By Rick Riozza

Welcome back my friends, to the wine show that never ends!  I think I’ve used that line, or something similar, to open up a previous Vino Voice column a couple three times here at the CV Weekly.  And why not?  We don’t need the weatherman to tell us the autumn leaves (or cactus points) are turning and a new season—tourist and otherwise—is upon us.

It’s happening already; even before the mass of Canadian snow birds show, Palm Springs businesses and surrounds are experiencing a faster than usual start in September and the pace is expected to continue as it all meets up with the great weather coming!

Oh!—and we’re talking about the new wave of beer, wine & spirit tastings, events, shops, dinners & shows happening within the coming days and weeks: So as is my habit to simply ramble on some of the news that comes my way, let’s see what we know and what’s out there to satisfy a thirsty valley:


BEATS & BREWS FESTIVAL ALERT!!  The Good News happens quick in this valley!!  Talk about a kick-start! This Saturday, September 21st The Saguaro Hotel Annual Beats & Brews Festival is the most colorful beer & tequila celebration in the entire Coachella Valley.  As well, it’s a veritable Craft Beer & Music showcase…. “a Community Gathering”… hey, it’s one Helluva Desert Brew Party! Every attendee gets unlimited sampling of craft beer from tiny micro-brewers to the biggest breweries in the industry. Pale Ales, Porters, IPA’s, Lagers, Pilsners, Stouts, and some of the wildest brews you’ve ever tried!  And let’s not forget the festival’s Tequila sampling at the hotel’s El Jefe Tequila & Taco Bar! 

There appears to be a brewery line-up of 40 or more which includes Karl Strauss, 21st Amendment, Babes Brewhouse, Coronado, SLO, CVB, Maui, and so many more. 

The bands for the day’s line-up include: The Flusters, brightener, and Eevan Tré.  DJs include Sabio, Wet Hand Dan and J. Roberts. The Saguraro Hotel 1800 E. Palm Canyon Dr. Palm Springs CA. 92264 760.323.1711 * Tickets $40-$45.

Ace’s “Golden Grapes wine tasting series continues through December: The Ace Hotel & Swim Club located at 701 E Palm Canyon Drive, in Palm Springs, 760-325-9900 presents a monthly poolside wine tasting series leading up to the Second Annual Palm Springs Wine Festival in December.  The curated selection of wineries represents just a few of the new California vintners who are transforming the landscape of wine in the Golden State and beyond.

I personally love this series because it gets us wine enthusiasts interested and involved with the new wave of wine makers.  Last year’s “First Annual Palm Springs Wine Festival” was an absolute hit (my article then was titled “A Wine-Soaked Weekend at Ace Hotel”) and we’re all eager and looking forward to the next one, as mentioned, it’s taking place on the 7th and 8th of December.  Further, I anticipate this Vino Voice column to particularly focus and bring attention to this new wave with preview articles discussing the new vintners coming aboard.

The specific winery to be showcased on Sunday, noon to 5pm, September 29th, is Nomadica; “Where the can is the new canvas.”  There’s nothing like a safe can of wine around the pool.  Ace’s high on this brand!  It’s tasty stuff and artsy as well.  It’s all fun and we look forward to being there.  Check out their cool website:

Other innovative wineries to look for at the Ace Hotel poolside will be Amy Atwood Selections on Sunday, October 13th, and, Scribe Winery on Saturday, November 9th.

We’ll talk about these wineries when the time comes.

A year ago, last August, we did a restaurant review article on Acqua California Bistro at The River.  And we received some great affirmative feed-back.  Now for a quick up-date, know that Acqua is the perfect mid-valley destination for an afternoon glass of wine and a bountiful buffet of delicious appetizers and hors d’oeuvres served from 4:30-7:30 pm, Sunday to Friday.

The price is right, too, at just $7.99 for the appetizer buffet and$4.99 for a glass of Acqua’s delightful Chardonnay or Cabernet wines. The ever-changing Acqua Bar Buffet will include a choice of pizzas from their very own pizza oven, pastas, salads, meatballs, housemade dips, sliced meats and many other small bites that pair perfectly with a glass of wine or a cocktail.

Now that this column’s feelers are out and about, I’ve just heard from marketing maven, Chris Clemens, at Clemens Public Relations, who is assisting FG Creative with the Desert Cancer Foundation.  Here’s what she emailed me:

Desert Cancer Foundation’s Annual Corks and Cuisine event will be held at Ironwood Country Club, one of the Coachella Valley’s premiere private Country Clubs, on Saturday, November 16, 2019, from 6 – 10 p.m.  The unparalleled dramatic natural surroundings will enhance this evening of unrivaled pairing of food, wine, craft cocktails, and entertainment. Tickets are $295 each, at .  This is always a wonderful charity event to put on your calendar.

Some of the new wine bars around town that this column needs to visit, include, The Vine Wine Bar in Palm Desert, and, Bouschet in Palm Springs.

Fortunately for me, I get the skinny on The Vine Wine Bar every week since it advertises on this very page!  “Spread your wings and experience a flight with us … that include the red, white & the bubbly.”  We’re in on this invite and look forward to visiting this venue and perhaps meeting with you readers. Look for a full review in an up-coming article.

I just heard from Costa Nichols, who we’ve all come to know and love at his prior business for so many years, Desert Wines & Spirits in Palm Springs. He and his wife Zola are off to ventures in Las Vegas—so we wish them the best.  The new venue that took over at the same spot is Bouschet.  Check out their website: www.bouschet.comSee you at their wine tastings on late Saturday afternoon.  Cheers!