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Check, Please! Bay Area reviews: Alameda Comedy Club, Sequoia Diner, True Laurel

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Check, Please! Bay Area, season 17, episode 12, airs Thursday, January 19, at 7:30 pm, on KQED 9. See other television airtimes, and never miss an episode by subscribing to the video podcast.

Tasty, ambitious dishes—at a comedy club? Yes, and… At Alameda Comedy Club, order up some surprisingly first-class bar bites served with a side of laughter, supplied by first-rate comedy pros. Then, Sequoia Diner, located in the heart of Oakland’s Laurel District, puts breakfast on display, using sustainably sourced ingredients to elevate diner favorites like warm, flaky biscuits in white pepper gravy and Belgian waffles. Finally, in San Francisco’s Mission District, True Laurel pairs floral-based, aromatic cocktails with equally innovative, snack-sized twists on comfort food. Reporter Cecilia Phillips closes out this week's episode with a visit to E14th Eatery + Kitchen, a community kitchen and food business incubator in San Leandro, to sample the myriad offerings from aspiring local food entrepreneurs.

Check, Please! Bay Area host Leslie Sbrocco joins three local guests on set to discuss local restaurants
Host Leslie Sbrocco joins guests Christopher Renfro, Clay Ver Valen and Angelica Tabuena from KQED in San Francisco.

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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’ll share my tasting notes about the wine, beer and spirits the guests and I drank on set during the taping of the show.

Shows the wines Leslie Sbrocco recommends


2021 Dry Creek Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc
Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California, $25
Since 1972 this family-owned winery has been crafting world-class wines from the small but special Dry Creek Valley. Sauvignon Blanc is one their signature wines because it marries the main grape with Sauvignon Musqué and Sauvignon Gris clones. This triad of tastiness creates a unique wine with crisp, complex style. Bright citrus fruit and tropical flavors dominate layered with a hint of honeyed richness. This ranks among California’s best versions of Sauvignon Blanc and is one to seek out.

2021 Beronia Rosé
Rioja, Spain, $16
This is one of my favorite rosés year in and year out. Why? It captures the juicy succulence you look for in a pink wine, but with a savory twist. Made with two Spanish red grapes, Tempranillo and Garnacha, the floral aromas grab you first followed by red berry fruit flavors and a hint of spiciness on the finish. Beronia is a classic producer from the Rioja region of Spain and their wines always impress. This Rosé is an ideal year-round drinker and a delicious partner with just about any dish on the table.

2019 Badia a Coltibuono Chianti Classico DOCG
Italy, $22
You don’t need to spend a fortune for classy, elegant Italian red wine. For an affordable price, the Badia a Coltibuono Chianti Classico overdelivers in quality. It’s a wine that elevates simple pizza but stands up to fancy filet mignon. Made with organically grown grapes based on the Chianti staple – Sangiovese – this Tuscan wine showcases bitter cherry notes tipped by rose petal and peppery aromas. With vibrant acidity and a touch of tannic grip on the finish, this beauty is made for the dinner table.

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

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