First, we visit Jack's Prime Burgers & Shakes in San Mateo, where Angus beef burgers, organic milkshakes and craft microbrews stock this modern-day diner. And then, tucked away in a strip mall, we find bold flavors and local wines at the newly renovated Posada Contemporary Southwestern Cuisine in Livermore. Finally, we find an Asian-centric eatery with a contemporary-Californian twist and cocktails at Noodle Theory Provisions in Oakland.
Get Restaurant Information:
- Jack's Prime Burgers & Shakes (San Mateo)
- Posada Contemporary Southwestern Cuisine (Livermore)
- Noodle Theory Provisions (Oakland)
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: Rum.
2014 Alta Mora Etna Rosso DOC, Cusumano, Sicily $28
One of the darlings of the sommelier set is Etna Rosso, red wine produced from grapes grown on the rugged slopes of Sicily’s Mt. Etna. An active volcano, the terrain looks almost lunar in its lava-laden state. Yet, swaths of green vineyards are draped on this unique soil, which gives the wine a mineral finesse unlike those grown anywhere else. This bottling is made from the native Sicilian red variety Nerello Mascalese, known for its spicy elegance (think Pinot Noir with a wild side). Brambly berry and earthy aromas combine with pure dark cherry and black peppery flavors. A gorgeously exotic red.
2015 Domaine Sigalas “Aa” Santorini, Greece $18
If you love crisp whites and haven’t yet discovered the wines of the Greek island of Santorini, it’s time. This affordable sipper from highly-regarded producer, Domaine Sigalas, is a blend of primarily Assyrtiko – the island’s signature white grape -- with a healthy dose of another white variety named Athiri. The lemony freshness yet medium bodied heft of Assyrtiko combine with the floral aromas of Athiri to create a white that’s perfect for seafood, salads and summer.
2015 Acquiesce Viognier, Lodi, California $24
Are you a wine adventurer who seeks out new wines, places, and producers? If so, point yourself in the direction of California’s Lodi region to sample the delicately-crafted whites of Acquiesce winery. I met owner Susan Tipton and her husband Rodney a few years ago. Their passion for the white wines of France’s Rhone region led to opening their winery. It is focused on only whites and the handcrafted wines sell out every year. I’ve been impressed by all their bottlings, but the Viognier captures ginger and orange peel aromas with a supple texture, much like the classic examples from Condrieu. It’s beauty in a bottle. You can join the mailing list at their website or visit the property and indulge in their wine and food pairings. *Current release is 2016
Plantation “Stiggins’ Fancy” 1824 Pineapple Rum, Trinidad & Tobago $28
With the rise of Rum these days, spirits drinkers are revisiting the historic spirit in record numbers. Luckily, this has led to some reinvention in the category. This explosively-scented Rum delivers a delicious pineapple punch from the moment it’s poured. Relying on old recipes and input from cocktail historian David Wondrich, Plantation has brought back to life a style of rum based on 1824 English Journal of Patent and Inventions notes. Ripe Queen Victoria pineapples are soaked in rich, aged Plantation Rum for three months (along with other creative techniques) giving this spirit a heavenly character. Sip and savor solo, or add to a cocktail to take a trip back in time.