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Check, Please! Bay Area reviews: Heartbaker [CLOSED], The Cook and Her Farmer, 1601 Bar & Kitchen

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Check, Please! Bay Area Season 11 episode 8 airs Thursday, June 2 at 7:30pm on KQED 9. See other television airtimes. And never miss an episode by subscribing to the video podcast.

A sweet bakery serving creative savory flavors for breakfast, lunch and, often dinner in San Francisco at Heartbaker. Then locally-sourced, community-centric cooking is the focus at The Cook and Her Farmer in Oakland. Finally, a contemporary take on Sri Lankan cuisine with vibrant small plates prepared by a French-trained chef at 1601 Bar & Kitchen in San Francisco.

Host Leslie Sbrocco and guests having fun on the set of the episode 8 of season 11.
Host Leslie Sbrocco and guests having fun on the set of the episode 8 of season 11. (Wendy Goodfriend)

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Host Leslie Sbrocco tasting wine.
Host Leslie Sbrocco tasting wine. (Wendy Goodfriend)

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, beer, and spirits the guests and I drank on set during the taping of the show. I will also share some wine tips with each episode. This week I discuss: What’s the right serving temperature for wine?

Le Grand Courtâge Grande Cuvee Brut Blanc de Blancs, France $25
This wine is not only delicious, it sports elegant packaging, and a fascinating back story. First thing to note: it’s French sparkling wine not Champagne, which is only from the Champagne region of France. Grapes used to make the sparkler come from various parts of France including Burgundy. Made from a variety of white grapes, it shows alluring honeysuckle and orange zest aromas with a fruit-driven palate. Perfect for celebrations, it’s also an ideal brunch bubbly. Secondly, it has a Bay Area connection worth explaining. Simply put, vintner Tawnya Falkner, is my hero. A handful of years ago she gave up her design job in San Francisco to move to Nuits St. Georges in Burgundy and pursue her passion for food and wine. What resulted is Le Grand Courtâge wines. They represent her journey (courtage means a long voyage) to discover what is important in life. I think she found it.


2013 LVE Cabernet Sauvignon “Legend Vineyard Exclusive” Napa Valley, California $85
LVE is a collision of superstars. John Legend, the famous musician, and Jean-Charles Boisset, the wine business’s version of a rockstar, have joined forces to create LVE. The wines are created by Boisset’s Napa property, the historic Raymond Vineyards, with input from Legend. The Cabernet Sauvignon is a stylish sip. Lush, opulent and sexy, it’s destined for wine collectors’ cellars but can be enjoyed now. Pour it alongside a seared sirloin while listening to music from who else? Legend-ary.

2013 Adelaida Version Red “Anna’s Vineyard” Adelaida District, Paso Robles, California $50
Paso Robles is becoming a destination for lovers of Rhone-style wines and Adelaida is one of the reasons why. With a rich, 34-year-old history, the producer is recognized as a regional pioneer for helping to shape the Adelaida District within the Paso Robles AVA (American Viticultural Area). Vineyards planted on steep mountainsides only 14 miles from the ocean create unique growing conditions with warm daytime temperatures, cooling afternoon breezes and cold nights. The combination – along with calcareous soils – result in wine layered with intensity and character. This Rhone-style blend of primarily Syrah and Mourvedre with a dash of Grenache, is weighty and plush with a silky texture. Held together by a core of vibrant dark fruit and taut minerality, it’s complex wine that delivers a peppery punch. A gorgeous red that captures a sense of place wrapped in pure pleasure.

Wines that guests drank on the set of the eighth episode of season 11.
Wines that guests drank on the set of the eighth episode of season 11. (Wendy Goodfriend)

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