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Check, Please! Bay Area reviews: Beretta, 7 Mile House, The Cheese Board Collective

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Watch More of Season 14

Check, Please! Bay Area Season 14 episode 11 airs Thursday, September 5 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 in San Francisco at Beretta, an impress-your-friends spot offering bar-friendly Italian Cuisine and interesting cocktails. Then, we travel to Brisbane to explore 7 Mile House, a family (and dog) friendly roadhouse serving up an eclectic mix of Italian-American-Filipino food and live music every night. Our final stop is The Cheese Board Collective in Berkeley, a worker-owned and operated pizza shop offering just one distinctive vegetarian pizza a day

Host Leslie Sbrocco and guests on the set of season 14 episode 11.
Host Leslie Sbrocco and guests on the set of season 14 episode 11. (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.

Cense Sparkling Wine Brut, California $18
For those watching calories, the Cense wines are an excellent find. Made by California’s Truett Hurst winery in conjunction with Weight Watchers, the lineup is a way to maximize enjoyment while minimizing calories (a glass is around 85 calories). Most “low-cal” wines I’ve tasted over the years are low on flavor, but not this bubbly. It’s a brut—or dry style—that’s crisp and refreshing.


A big bonus is that Cense is made with the traditional sparkling method in the bottle (as opposed to fizz being artificially added), which makes it more complex. Go ahead...sip away, guilt-free.

2018 Apaltagua Reserve Pinot Gris, San Antonio Valley, Chile $13
Pinot Gris (or Pinot Grigio) is usually an Oregon or Italian affair, but Chile is getting in on the action with top-notch examples. This bracing white is from the cool-climate coastal region of San Antonio Valley—a mere eight miles from the Pacific Ocean. Cool temperatures bring out the aromatic side of Pinot Gris and the wine sports floral and citrus on the nose with succulent, juicy flavors.

Overdelivering in quality, it’s a steal for the price. I recommend making it your house white for summer and fall sipping.

2016 Dutton Goldfield ‘McDougall Vineyard’ Pinot Noir, Fort Ross-Seaview, California $68
Being a Pinot Noir lover, I’m partial to the wines from not only this producer, but also the vineyard. Dutton Goldfield is a partnership between fifth-generation Sonoma grower, Steve Dutton, and noted winemaker, Dan Goldfield. Their wines are always stellar–thoughtful, authentic, and restrained. This particular bottling comes from a rugged coastal area along Sonoma County’s northern reaches from the famed McDougall Vineyard.

The wine is intense and spicy with saturated red-berry fruit and a lingering finish. A beauty to pair alongside not only roasted turkey and mustard-laced pork loin, but also for aromatic, creamy cheeses.

2016 Rütz ‘Notre Vue Estate Vineyard’ Cabernet Sauvignon, Chalk Hill, Sonoma County, California $50
Vintner, Keith Rütz, may be California-based, but he is French-inspired. His love and family history center around France’s Burgundy and Languedoc regions with wines of finesse being his focus. This Domaine Rütz Cabernet hails from steep hillside vineyards on the Notre Vu estate of Chalk Hill in Sonoma.

Due to the slightly cooler climate of the Chalk Hill appellation (though Cabernet Sauvignon does love heat), the wine showcases taut structure wrapped with laser-like dark fruit notes and loads of Cab complexity. A wine to drink now with grilled sirloin or cellar for a few years to enjoy as it gracefully ages.

Wine and spirits that guests drank on the set of season 14 episode 11.
Wine and spirits that guests drank on the set of season 14 episode 11. (Grace Cheung)

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

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