By Rick Riozza

As things somewhat get back to normal, it’s time to makes some moves here in the desert and support the efforts of all who are spearheading both annual and traditional activities that make our valley the fun place under the sun”—special events, restaurants & bars, and local businesses & stores. Here are some quick shout-outs:

Welcome to Tennis Paradise! The event that brings the most visitors from around the world is back to its March time play. The BNP Paribas Open Tennis Tournament the largest ATP Tour and WTA combined two-week event in the world is held annually at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. The tournament offers more than $15 million in prize money and is the only event to provide the Hawk-Eye line challenge system on all match courts, including qualifying rounds. For more information, visit

Of course, there will be our favorite #Moët & Chandon. This famous Champagne House is again highlighting the bubbly at the BNP. Celebratory, chic champagne flutes will be poured that includes the Impérial Brut, Impérial Rosé, Ice Impérial, and the Ice Imperial Rosé.


A fun point: enjoying world class Champagne at such an international event as this, will also remain in your memory and bring back cherishing thoughts. I remember having a flute of the Impérial Rosé over at the French Open about three years ago. And my memories flood back to the great time we had—and, the Champagne focuses in those fun moments.

#LAVIDAMASFINA. Corona will also be on the tennis scene serving up their thirst-quenching Corona Premier on the premises. We’re all familiar with the exceptionally smooth premium light beer at 2.6g CARBS 4.0%ABV; the perfect pour to stay happy and awake to enjoy the games.

#Sipsmith #GameSipMatch. It all began in 2009, in a tiny workshop in Hammersmith, London. Three great friends – Sam, Fairfax, and Jared – set up London’s first traditional copper pot distillery in nearly 200 years. Their mission was simple: to bring London Dry Gin with truly uncompromising quality and character, back to the city where it first earned its name. Also available will be the Lemon Drizzle Gin and the Strawberry Smash.

“Calling all food and wine lovers!” is the claim made by the other event that our valley is most famous for: the Palm Desert Food & Wine. As is always the case, this annual gastronomic event is the most celebrated cuisine and beverage festival in Greater Palm Springs and will feature a roster of world class vintners & brewmasters, and some of the nation’s top chefs, which this year includes Carla Hall, Curtis Stone, Gail Gand, and Jamie Gwen.

The event is scheduled this March 25th through the 27th. The fête begins with a James Beard Gourmet Four-Course Luncheon prepared by culinary virtuosos and will be followed by two days of grand tastings. Grand Tastings on Saturday & Sunday with more than 60 premium and sparkling wines, beers, and spirits. Many of us wine enthusiasts have come to know the visiting vintners who do come annually to this Grand wine tasting. After the two-year hiatus, we’re all looking forward to getting acquainted again.

The PD Food & Wine celebrates the area’s thriving food scene and the magnitude of its culinary talent with more than 40 participating local restaurants providing delectable bites prepared by each establishment’s truly talented cooks and chefs. During the two-day Grand Tastings, you will discover new culinary treats and savor food prepared with seasonal local produce and ingredients. And on the hour, there will be cooking demonstrations conducted by all of the featured chefs of the event.

Get your tickets at, or call 800-210-0689.

And what’s the buzz? Look for the buzzbox booth at the event. Known for their versatility, it’s not a novelty, it’s a necessity. buzzbox premium cocktails are portable and compact, but that’s not all. Their revolutionary packaging is vacuum sealed to lock in the all-natural premium ingredients into a boozy little box. Lightweight and eco-friendly, buzzbox premium cocktails are mini and mighty. These folks will be at the event, so check out their new Long Island. I just tried a few boxes—it’s got everything going for it!

As this column is a fan friend of the Cakebread Cellars, for those of you planning a quick trip up to Napa Valley wine country this month, I’d like to throw a shout-out to their hosting its second annual Chardonnay Day on March 19. It’s a celebration of one of Cakebread’s most beloved varietals. If you’re a Chardonnay fan and up for the trip, Chardonnay Day is sure to be an event not to be missed!

On March 19 from 1PM to 3PM at the Cakebread Cellars Home Ranch in Rutherford, CA., the unique event will present wine pairing prepared by Cakebread Cellars’ winery chefs; library pours of their estate Chardonnays sourced from Carneros; A seminar led by V. P. Aaron Fishleder and Director of Winemaking Stephanie Jacobs to discuss the winery’s winemaking process and Napa Green farming practices; and, live music under the beautiful scenic views of the Mayacamas and Vaca mountain ranges.

And now, our first restaurant shout-out of the year is Enzo’s Bistro & Bar in Rancho Mirage. How many great Italian restaurants can you name in our valley. No need to look around, for Enzo’s is back!! After the long hiatus, Happy Hour is finally happy again with great bistro fare and reduced beverage prices.

Enzo’s Bistro just opened last week with a bar menu and will soon be serving in the dining room. We sat at the bar and enjoyed delicious Antipasti, Piccoli Piati, Pasta, and Pizza. A shout-out to Veronica behind the bar who was as pleasant and attentive as can be. She poured me a wonderful house Classical Chianti that paired with everything we sampled!

Looking to support the success of the restaurant re-boot, we’ll be doing an entire food and wine review article soon, so stay tuned. Saluti!