Parched peaks, crystal skies and a sea of golfing Caucasians, the Coachella Valley couldn’t be more of a contrast with Napa. But the denizens of Palm Springs and the spreading communities known as “The Desert” are pretty serious about their wine, even if the climate makes one hanker for a tall glass of lemonade rather than a gutsy cabernet. When our hostess parked us in the wine department of La Quinta’s Jensens Market while she shopped in peace, I was impressed by the breadth of their Napa wine selection. And for $5 they offered a lip-smacking wine tasting, the day we were there they featured Rombauer’s chard, merlot, cab and zin. Oaky, creamy chardonnays seem to be out of fashion, they're OUT, as Heidi Klum would say. But my companion said the Rombauer chard was her favorite when she attended the Loyola Marymount Wine Classic. So there Heidi.
I was contemplating Napa vs. Desert plastic surgery (how can you have no wrinkles and still look old?) when the spicy 2006 Rombauer Napa Zinfandel woke me up. What can I say, there was lot goin’ on in my mouth when I tasted that wine. Some say wine is meant for food, but I think I’d rather sip this zin by itself- there was just too much to pay attention to with the berries, spice and vanilla exploding across my palate.
This was only the tip of the cactus in terms of my palate-pleasing extravaganza in The Desert. More about wine, food and trailer millionaires in my next post.