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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 the guests and I drank on set during the taping of the show. Also, in my "What to Sip" suggestions, I choose one restaurant from each show and offer tips for selecting libations to enjoy with your meal.
Sponsor Wine: 2005 Beringer “Third Century” Syrah, Central Coast, California $14
One of California’s most historic wine producers is Beringer Vineyards based in Napa Valley. Their newly launched label is an ode to the company’s heritage as they enter a third century of winemaking. Hailing from the cool Central Coast, this elegantly-styled Syrah captures the variety’s ripe fruit flavors, smooth texture, and signature spicy kick. Uncork it with casual sausage pizza or classy osso bucco.
Wine of the Week: La Tordera, Prosecco Brut, Valdobbiadene, Italy $19
When it comes to celebrating this holiday season, you’ll want to stock up on bubbles. But who wants to spend a fortune when you can sparkle for less? This dry, crisp fizz is made from Prosecco grapes grown in northern Italy. It’s perfect for party sipping or sharing fireside with your Secret Santa. Think about adding a dash of peach juice for a festive Bellini.
What to Sip: Marché aux Fleurs
When I look at a wine list, I’m hunting for diversity, value, and wines that cause excitement. I found all of these things and more with the terrific list at Marin’s Marché aux Fleurs. Their savvy roundup of wines respects the customer by offering affordability and choice. For example, you can order a worldwide selection of delicious whites and not pay more than $40. When you visit, look for the aromatic Mesh Riesling from Australia’s Eden Valley ($36), organically-grown Seresin Estate Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand ($34) or sassy, citrusy Condes de Albarei Albariño from Rias Baixas in Spain ($27). All of these wines will pair beautifully with the restaurant's market-fresh fare.
For red lovers, there are so many choices that I want to run to the eatery right now and start drinking. The hard-to-find Flowers Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir is a slight splurge at $85, but well worth it. For value, turn to the section named, "Rhone Zone." Here you’ll find an earthy French red, Domaine Garrigue Vacqueyras ($26) or bold Aussie Lengs & Cooter Shiraz from Down Under for $30. For adventurous drinkers, order the Capçanes Montsant ($30), from one of my favorite Spanish producers. It’s hearty, smoky and sultry.