By Rick Riozza
Ever since Total Wine & More opened its Palm Desert store on Hwy 111 in June of 2013, this Vino Voice column has continued to cover the goings-on there. Actually one cannot help from talking about it because you can’t escape the place! It’s on every horizon in the desert—I’m looking at the mountains right now and I see it! The place is so huge that…well, please allow me to simply quote excerpts from my previous columns—indeed, these may well be Total Wine’s greatest hits:
“It’s a behemoth of a wine store that’s taller than City Hall; wider than the Indian Wells Tennis Garden; longer than a locomotive train, heavier than…well, we’re getting the idea.
“The fact is that Highway 111 is starting to dip right around the store’s location due to the building’s heft. There is so much wine, beer, and spirits in that place that if the big earthquake hits, we’re in for torrents of libations flowing through our neighborhood streets. I’d better stock up on some very long and durable straws.”
“I mean—sure the building is large from the outside, but when you walk in and look all around, its like one of those sci-fi movies where one enters a large spaceship and inside you find a complete town with streets and stores and airplanes flying.”
“It’s the biggest wine store I’ve ever been in! I’ve always considered San Francisco, Paris, London, Chicago and New York as the wine capitals of the world, but who would have thunk that here in Palm Desert, the largest wine, beer, and spirits depot in the solar system would be sitting.”
“For any of you wine lovers who have somehow missed the behemoth of a liquor store, Total Wine & More in Palm Desert, you obviously need a pair of glasses or an atlas. The place is huge, has its own airport and can serve as ad-hoc army base if need be.”
“Speaking of the private airport, many of the affable staff who live in neighboring counties, simply fly into the store on their Piper Aircraft. I’ve spoken to many of the sales team who seem to have master degrees and doctorates in oenology, mixology, hopology and general mega-store mechanics. They literally “cover the waterfront”—I say that because, although I missed it, I’m sure there is a waterfront (like a portal to some Bordeaux dock) located somewhere in that store. I should have brought my binoculars.”
“Alright—we’ve heard there was a mountain of wine waiting for us to scale and we were not disappointed—a little disappointed though, realizing we’d be aging a bit while scoping out all of the wine bottles lying in the bins. Numbers of over 8,000 different types of wine available are staggering. One can find vino from every state and country in the universe. But watch your step: you may fall into a black hole of wine. The good news is that you’ll get to taste every great wine in history; the bad news, you’ll return yesterday—it does get messy, but you will come out of it with a Total Wines T-shirt!”
“And did I mention that this superstore is the largest beer destination in the Venus/Earth/Mars triangulation. Their tasting schedule appears like a shoving match of so many craft beer breweries wanting to get in on the scene. I see Stone Brewery, Hanger 24, and Firestone already on the chalkboard menu of upcoming beer tastings.”
“By this time I realize I should have taken a shuttle to all of these aisles as I came upon rows and rows of spirits from around the world. Thank God the local security is fairly cool. I can see myself picking up a couple of loitering citations simply hanging around reading all of the wine labels for my upcoming columns.”
So—in the slim case you hadn’t heard, you now get the idea. And you’ll surely wish to be on their email newsletter, where all types of beer & wine tastings, seminars and events are alerted. www.totalwine.com.
Our Palm Desert store has a new manager. His name is Shawn Richcreek and he’s been in the wine biz for over 20 years. As well as managing other popular Southern California wine stores in the past, he’s also currently on the circuit of wine judges who taste and vote for your favorite stuff. And as it turns out, we kind of know the same wine wise guys around town.
Of course Shawn invites you into the store at your earliest convenience to meet him and the affable staff, and, to simply take it easy and get lost in the store. GPS tracking devices are complimentary provided as you walk in—just in case.
And as would be expected in a wine metropolis, Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays is the place to be where we can enjoy some wonderful tastes of wine at the rotund wine bar, and can meet and greet with fellow wine lovers in the community.
As wine lovers, we all wish to support our local wine shops in the area—and we do!—we love the selections they provide us. As beer, wine & spirits purchasers, we’re all over the map. And it’s great to have a one-stop beverage shop (okay—metropolis) on hand to grab everything we need at once!
Total Wine & More, (760) 3462029, is located in the Desert Crossing Mall at 72339 CA-111, Palm Desert, CA 92260. If you can’t find it—just look up, you can’t miss it.
Rick is your somm-about-town recommending food & wine events. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org