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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
Wine of the Week: 2004 Yalumba Shiraz/Viognier, Barossa, Australia
Yalumba is one of Australia's success stories. A family-owned property founded in 1849, the winery ranks among my favorites from Down Under. Their lush, dark-berry scented Shiraz is actually co-fermented with a dash of the white grape Viognier to add complexity, intensity, and elegance to the wine. Try this beauty with lamb, sausage pizza, or duck breast.
What to Sip: Kirala
If you're not acquainted with sake -- the Japanese alcoholic beverage made from rice -- then Kirala is the spot to learn. You can take a delicious journey through various types of sake and discover the differences with their signature sampling menu.
To make sake, rice is polished then fermented. Depending upon the polishing level of the rice, sake is separated into categories including junmai (pronounced june-mi), gingo (gin-joe), and finally, daigingo (dye-gin-joe). These correspond to the various styles and quality of sake, and all three are worth a taste test.
Kirala offers traditional carafes of sake, so you can enjoy a small amount or you can order a whole bottle. I recommend the "Intro Tasting Flight" for less than $10 to sample selections from all three categories. If you are already an aficionado and want to splurge on a whole bottle of ethereal yet sultry sake, try the Masumi "Yumedono" Daigingo for a mere $128. Serious sake.