Check, Please! Bay Area Season 13 Premiere reviews: Speisekammer, Kate's Kitchen, ADEGA

Check, Please! Bay Area Season 13 premiere airs Thursday, April 26 at 7:30pm on KQED 9. See other television airtimes. And never miss an episode by subscribing to the video podcast.

Sauerbraten, schnitzel and traditional German fare at Speisekammer German Restaurant in Alameda take the lead in this episode. Then it's back to breakfast and Southern-style comfort food at Kate's Kitchen in San Francisco...until we finish in San Jose's "Little Portugal," with a Michelin-starred destination serving Portuguese cuisine, called ADEGA.

Host Leslie Sbrocco and guests having fun on the set of the premiere episode of season 13.
Host Leslie Sbrocco and guests having fun on the set of the premiere episode of season 13. (Wendy Goodfriend)

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Host Leslie Sbrocco sipping wine on set
Host Leslie Sbrocco sipping wine on set (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: Portuguese dry red wines.

2015 Theopolis Vineyards Symphony, Yorkville Highlands, Mendocino County, California $22
Symphony is a grape that most people don’t know about, but should. A cross between Grenache Gris and Muscat, it’s often made in an overly sweet style. Theopolis does it right, though. This crisp white wine captures the grape’s aromatic floral notes and fruity flavors, but balances them with racy acidity. It’s an ideal pairing with spicy curry dishes or Sunday brunch.

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2017 Mulderbosch Cabernet Sauvignon Rose, Coastal region, South Africa $13
Known as one of South Africa’s top producers, Mulderbosch makes a pink with power. This wine — made from Cabernet Sauvignon grapes — sports a slightly deeper color than many other roses. Dark cherry fruit aromas jump from the glass followed by a refreshing kick of spice. While other pink wines are perfect for sipping alone, this one sings when matched alongside casual fare such as barbecue chicken, grilled portobello mushrooms or turkey burgers.

2014 Fork in the Road Vineyards Pinot Noir, Los Carneros Napa Valley, California $68
Pinot Noir is a wine that should dance across your palate like a star on stage. Smooth, supple and effortless, this Pinot is just such a wine. Red berry and tea leaf aromas start the journey-in-a-glass that ends with dark cherry richness. It’s wine for a Saturday date-night splurge...or a treat to yourself any night of the week.

2015 Vale do Bomfim, Douro DOC, Portugal $13
I am a big fan of dry Portuguese red wines and sipping Vale do Bomfim, it’s easy to see why — you can indulge in a powerhouse dry Douro red or get playful with this juicy, refreshing one. From the famed Port house of Dow, which is owned by the Symington family, this blend of unique red grapes is led by Touriga Franca and Touriga Nacional. These grapes form the backbone of sweet Port wine, but when crafted in a dry style they showcase deeply-hued deliciousness. I enjoy the Bomfim slightly chilled with foods from piquant chili to grilled salmon smothered in sautéed mushrooms. It’s an affordable red wine to buy by the case for spring and summer drinking.

Wine that guests drank on the set of season 13 episode 1.
Wine that guests drank on the set of season 13 episode 1. (Wendy Goodfriend)

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