By Rick Riozza

The good news for us vino enthusiasts is that wine remains an essential pleasure for many during the coronavirus pandemic. And that agreed upon notion means that, generally speaking, wineries and wine shops have been deemed essential businesses, and that they may continue to sell wine—at least online and/or taking orders on the phone for immediate delivery or by U.S. Postal, UPS, Fed Ex, etc.

Supermarkets and grocery stores also continue to sell wine; and as most of you folks know, I play the friendly neighborhood wine steward at Ralphs Market in Palm Springs. Although our wine & spirits sales have dropped considerably, I still see many shoppers in our aisles. It’s an odd thing to desire customers when social distancing is so very important. (And thank you folks for all your prayers and thoughts for our safety).

The beverage and liquor business being what it is, I have no problem having my shelves filled with product. If there is any panic buying in my wine section (and I hear that liquor sales continue to soar), it sure doesn’t show; I’ve got a crackerjack team that keep wine, beer & spirits full on stock.


But you wine lovers should well recognize the ease of ordering wine online and letting it come to you. So as a humble form of public wine service, allow me to ramble on a bit on some wineries, wine import businesses, wine clubs, wine shops and wine bars that are taking orders and sending it your way:

Some especial friends of this Vino Voice column—those we’ve written on and have kept in touch with us, include DOCG Imports, The Organic Cellar, and Dead or Alive wine bar in Palm Springs.

We did a nice article on DOCG Imports last summer, , where we timed our trip to Italy to match the publication of the story. Therein we introduced owner Nina Snow whose website invites all of us wine folk to “Bring the local flavor of Italy to your table with artisan, small-production Italian wines. Hand selected by Nina from vineyard to you. Italian excellence, exclusively imported for California. Check out her on-line wine shop at

Since then, we’ve received some excellent feedback from the readers who have either traveled to San Diego to visit and eat at the Italian restaurants that Nina recommends and that have her wines on their menu, or, are now regular online customers enjoying some delicious and well-valued Italian wine that Nina can ship immediately.

Just the other day, I received an email from Nina that I’ll share below—and check out the deal indeed!!

“How can I help us make the most out of this “social distancing” time? What’s better than a good glass of wine as a loyal companion? Get 30% off all DOCG Imports wines, with a minimum order of $100, and delivery directly to your door! Use the coupon code SH30 and enjoy your favorite Natural Italian Wines at a very special price. Simply go to to place your order.”

Another favorite online wine company I heartily recommend is the The Organic Cellar, whose opening mantra is “Fine Organic & BioDynamic Wines of the World.” A really nice guy, Brian Cuddy is the owner, whom I’ve met at various wine trade shows and missed meeting up with in Verona, Italy a couple of years ago, when I misplaced his contact info!

If you have the time—and, I think you may, please go online and check-out his portfolio at, or, if you’re by the phone, feel free to give a call and check in with your questions, requests and delights: (949) 306-5474.

I’ve enjoyed so many tasty well-valued wines that Brian has gathered from all over the world and he continues to grow his portfolio. Brian remains committed to his belief that good wine comes from good grapes, and that you should never have to sacrifice quality and great flavor for health!

Brian writes, “We believe in the health & environmental benefits of growing, producing, and drinking organic and biodynamic wines. We believe in transparency and ethical business and label our organic wines with fully certified international accreditation. We believe good wine comes from good grapes. We believe good wine can be good for you, too.

And, of course—speaking of organic/biodynamic wines, wine wise gal, Christine Soto, owner of the Dead or Alive (DOA) wine bar, continues to sell and deliver a variety of excellent healthy wines.

Christine writes, “Winemakers from Palm Springs Wine Fest, held at the Ace Hotel last December, stocked the shelves at DOA, meaning you don’t have to search high and low for your new favorite bottle. Support California producers and the darkest wine bar in Palm Springs by taking the best and brightest home to enjoy.”

Go online at, or, call/text for an appointment or delivery 323-572-5702.

And this column will remain open as well to inform our readership on any other wine businesses who wish a little love & fanfare. Contact Rick at Cheers!