The Best Wine Bars in Palm Springs/Palm Desert
By The Smoking Chair Editors | 2021
Palm Springs is a desert resort city in Riverside County, California, United States, within the Colorado Desert‘s Coachella Valley. The city covers approximately 94 square miles (240 km2), making it the largest city in Riverside County by land area. With multiple plots in checkerboardpattern, more than 10% of the city is part of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians reservation land and is the administrative capital of the most populated reservation in California. Traditionally the Cahuilla refer to the Palm Springs area as Sec-he or Se-Khi.
The city is noted for its mid-century modern architecture, design elements, arts and cultural scene, and recreational activities.
Palm Springs is located in the Sonoran Desert. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 95.0 square miles (246 km2), of which 94.1 square miles (244 km2) is land and 0.9 square miles (2.3 km2) (1%) is water. Located in the Coachella Valley desert region, Palm Springs is sheltered by the San Bernardino Mountains to the north, the Santa Rosa Mountains to the south, by the San Jacinto Mountains to the west and by the Little San Bernardino Mountains to the east.
Palm Springs has a hot desert climate, with over 300 days of sunshine and 4.93 inches (125.2 mm) of precipitation annually. The winter months are warm, with a majority of days reaching 70 °F (21 °C) and in January and February days often see temperatures of 80 °F (27 °C) and on occasion reach over 90 °F (32 °C), while, on average, there are 17 nights annually dipping to or below 40 °F (4 °C); freezing temperatures occur in less than half of years. The lowest temperature recorded is 19 °F (−7 °C), on January 22, 1937.
La Fe Wine Bar
73900 El Paseo
$$ • Wine Bars, Tapas/Small Plates
Not many businesses can hold a 5 star review, this one is well deserved. Popped in while on a birthday weekend retreat at Margaritaville. I had made a reservation at another restaurant but the wife found this place on Yelp and it looked great. We decided to go here first and have the meat and cheese platter and a couple of drinks as an appetizer, then go off to our reservation.
Meat and cheese platter was amazing. Fresh and delicious! Had some wine and wanted to change it up. Ordered an old fashioned, at a wine bar. Let me tell you their cocktail skills are phenomenal. Wife had a Moscow mule, both perfect. We enjoyed it so much we decided to order more food to share and canceled dinner reservations elsewhere. Great service. Great people. Great experience.
Too bad we live 60 miles away, now we can only come once a month.
— Review by Brian M.
Enoteca Bar and Wine Club
73705 El Paseo
$$ • Wine Bars
This is one of the best places for HAPPY Hour! It is everyday from 4pm to close. You sign up near the bar for a table and how many people are in your party.
I’ve eaten at Enotecca twice and both times we had to wait for a table for about 30 minutes, which means this place is very good! You can see their bar menu on the website. This last time we went, we had a party of 10, but we were willing to split up, so we ended up being at tables of 3, 2, and 5.
This time I had a Fat Tire and the Penne Bologonese ($6.99 or $7.99). Both items were delicious after a long day of tennis. My team played at Indian Wells Tennis Garden. For the table, the restaurant serves warm bread and olive oil/balsamic vinegar. Yummy! We also got garlic bread and fried calamari for the table and those two items were delicious too!
For dessert, I enjoyed their bread pudding with vanilla ice cream ($4.50) on top!
I can’t tell you how good Enotecca is, you just have to try it for yourself! If you’re in the Palm Desert area, you must give Enotecca a try during their awesome happy hour!!! I wish I took pictures of my food, but I was too hungry!
— Review by Mitch W.
Dead or Alive Bar
150 E Palm Canyon Dr
$$ • Wine Bars; Beer Bar; Beer, Wine & Spirits
First, if you know me , you know I have a soft spot for small business specially those owned by entrepreneurial women. So right off the bat my hat is off to Christine, figuratively speaking that is because my sun hat is too cute to leave my head. I’ve been coming here infrequently for what has to be about two years or more. I’ve seen this place evolve and it only gets better.
As a shop, I love anywhere that can give solid legitimately good recommendations. This place always delivers, you won’t be steered wrong. In fact most everything I’ve had here has been on recommendation. I like when people show me what they like . It’s simply the best.
So here are my recommendations :
Try the Santos family recipe cheese , it’s too die for . I’ve upped my consumption of baguettes just for this cheese. 😉
If you like wine, go nowhere else.
Did you say craft beer? Not my jam , but they have it ! Kombucha brew is oddly delicious , and that’s coming from someone who doesn’t think kombucha’s fermented flavor makes sense with out an alcohol content.
I look forward to the days when I can sit comfortably and listen to black market jazz with a nice glass of white.
Try this place out, it’s a true gem of the community.
— Review by Claudia Y.
119 La Plz
$$ • Wine Tasting Room
This little tasting room is very comfy and cozy, with a nice variety of red wines. And located right in the heart of downtown Palm Springs.
Enjoyed our tasting flight, and came away with their 2018 Refugio, and 2018 Grenache.
So nice to enjoy the vineyards of Santa Barbara County right here in the desert. Thanks again Ian for being such a gracious host.
— Review by Mickey A.
4200 E Palm Canyon
$$$ • Wine Bars, Tapas/Small Plates
If six stars were an option . . .
The service was fantastic . . . we almost ordered the faux gras macaroon early on, which would have been a huge mistake. The bartender advised us not to–she was so right. (Moe on the macaroon below.)
The wine options are unique and great. Really great.
The vibe is awesome. Great music. Has a speakeasy, hidden space feel. Did I mention how fun the music is?
The food is stellar. The oysters were delicious–the cucumber granita with a hint of heat–who knew desert oysters would be so good. The tuna and the duck breast were really wonderful.
The faux gras macaroon….where to begin…my significant other, who is well traveled and knows great food called it, “perhaps the best dish, I’ve ever had.”
Sounds about right. I want to call it a dessert…but who cares how you label it…it is amazing. If Tony Bourdain were still around (rest in peace) he would travel here just to have it. I’m serious. (And for the banana photo, see below.)
Parting tip, on the way out get your photo taken with the giant banana sculpture in the garden….I’m talking a seven foot banana. Because who doesn’t need a phallic double entendre photo for their social media.
— Review by Rob H.
611 S Palm Canyon Dr Ste 22
$$ • Wine Tasting Room, Sandwiches, Venues & Event Spaces
Such a wonderful tasting experience!
My boyfriend and I came here Valentine’s Day weekend for a tasting on the patio. This was both of our first times doing a formal tasting and I must say, Bouschet did a great job! The patio was lovely, and although there were some technical difficulties (to be expected in these times) everyone seemed to have a great time.
We tried four wines from Brewer-Clifton with Greg Brewer himself explaining the notes and stories of each over Zoom. Greg is fantastic! He is a true artist; it was lovely to hear him speak about his craft. There was also a plate of meats and cheeses provided to us, which added to the experience. We ended up buying a bottle of the Ex Post-Facto Syrah to take home. If you have the chance to go to a tasting with Greg, I highly recommend it.
If we lived in the desert we would probably be regulars, the $20 a person price point is so worth it for what you get.
Overall a really lovely time. We will definitely be back!
— Review by Sadi K.
The Vine Wine Bar
74868 Country Club Dr Ste 103
$$ • Wine Bars, Venues & Event Spaces, Tapas/Small Plates
Charming. From the decor, server, owners, live music to the wine selection we enjoyed every minute in this intimate wine bar. They offer a variety of flights to include whiskey and martinis. Loved having the choice of selecting cheeses and meats on our charcuterie plate. Mini burgers were excellent- very flavorful.
We will be back!
— Review by Barb W.
LA Brasserie Bistro & Bar
78477 Hwy 111
$$$ • French, Modern European, Wine Bars
This restaurant saved our night out! We were at the restaurant next door feeling invisible when my husband went here to ask if they had room for us and they happily greeted us and seated us almost right away. Now, we weren’t intending to have a fancy dinner so hopefully our flip flops were hidden under the beautiful blue and white table cloths.
From start to finish the staff were welcoming, attentive, and quick to correct anything. My husband kept saying how this place saved the night and he told the server those exact words. It was even happy hour all night! Every bite from the bread with creamy butter, salad, and steak were absolutely delicious.
My husband told me as we were leaving “be sure to Yelp this place.” For me, full 5 stars for how happy my husband was the entire night here. He even told me he wanted to thank the other place for being so bad so we got the chance to come here!
— Review by Marianne G.
Desert Wine Shop on 111
73-360 Hwy 111 Ste 1
$$ • Beer, Wine & Spirits; Tasting Classes; Wine Bars
This is our absolute favorite wine store in the desert! Katie and Cliff are amazing at helping pick out the perfect wine for any occasion. Their selection is huge for a small shop and their prices are great! The weekly zoom wine tastings kept us sane during Covid. Joining their wine club is a great way to try different wines plus their twice a week tastings are so fun. We highly recommend getting to know and appreciate the Desert Wine Shop!
— Review by Karla K.
84245 Indio Springs Dr Fantasy Springs Resort Casino
$$ • Wine Bars, Lounges
First time at Twelve @ Fantasy Springs. Had a great view and quiet atmosphere. We came early before the jazz starts. Kayla gave us very good service, found the perfect wine for me. Great service and atmosphere! Going to a concert but kind of wish I was staying up here!
— Review by Jenn O.