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Check, Please! Bay Area Season 12 reviews: Jannah-Baghdad by the Bay, Kin Khao, El Aguila Mexican Cuisine

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Check, Please! Bay Area Season 12 episode 6 airs Thursday, May 18 at 7:30pm on KQED 9. See other television airtimes. And never miss an episode by subscribing to the video podcast.

Stop at a hidden gem and experience flavors from Arabian nights and desert sands at an Iraqi spot called Jannah – Baghdad by the Bay in San Francisco. Next, we stay in the city to taste the fiery Thai home-style cooking at Kin Khao. Finally, it’s time to visit a Pleasant Hill strip mall where farm-to-table freshness joins Southern Mexican sauces and stews at El Aguila Mexican Cuisine.

Host Leslie Sbrocco and guests having fun on the set of season 12 episode 6.
Host Leslie Sbrocco and guests having fun on the set of season 12 episode 6. (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, beer and spirits tips with each episode. This week I discuss: Size does matter! About the different sizes of wine bottles.

2015 von Schubert, Maximin Grünhäuser Abtsberg Riesling Spätlese, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Germany $29
On my first trip to Germany, I had the fortune of visiting the bucolic winery, Weingut Maximin Grünhaus, and meeting Carl von Schubert, a legend in Riesling. The von Schubert family estate stretches as far as the eye can see up the steep slopes of the river valley and includes three famed vineyards: the Abtsberg, the Herrenberg, and the Bruderberg. All unique, each vineyard produces wines of distinction. I have a personal love for the Abtsberg, which refers to its history the place grapes were grown for the Abbey of St. Maximin. Vines have been planted in the blue slate soils for nearly 1,000 years. With just 7.5 percent alcohol, this ethereal, aromatic white smells of peaches and orange blossoms. The mouthfeel is delicate with a medium-sweet finish making it a wine to pair alongside fiery, spicy fare or fruit-based desserts. This is Riesling at its best.


2015 Martin Ray, Pinot Noir, Green Valley of Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, California $40
Martin Ray has a legacy as a California winemaking pioneer. Though the brand began in the Santa Cruz Mountains decades ago, it’s now based in one of the state’s oldest continually-working wineries in Sonoma county. This fleshy yet perfumed Pinot Noir showcases the effects of growing grapes in the rich Gold Ridge soil of Russian River Valley’s special Green Valley. Here the fog lingers keeping temperatures cool, which ultimately creates wines of elegance and style. A beautiful red that will surprise and impress.

2015 “19 Crimes” Red Wine, South Eastern Australia $12
The story behind the 19 Crimes brand is whimsical, which is part of the enjoyment of drinking this juicy, peppery red blend. It’s not a serious wine, but seriously fun to sip. In the late 1700s when Australia was a British colony, criminals convicted of one of nineteen crimes were sent to live in Australia as punishment. They called it “conviction by transportation.” Today, we would call living Down Under winning the lottery! Ah, what a few hundred years does to our perspective.

Broadbent Madeira Malmsey 10 Years Old, Portugal $45
Madeira is one of the most famed wines and is undergoing a renaissance in the United States thanks in part to the efforts of Bartholomew Broadbent. Though he imports world-class wine from around the globe, his Broadbent Maderia label has special meaning. It was inspired by his wine-icon father, Master of Wine and writer, Michael Broadbent. With his father’s blending acumen at hand, Bartholomew founded his brand of fortified wines from Madeira, the Portuguese island located 400 miles off the coast of Africa. This Malmsey (name of a grape variety) is an aged, sweet style with toasted almond and toffee aromas layered with bright acidity and lusciously sweet yet balanced flavors. Pour as a perfect complement to an après-dinner cheese platter. Then, send the Broadbent boys a kiss of thanks.

Wine that guests drank on the set of season 12 episode 6.
Wine that guests drank on the set of season 12 episode 6. (Wendy Goodfriend)

Here is the recipe for the Pyrenees Cocktail that Leslie served to the guests in this episode:

Get a taste of the Pyrenees with this delicious and flavorful cocktail recipe featuring Pistachio oil!
Get a taste of the Pyrenees with this delicious and flavorful cocktail recipe featuring Pistachio oil! (Wendy Goodfriend)

Recipe: Pyrenees Cocktail

Makes one cocktail


  • 2 ounces Lustau Solera Reserva Brandy
  • 1 ½ tablespoons freshly squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 1 tablespoon Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
  • 1 tablespoon egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Orange Blossom Water
  • 1/4 teaspoon La Tourangelle Pistachio Oil


  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a shaker with ice.
  2. Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled glass.
  3. Serve immediately.

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