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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” Chardonnay, Central Coast, California $14
A Chardonnay that will appeal to all who enjoy creamy, smooth whites. Kissed with a touch of oak, the wine is spicy and full of ripe tropical fruit flavors. One of California’s most historic wine producers, Beringer Vineyards is based in Napa Valley. Their newly launched label is an ode to the company’s heritage as they enter a third century of winemaking.
Wine of the Week: Chandon Rosé, California Sparkling Wine $22
This a lovely, pink sapphire-hued sparkler made from Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meunier grapes that invites celebration. Soft and plush, this is a bubbly to drink throughout a meal. Pair it with spicy take out, salmon or other fleshy fish, and even hearty sausages with grilled onions.
What to Sip: B44
Take a virtual vinous trip to Spain just by perusing the fantastic wine list at B44.
Selections are primarily Spanish but peppered with well-chosen French and California options, as well. Organized by style with price ranges for all budgets, it’s an exciting task to pick a wine (or wines) for your meal.
I recommend seeking out the hot Spanish winemaker, Telmo Rodriquez’s crisp white from Rueda in Spain ($22) made with Sauvignon Blanc, Verdejo, and Viura grapes. Also, a unique white to sample is from Segura Viudas named “Creu de Lavit.” Priced at a cool $30, it’s a winner for shellfish.
With hearty fare, spend a bit more on Vall Llach’s “Idus” ($99) from the rugged Priorat region of northeastern Spain. Made with red grapes Carinena and Garnacha, it’s earthy and powerful. Some of my favorite but hard-to-find reds hail from the Bierzo region of Spain. The grape variety is the rare Mencia and it produces elegant, Pinot Noir-like reds. B44’s list has two to try: the Domino de Tares for a deliciously affordable price of $35 and the Descendientes de Jose Palacios Petalos de Bierzo for a mere $45. I’m on my way to enjoy a dish of paella and a bottle of this beautiful wine right now.