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My name is Leslie Sbrocco and I’m the host of Check, Please! Bay Area. Each week, I will be sharing my tasting notes about the wine the guests and I drank on set during the taping of the show. Also, in my "What to Sip" suggestions, I choose one restaurant from each show and offer tips for selecting libations to enjoy with your meal.
Wine of the Week:
2003 Adeluna “Reserve” Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina $22
Malbec is the grape that produces the signature, muscle-bound red wine of Argentina. A newcomer on the Malbec scene, Adeluna is the partnership of American Ward Lay (of Frito-Lay fame) and a member of the historic Argentine winemaking family, Rutini. The grapes are grown at an elevation of 4,200 feet in the foothills of the Andes. So deeply colored, you look at the wine and think it will do a tango on your tongue. Instead, the rich berry, chocolate and spice notes are backed up by a solid frame of vibrant acidity. It’s a mouthful of fruit, which can still pair beautifully with food from grilled steak to a portobello mushroom sandwich.
What to Sip: Da Flora
This small, North Beach spot is a culinary treasure. Not only did the Venetian-inspired cuisine garner raves from our guests, the wine list is one worth exploring again and again. Owner Flora Gaspar has compiled an eclectic array of Italian wines that rotates regularly. The picks I’ve chosen below may not be available on your next visit, but have no fear as Flora’s frequent jaunts to Italy result in fairly-priced, sure-fire selections. Though each of the wine options has an accompanying description, I recommend asking Flora for her help when navigating the terrific list.
2004 Sergio Zenato, Lugana San Benedetto, Veneto $32
It’s tough to find wines priced under $40 on high-end lists in the city, but Flora offers a selection of them. This white -- made from the Trebbiano grape variety -- comes from northern Italy around the shores of beautiful Lake Garda. Juicy and smooth, it drinks well as a cocktail before dinner or with the meal.
2001 Arnoldo Caprai, Sagrantino di Montefalco “Collepiano,” Umbria $95
This is a rare red made from the Sagrantino variety in Umbria, which is Tuscany’s neighbor. Deeply-colored and dripping with wild berry flavors, this is a powerful wine to experience with hearty meat dishes. A sexy stunner.