At our first restaurant, we head over the bridge for daily made-from-scratch Mexican recipes with home-grown harvests at Cosecha in Oakland’s historic Swan Market. From there, we take the winding back roads to a hidden haunt tucked away on the Carquinez Strait in Port Costa, where Bull Valley Roadhouse puts comfort cuisine back on the map. Finally, Michael Warring in Vallejo boasts molecular cuisine with stellar presentations plus down-to-earth service and style.
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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. I will also share some wine (beer and spirits) tips with each episode. This week I discuss the role of tannin in wine.
2013 Virage, Rosé, Napa Valley, California ($26)
Being a pink wine lover, I was impressed by the elegance and purity of this rosé. Its deep salmon hue is reminiscent of great rosés of southern France. Admiring the color, however, is only the beginning. Mineral aromas and underlying complexity make it a serious drink, but the mouthwatering, succulent flavors make it seriously fun to sip. Serve as an aperitif on Friday, alongside Sunday brunch, or simply with Tuesday take-out.
2012 Banfi Chianti Classico, Italy ($15)
Want a wine to enjoy with a variety of dishes from roast chicken to pizza, or grilled salmon or barbeque ribs? Then reach for this palate-refreshing red. Chianti Classico is a zone in the Chianti region of Tuscany and rarely can you find such an affordable version that still showcases the classic characteristics of Sangiovese. This red grape is married with Cabernet Sauvignon to produce a medium-bodied wine with vibrant acidity, juicy fruit notes and a swash of tannins, which offsets the richness of many foods.
2013 Groth Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley, California ($20)
A world-class Sauvignon Blanc that balances the citrusy crispness of the variety with the lush fruit notes that come from basking in the Napa sunshine. Groth — founded by Dennis and Judy Groth in 1982 — is one of Napa’s famed producers. Known for structured, age-worthy Cabernet, their Sauvignon Blanc is a wine to discover…and then drink regularly. This is one of my favorite California whites.