18, 2014 at 6:20 pm | No comments

By Rick Riozza Just when you think you’ve done pretty much everything in the wine biz from fermenting to drinking, buying to selling, from auctions to futures, from wine evaluator to wine judge, there’s always a niche we haven’t played with yet. Since coming out to live...

Posted in: Columns, The Vino Voice