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Check, Please! Bay Area reviews: Thirsty Bear Brewing Company, Nick's Cove, Middle East Market

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Watch More of Season 14

Check, Please! Bay Area Season 14 episode 4 airs Thursday, May 2 at 7:30pm on KQED 9. See other television airtimes. And never miss an episode by subscribing to the video podcast.

This week we start off at Thirsty Bear Brewing Company, a San Francisco brewery known for craft beers, small plates and flamenco dancing. Next, we travel to Nick’s Cove in Marshall, a historic waterside retreat serving up fresh seafood and locally grown produce. Our final pick is Middle East Market in Berkeley, where you can dine in at the Persian cafe, and if inspired, buy the ingredients and make the meal yourself at home.

Host Leslie Sbrocco and guests on the set of season 14 episode 4.
Host Leslie Sbrocco and guests on the set of season 14 episode 4. (Grace Cheung)

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Host Leslie Sbrocco sipping wine
Host Leslie Sbrocco sipping wine (Courtesy of Leslie Sbrocco)

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.

Mionetto Prosecco Brut, DOC Treviso, Italy $29 (magnum)
When I was last in the area of Prosecco, I made it a point to visit Mionetto. Not only am I a fan of these iconic (and delicious) bubblies, it’s a producer with history. For more than a century, the Mionetto family has been crafting Prosecco with class. Prosecco is made from the Glera grape variety grown in northern Italy’s Veneto region and Treviso DOC is a stamp of quality. This sparkler is deliciously dry with succulent flavors. For an impressive magnum of sparkling wine (that’s two regular-sized bottles in one big one), you can’t find a better value.


2018 Veramonte Rosé Pinot Noir, Casablanca Valley, Chile $11
Love pink wine like I do? You might not think of heading south to Chile for rosé, but this wine will change your mind. It sports one of the highest price-to-quality quotients in the pink category. Made with Pinot Noir grapes grown in Chile’s cool-climate Casablanca Valley, which saddles up to the Pacific Ocean, its delicate rosy hue is an indication of its elegance. Floral notes mingle with bright berry aromas in a wine that puts the tantalizing “oh” in rosé.

2016 Dutcher Crossing Winery “Chenoweth Vineyard” Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, California $45
After trying a selection of wines from Sonoma’s Dutcher Crossing winery over the past few years, I’ve been impressed by the overall quality and complexity of the portfolio. This red showcases Pinot Noir’s lush side. Its red-fruited freshness is backed up by a supple texture making it an ideal pairing for richer dishes like Boeuf Bourguignon (a savory stew) and creamy cheeses such as French Epoisses or Camembert.

Plantation Artisanal Rum O.F.T.D. $30
This isn’t your typical rum. It’s a power-packed, chocolate-covered-orange-inspired, baking-spice-sweet sensational sip. A molasses-based spirit made from a blend of Guyana, Jamaica and Barbados rums, it clocks in at a whopping 69 percent alcohol. The name refers to an Old Fashioned Traditional Dark and it is solidly in the overproof rum category, but as the O.F.T.D was blended by an expert team led by France’s Cognac house, Maison Ferrand, it has style to spare.

Thirsty for more beverage advice? You can find some of my wine, beer and spirits tips for you here

Wine and spirits that guests drank on the set of season 14 episode 4.
Wine and spirits that guests drank on the set of season 14 episode 4. (Grace Cheung)

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