Just had to give a shout-out this week to John Libonati (above) and his awesome natural-focused wine shop Hyphen- in Palm Springs. Yes, Palm Springs!
For a lot of folks who grew up in southern California like me, Palm Springs was often a destination for visiting relatives, family get-togethers, and long weekends just a few hours away from home.
But in my adult years, those get-aways always meant bring your own wine because you’re not going to find much there. Let’s face it: beyond Sherman’s Deli, Palm Springs is not exactly known as a fomo food destination.
That’s all changed now that John, a lovely man from a storied New York restaurant family, has launched his shop. Organic is the baseline, he told me when we visited earlier this week. He wants to get his clients to get out of their “Rombauer” mind set. And it’s working.
Yesterday, during a visit with a hipster colleague in San Diego, news of natural wine in the desert was met with glee.
“I’m going there this weekend!” he exclaimed. “Where is this place?”
He was pleased to know that you’ll find it right on California State Route 111 as you drive into town.
John ran restaurants and night clubs in the city roughly around my same years in New York. It was so much fun to reminisce about some of the characters and players from that now lost era when cool bands still played at CBGB. Natural wine began to become a thing around that time as well.
It’s great to see John spreading the good word to the Golf Capital of the World. Be sure to check his shop out when you visit. You’ll thank me.