Credit: Wyatt Faller
Credit: Wyatt Faller

Palm Springs-based “Wine Thief” John Libonati Shares How to Wine Down in the Desert

Here’s How to Relax Like a Palm Springs Local

Name: John Libonati

Credit: Wyatt Faller

Job Title: Wine Thief, Owner of hyphen-
Resident of: Palm Springs
Local Living: 3 years


A Pour Above

As the owner of hyphen-, I get to meet locals and tourists that are interested in learning about wines that are better for the planet and themselves. At hyphen-, we’re different from other shops because we carry unique wines that you won’t find elsewhere. Plus, we love to chat with our customers and help them pair a wine with whatever food they’re cooking!


Desert Dwellin’

While hosting a tasting for Descanso Resort’s guests, I realized that I stayed there on my very first visit to Palm Springs when I was in my early 20s! The newly refurbished resort features lush greenery and a peaceful atmosphere, perfect for relaxing poolside or floating around with a glass of rosé.



Sip & Twirl

Wine Shops Palm Springs - John Libonati (Hyphen Wine Shop)
Credit: Wyatt Faller

Juniper Table opened for dinner with an Italian menu, and they’ve done a great job of updating their wine selection to include a lot of natural wines. I love seafood, so I usually order the barramundi and a bottle of pinot gris from Brooks in the Willamette Valley.


Bottoms Up

Aside from wine, I love tequila, mezcal and whiskey. Blackbook in Palm Springs is a relaxed hangout that has a large selection of all three! I love ordering a drink here with a large ice cube and a tray of nachos. As a NYC native, I love sitting outside and people-watching too.


Meat You There

Wine Shops Palm Springs
Credit: Wyatt Faller

Baja Springs Meat Market is a small Mexican grocery with the best street tacos in Palm Springs but shhhh! This spot is a total hidden gem. Local Insight: go after 1 p.m. to avoid the crowds of construction workers and landscapers. Parking can be tricky, but it’s worth the hassle.

3 Activities I Love to Do in Palm Springs:

– Work out at Orangetheory Fitness
– Bike around Old Las Palmas and Twin Palms
– Float in the pool with friends and a margarita in-hand
1007 N Palm Canyon Dr
Palm Springs, CA 92262

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