BY RICK RIOZZA
Do these lyrics sound familiar? “Gotta get my luggage packed, Leaving town and won’t be back, Jump Jive Dancing Swing, Everybody’s jumping down in Palm Springs.”
“If you have a buck or two, Tell you what ya got to do… Go watch the yuppies swing, Everybody’s jumping down in Palm Springs.”
And, if you do recognize the words, how about the tune? It’s a lively and jazzy scoot—actually recorded in the late 1930s or so, but the classic recording by the incomparable Keely Smith is one reminiscent of rat-pack era sensibility that continually channels the Palm Springs entertainment scene. Treat your sensibilities and listen to the legend, “the female Sinatra”—if you will, at YouTube Keely Smith Palm Springs Jump
And that tune keeps rolling through my head as I get to my new wine steward gig in Palm Springs. Half the time I’m actually humming that melody out loud as I walk into the enormous Ralphs Market. You may well know the store on Sunrise & Ramon; it’s been the community market for some time and has recently gone through some re-modeling that included expanding their wine selection to one of the largest in our valley!!
And yours truly has been brought on to manage this huge wine collection which carries wine from around the world, specializing particularly with California wines, which as the re-vamped destination store, keeps not only the locals happy but also the visitors and tourists across the nation and abroad. I’m thrilled and honored to be jumping aboard; love the friendly staff I’m working with, and, the happy customers & fun clientele that I get to converse with about wine.
Kroger operates over 2,700 grocery retail stores under a variety of banner names across the nation. Amazingly this works out statistically to serving the shopping needs of close to 100 million people! Ralphs is their supermarket outlet in our southern California locale. Now it doesn’t take a wine economist to work through the numbers: Ralphs/Krogers is one of the largest wholesale buyers of wine in the world; they desire your business; so why not pass the savings on to their customers.
I can attest to the fact that they have some of the lowest wine pricing in town. Where Bev Mo, Total Wine, Albertsons and the like have their limited specials for limited times, Ralphs continually sells their wine at 30% off list price when six or more bottles are purchased—mix or match! And this week, Nov. 5th-12th, there’s 40% off deal when 12 or more bottles are purchased. That’s almost half off! If you wish to stock up for the holidays, I have an idea that you’re coming by to say hi and pick up some wine!
Palm Springs Swings! And the wine vibe in this town is on fire! I remember coming here way back when on Easter breaks and other vacation jaunts, when this was a cocktail city: Bloody Marys in the morning, chilled up dry Martinis at lunch and on to dinner with some pours of Scotch for a night-cap.
These days, Palm Springs swings every which way with wine and every beverage out there. Witness the facts, such as with the ACE Hotel which puts on food, wine, beer, and spirits events throughout the year. And check our famed restaurants in the community who offer full course winemaker dinners; check out the new wine bars that have opened these last few years. Many of us simply call the hump-day, “Wine Down Wednesday”! (Indeed, we’ll be covering the first ever P. S. Wine Festival at the ACE Hotel, Dec. 1st & 2nd)
As your new friendly wine steward in Palm Springs, I’ll be giving you some heads-up on some great wine deals coming your way. I’ve got some recommendations already below. But allow me to tout about on our beautiful town and area a little more. Now that I drive into Palm Springs from Rancho Mirage (where previously I drove the other way to work), I catch again, through the clean clear air, the majestic mountains and hills that make this place an international destination. We’re on the bucket-list of travelers all around the world.
And I’m continually impressed with the laid-back polite attitude of our customers. How refreshing! Add to that, how fun is it to deal with so many tourists and travelers. I’m practicing my French and Italian more than ever—and everyone loves our California wine selections and is happy to converse about them.
Just the other day, a Hollywood actor came in and asked me to recommend a nice red for dinner that evening. He made the point that he didn’t have the budget for a wine that he used to—I got the drift. Amazingly, I just had come across a close-out deal by Ralphs on the 2015 Magistrate Petite Sirah from Paso Robles. It was a limited release—only 1400+ cases were produced and selling currently for only $3!! I was amazed at this find myself—it’s become my table wine and my recommended choice. The actor came by the following day, still awed by the crazy pricing, and picked up a few more bottles. If you’re interested, get here quick.
See—I come across these deals regularly now. The deal of the season for a rosé, and there’s plenty of this wine available, is the Sicilian brand Pinetti Notte Rosé 2016. This is a dry rosé made from Sicilian red grapes which give the wine rhubarb, cherry, and strawberry notes. Dare I say it—it’s my new rosé table wine. Sells for $3.50 when buying six bottles—a smart holiday grab!
“If you want a dancin’ song, C’mon down to where you belong, If you want to have a fling, Everybody’s jumping down in Palm Springs.”
Don’t be shy—come by and say hi! Cheers!