By Rick Riozza

For the Palm Springs, Cathedral City, and Rancho Mirage crowd, there’s no better place to grab a nice bottle of wine than over at Desert Wine and Spirits. Costa and Zola Nichols have consistently provided our thirsty desert with beverages and libations for many years—along with their very friendly demeanor.

And the news about this place has just gotten better. THEY’VE RE-LOCATED to a much bigger place and fortunately for us, it’s still in the same Sun Center Mall in Palm Springs. And just as good as their selection of wine, beer, and spirits has been: Add now the GO DELI MARKET where the same excellence is playing out in their deli section.

In the accompanying photo of Go Deli’s opening, we see Costa on the right, Palm Spring Mayor Steve Pougnet, and Zola in the middle. As you notice, it was a Palm Springs Chamber event…and it was a party! Even better—it was a wine party! Indeed, in the top left, you can just catch wine wise guy Paolo Wakham, of Regal Wine Co., who was on hand to pour from his extensive portfolio of wonderful Italian and California wine.

Opening up the deli was a must for us, Costa insists. “It completes our Zen balance by providing great deli food and drink.” Hmmm…I’m not sure he used the word “Zen” but that was the drift I got when we spoke. Right now, Go Deli is carrying Boar’s Head Brand premium products. It’s a great line up of meats and cheeses. And Costa is looking to expand the deli to include more exotic European fare—including caviar, in the fall when things start rolling into the tourist season.

Many of us wine enthusiasts who have enjoyed Costa’s Saturday Wine Tastings are thrilled to have the much larger “Wine Lounge” area to be hanging out at. Further, Costa has installed the high-tech wine dispenser, the WineStation—made by Napa Technology, so every day we can enjoy a fun selection of a dozen or so whites, sparklers, rosés and reds by the tasting glass.

Right now, let’s go into the Lounge and grab a taste of a 2001 Heitz Martha’s Vineyard, or, a nice glass of a Napa 2009 Ghost Block Cabernet Sauvignon. Cool stuff!

Just to get the names straight, Desert Wine & Spirits continues to be the liquor store name doing business inside of Go Deli Market. And now, throw “Craft Beer” in the mix because Costa is now carrying one of the largest selection of chilled craft brew in all of Palm Springs.

Not only have Costa and Zola jumped on the craft beer craze, they are at the forefront in providing a special section & selection of organic wine. O.K.—all right, I know technically there’s no such animal, but there are organically grown grapes that distinguish the wine from other trendy terms of farming.

Wine Enthusiasts—All Aboard!! Organic is the new wine wave on the horizon. Annie Arnold is the owner of the Organic Wine Exchange with a wonderful portfolio and selection of wine—some of which is now in Costa’s organic wine section. Fortunately, Annie has agreed to a fun interview for an up-coming piece, so we’ll get the skinny on all we need to know and love about organic grapes.

For our article here, I asked Costa to high-light or recommend a few bottles. Among the myriad of wine Costa has available, he’s currently hot on Bokisch Wines and he’d like to see his customers knowing more about them.

I just wrote a bit on Bokisch when discussing famed Iron Chef, Jose Garces’ appearance at his Garces Group Restaurant Tinto here in Palm Springs, where he and Executive Chef John Tice put together a fabulous five course Spanish wine dinner that featured the Bokisch Spanish varietals grown here in California.

Costa and Zola carry Bokisch wines and embrace the surrounding love story: Markus Bokisch has a devotion for Spanish wines because of his family heritage. His mother is Spanish and his father German, but they met in Paris and fell in love. Little Markus was raised in California, but he and his brother spent every childhood summer in Spain with their relatives.

Markus then pursued a degree in viticulture and after spending several years at Joseph Phelps Vineyards specializing in Rhone Varieties, he and his wife, Liz, moved to Spain. Upon their return, they purchased their property in the Lodi area.

Why Lodi of all places? The region reminded Marcus of the Delta del Ebro in Spain where his family lives. He found the property in the Clements Hills east of Lodi to be an excellent climate for grape growing due to the cooling delta breezes in the summer afternoons.

Wine writer and critic Robert Parker says, “The number of California wineries working with Spanish varietals is small, but if this impressive trio (Bokisch Albarino, Graciano & Tempranillo—which sell for less than $20) is an example of what’s possible, I think we’ll see an explosion of Spanish varietals.”

Costa & Zola and the staff welcome you with, “Don’t stop, but Go Deli!”

The website should be up and running soon. For info: Call 760.327.7701 Go Deli Market & Desert Wine & Spirits 611 S Palm Canyon Dr , Ste.#22 Palm Springs, CA 92264