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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.
Wines of the Week: KQED Wine Club
From the KQED Wine Club come our selections poured on this week's show.
2003 Château Curson, Crozes-Hermitage, France
Hailing from the northern Rhone region of France, the small appellation of Crozes-Hermitage usually plays stepsister to its famous neighboring region, Hermitage. What you find in Crozes, however, is affordability married with character. This Syrah-based wine from the warm 2003 vintage showcases a deep, ripe, red berry fruitiness with a touch of earthy aromas and a white pepper kick.
What to Sip: Cyrus
The hype around Healdsburg's Cyrus restaurant, one of the country's leading culinary destinations, is truly deserved. The experience is elegant without being pretentious. The food is exciting without being precious. And, the wine list is adventurous and classy, without being pompous. Sommelier Jim Rollston has compiled an extensive, 40-plus page wine list with a special focus on Sonoma, Italy and France. Reading it is a pleasure that any wine lover will relish. My suggestion is to put yourself in Jim's hands, and try the wine pairing menu to complement the meal. His pairings are simply sublime.
If you want to go it alone, start by exploring the half bottle selections. A half bottle will serve about 2-3 glasses, so you can enjoy various wines with the different tasting course menus. When the caviar cart calls, reach for a half bottle of the Bollinger Special Cuvee ($68). Then look to Alsace for a food-friendly half bottle of Riesling from Domaine Weinbach ($60). If you want a small bottle of red to complete the meal, the Copain Syrah from California ($60) will work with richer meat dishes.
For those who simply like to drink a bottle of wine or are with a larger group, don't-miss bottles on the list include some of my dream wines. If money is no object (and for many dining at Cyrus, it isn't), an amazing older vintage of world-class Champagne, Krug Clos du Mesnil will set you back $1,200. A 1978 Chateau de Beaucastel for $425. Italian superstars like Brunello di Montalcino 1995 from Soldera will tip the scales at more than $1,000. Collectors and drinkers of Burgundies could spend an entire meal just thumbing through the stunning array of white and red Burgundies.
Trying to save a few dollars? Jim also has many selections to choose from that are surprisingly affordable. The Skylark Pinot Blanc from Mendocino is only $40 and the Barbera d'Alba from Bartolo Mascarello is $67.
Bottom line is, no matter what you order, you'll be assured the wine is of the highest quality. Everything at Cyrus is.