Check, Please! Bay Area reviews: Alamar Kitchen + Bar, Sabores Del Sur, Pearl 6101
First, we head to the Town for alaMar Kitchen + Bar in Oakland, a spicy spot where Mediterranean and Asian influences meet fresh seafood. Next, we visit Sabores del Sur in Walnut Creek for authentic Chilean cuisine from a woman-owned and run kitchen. Then it's off to San Francisco's Richmond district for Pearl 6101, a neighborhood treasure serving carefully crafted cocktails and refined American cuisine.
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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, beer, and spirits the guests and I drank on set during the taping of the show.
Domaine Amirault, Les Quarterons Crémant de Loire Sparkling Brut, France $18
Crémant is a French style of sparkling wine that refers to the creamy, soft texture created by the bubbles. It’s not called Champagne because it’s not from the eponymous region, but Crémant de Loire hails from the stunning Loire Valley of France. Made from Chenin Blanc grapes in a dry – or Brut – style, it’s an elegant sparkler. When it comes to value for the money, you can’t beat this bubbly beauty.
2017 Ponzi Vineyards Arneis, Chehalem Mountains, Willamette Valley, Oregon $27
Ponzi ranks at the top of my must-know wineries in Oregon. Not only did the Ponzi family help create the Oregon wine industry more than 50 years ago, today Maria and Luisa Ponzi are continuing their legacy of quality. Known for world-class Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, their Arneis shows a different side of the Ponzi portfolio. A unique northern Italian white grape, Arneis vines were planted at Ponzi in 1990. This deliciously succulent wine is citrusy but with layered complexity. It’s for drinking and thinking.
2015 Charles Krug Family Reserve 'Generations' Red Wine, Napa Valley, California $70
Talk about a rich history…Charles Krug leads the way in Napa Valley. Founded in 1861, it remains one of the most esteemed producers in California. Under the ownership of the Peter Mondavi family since 1943, Charles Krug’s Generations honors the family’s heritage and lineage. This classic Bordeaux-style blend is primarily Cabernet Sauvignon and falls on the lush side of the scale.
It’s an ideal candidate to put in your wine cellar, but if you can’t wait a few years, no worries. Served alongside prime rib, rack of lamb, or a pungent aged cheese, it’s ready to enjoy tonight (just make sure to give me a call if you’re opening the bottle).
2016 Chateau Ste. Michelle 'Red Mountain' Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, Washington $50
Washington state icon, Chateau Ste. Michelle, crafts a wide selection of wines from dry and sweet Riesling to Chardonnay, Merlot and red blends. But one of their superstars is this Cabernet Sauvignon. The hot and arid Red Mountain wine-growing region produces grapes with intensity and structure. Those qualities drive the core of this red, but it’s wrapped in plushness from concentrated dark fruit flavors. Drink now or age and drink later…either way it will provide pure pleasure in a glass.
2017 Eberle Zinfandel, Paso Robles, California $30
When it comes to Zinfandel, Paso is the place and Eberle knows best. As a pioneer in the area, Eberle has seen the trends come and go, but their focus has always been on showcasing the purity of fruit grown in Paso Robles. This is a no-holds-barred, spicy, full-bodied Zin made to pair alongside casual fare from tangy Sloppy Joe’s to spaghetti with red sauce to savory grilled steak.
Whip Saw Rye Whiskey, California $48
Rye is a hot category among whiskey lovers and Whip Saw delivers the heat. A blend of whiskeys is the base, but with a unique twist. What sets it apart is that the blend was finished in wine barrels that previously held the famed Willams Selyem Pinot Noir along with a variety of Napa Valley Cabernets. This gives the Rye-driven spirit an opulent flavor profile laden with exotic fruit and chocolatey notes. Smooth, sultry, spicy and sippable.
Thirsty for more beverage advice? You can find some of my wine, beer and spirits tips for you here.