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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:
2004 Marilyn Merlot, Napa Valley, California $26
Each of the twenty vintages of Marilyn Merlot are adorned with a unique photo of film star Marilyn Monroe. This is definitely a collector wine, but one that won’t set you back a star’s salary. Not only is the packaging attractive, the wine also lives up to its reputation. The blend of ninety percent Merlot and ten percent Cabernet Sauvignon is plush, soft, and sultry.
What to Sip: Vignette
Tucked away in the Orchard Hotel off Union Square, this chic spot is definitely a place to focus on wine. The fairly-priced list includes plenty of selections but isn’t an overwhelming tome.
Start off with the tuna tartare cones, their signature appetizer, paired with a bottle of Laurent-Perrier Champagne ($45). This crisp, complex sparkling wine comes from one of my favorite bubbly producers. It’s an ideal foil for the spicy, fresh fish appetizer. You could stop right there and be perfectly happy, but I suggest ordering one of their meat dishes or day boat scallops. The wine to serve with both is Domaine Bruno Clair “Les Champs Perdrix” from Vosne-Romanee in Burgundy. This elegant, supple Pinot Noir is priced at $120. It’s a splurge, but one that's worth every cent.
If you’re looking for a glamorous spot to host a party, Vignette has a beautiful, glassed-in wine room that can hold twenty-four people.