Italian Wine Bathing in the Desert by Rick Riozza
Wow! With a title like that, count me in immediately! And literally—I was! In a wine bath! YES!!….
Of course I’m writing about The Well Luxury Spa at Miramonte Resort in Indian Wells, where for the price of a really nice bottle of vintage wine, you can enjoy the vino through a whole different perspective.
I was here at the Miramonte Resort & Spa awhile back covering an art and wine evening event (a wine & art pairing—as I called it) where the Richard Danskin Galleries, of Palm Desert, teamed up with ZD Wines to feature reknown artist Thomas Arvid along with his twenty-five or so original art pieces of which wine was the subject. Lucky me—the resort management team, that evening, immediately felt I would be the right person to write about their “wine baths”.
I showed up in the early afternoon and made my way to the Italianesque Resort’s Spa area known as The Well. The story goes that many moons ago, ground wells with rejuvenating waters were discovered and Indian Wells became a welcome place for weary travelers. Modernly, this place still welcomes travelers, but now takes on all vacationers and hedonists alike. Check out their beautiful website at, where you can take a virtual reality tour of the Resort.
I was graciously welcomed by the Director of Spa Operations, Michelle Stewart, who guided me around the elegant Tuscan-like pools, baths and surroundings. I immediately felt sorry for the girl, having to work here and all; she’ll probably never want to travel back to Italy again. It would be like going to work!
Knowing I was in for a soothing and rejuvenating wine bath and massage, like a kid in a candy store, I followed her about as we looked at the villa-type rooms where mud and clay body painting parties, “Pittura Festa”, take place; explored the massage rooms designed and adapted for each type of massage; and, followed the trails to the stellar salt water pools fed by small waterfalls .
We’re on Mediterranean time here with a great view of the Santa Rosa mountains, so it’s relaxed, calm, beautiful, and, did I mention, hedonistic. From an assortment of massages, body therapies & wraps, facials, and baths, you’ll have fun just planning your personalized activities. Do consider the cozy massage bath for couples. It’s on an outdoor balcony overlooking the spa area and mountains. A well-deserved togetherness moment: Very romantic and what a great gift to partake in.
I was supplied with a robe, sandals and private locker. By the locker area, a steamy steam room awaited me; vapors of eucalyptus cleared my head. After 20 minutes or so, I was as limp as pasta. All I needed now was the vino. Upon hopping into the “Lamborghini of hydrotherapy tubs,” the waterjets were adjusted to my liking as I smelled, tasted, and soaked in the warm water mixed with olive oil and rosemary. My attendant poured me a large glass of Italian red wine and then poured the rest of the bottle into my bath. Funny, I had just roasted a chicken in the same ingredients the night before. I guess what goes around comes around.
The red wine and the olive oil are both high in beneficial antioxidants and were slowly absorbed through my body’s largest organ: my skin, with the rosemary promoting my circulation as a solo guitar and flute aria played in the background.
My 45 minute Bagno di Vino truly turned into a little bit of Italy in the desert.
The decadence continued as I received a lavender oil hydrating massage and then played out the remainder of the afternoon at the salt water pools which are warmer in the winter and cooler in summer. A selection of any of the Spa services will get you free run of the place. The Well Spa can be reached at 1-866-THE-WELL
As the sun set, I reflected on the number of times I take off to pamper myself and relax. The answer is not enough and I make a resolution to do it more often. This place shall always remain on my radar. Further, the Miramonte Resort is again starting up their celebrated winemaker dinners so stay tuned for my alerts on these events.
I don’t know if it was Cicero, Benjamin Franklin, or Joe the Bartender who said, “sitting in wine is as good as drinking it”, but I may know something about that now. Alla salute! Cheers!

When Rick gets out of the wine bath, he can be reached at

Comments are closed.