Wine Stories at Counter Reformation

My only regret is that I did not drink more wine.
— Ernest Hemmingway


Every wine has a story. The accidental vintner, the well-traveled vine, the perfect summer; like life itself the journey from planting to glass is a winding road. Not surprisingly, when it comes to what is in the bottle, often the better the story, the better the wine. 

Perhaps the most unique Palm Springs wine tasting can be found at our very own Counter Reformation where bar seating and ledge leaning are the preferred ways to enjoy the experience – think Paris tabac or the zinc. Here, you’ll find a Cave à Manger with an eclectic selection of wines by the glass accompanied by small-plated savory delicacies to complete the moment. Boasting a collection of wines with an old-world focus, the Counter Reformation wine list offers a one-of-a-kind Palm Springs wine tour without having to leave your seat. 

When it comes to wines and telling stories, Miguel Herrera, Director of Restaurants, is an expert at both. Trained in Switzerland, Miguel and his engaging team of wine specialists will keep you enthralled with tales of high-jinks, mischief, and lucky accidents that have helped to create these fabulous wines. “When you know the story behind the wine, you appreciate it that much more,” he says .  

With a variety of small plates on offer, Miguel says that wine pairings are a natural part of the experience at Counter Reformation. Great wine always stands on its own but when wine and food find their muse, both become more beautiful. Some of Miguel’s favorite small plates include oysters on the half shell, Jamon Iberico, and Escargot Cassolette, which pairs beautifully with a Rioja Reserva on the Counter Reformation wine list.

Here are some of Miguel’s favorite wines he is currently pouring, each with a story that would make Hemmingway proud.

Vinho Verde

From Northern Portugal, the vines on which these grapes are cultivated grow in unusual ways.  This region of Portugal along the Atlantic coast is unique because of the number of growers — more than 19,000 at last count. For centuries, people in this area have trained the vines to grow high off the ground so they could plant vegetable gardens below for their families. To this day, the vines are grown up trees, sides of houses, and even telephone poles, making large-scale production next to impossible. This is really ‘the people’s’ wine.  

Black Chicken  

This California wine has roots dating back to the 1940s in Napa Valley where Aldo Biale and his mother Christina ran a small vineyard and farm that included hundreds of leghorn chickens. The farm sold walnuts, eggs, fruits and vegetables. However, the enterprising young Aldo had a discrete side business making and selling homemade wine out of the barn. Back then, most old-style landline phones were party lines (one phone number shared by multiple households). The nature of this system meant it was easy for others to listen in on your calls. To protect Aldo, and maybe to not let their neighbors know how much wine they were enjoying, ‘Black Chicken’ became code for adding a jug of his private Zinfandel to their grocery order. Having no lips, the leghorn chickens never gave Aldo away.

La Casa de las Locas

A century ago, La Casa de las Locas was a hospital in Spain for women suffering from mental illness. Part of their care and treatment was to help in the vineyards, learning how to grow and cultivate the grapes. Over the years, the wine has become renowned, and Miguel says it offers fresh, bright flavors and is a great pairing option.

Wine, like stories, are meant to be shared. So we invite you to  gather round with friends old and new, and take part in the greatest joy of all, the pleasure of good company. 

Counter Reformation is open from 5pm, Wednesday through Monday.

About Us

Parker Palm Springs receives regular accolades as the best luxury hotel in Palm Springs. We offer only 144 rooms on thirteen acres of exclusive, private property. To help plan your next vacation, weekend escape, special event, or wedding, please Contact us.




Call 760-321-4606 or email us with questions

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