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Check, Please! Bay Area reviews: Taurinus Brazilian Steakhouse, Ba-Bite, Finn Town Tavern

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Check, Please! Bay Area Season 13 episode 9 airs Thursday, August 2 at 7:30pm on KQED 9. See other television airtimes. And never miss an episode by subscribing to the video podcast.

With fourteen different grilled meats on the menu it's a carnival of carnivorous delights at Taurinus Brazilian Steakhouse in San Jose. And while there are many versions of Middle Eastern food available around the Bay, the quintessential Israeli spot to get your falafel fix is Ba-Bite in Oakland. With cocktails like the "Milkman," named for Harvey Milk, and "Don't Call it Frisco" for Herb Caen, Finn Town Tavern serves up a dash of whimsy shaken with a little local lore... in the heart of San Francisco's Castro.

Host Leslie Sbrocco and guests on the set of season 13 episode 9.
Host Leslie Sbrocco and guests on the set of season 13 episode 9. (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: the difference between liquor and liqueur.

J Brut Rosé, Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, California $45
When it comes to California sparkling, J Vineyards & Winery is one of the best. Their Rosé is made in the traditional method with classic Champagne grape varieties — Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meunier. It’s not only a beautiful bubbly to look at, but utterly delicious to drink. Dry, aromatic, and crisp, it’s a wine that pairs with just about any food...or no food at all. If you are in Sonoma, make sure to stop south of the bucolic town of Healdsburg at the winery. Their legendary wine experiences — from food and wine pairing sessions to salon-style tasting — rank among the top in wine country.


2014 Fork in the Road Vineyard Chardonnay, Los Carneros, Napa, California $52
A boutique producer located in the Carneros region straddling Napa and Sonoma counties, Fork in the Road focuses on Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. This Chardonnay sports a few years of age, which rounds out the bright acidity. It is a lush yet elegant white to serve with grilled fish.

2015 Dry Creek Vineyard ‘Heritage Vines’ Zinfandel, Sonoma County, California $24 (current vintage 2016)
Early in my career, one of the places I spent time learning about wine was in Sonoma’s Dry Creek Valley. One winery that captured my attention then, and still does today, is Dry Creek Vineyard. An anchor property in Sonoma County that was founded in 1972 by Dave Stare, the family legacy is carried on by his daughter, Kim Stare Wallace. Their wines across the board — from Chenin Blanc to Zinfandel — are consistently excellent. Start exploring their portfolio with the ‘Heritage Vines’ Zinfandel. Crafted with a healthy dose of Petite Sirah and kiss of Primitivo, this Zin is spicy, fruity, fresh and sumptuous. Dry Creek Vineyard is a true California gem.

Wine that guests drank on the set of season 13 episode 9.
Wine that guests drank on the set of season 13 episode 9. (Wendy Goodfriend)

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