Check, Please! Bay Area Season 11 episode 16 airs Thursday, October 20 at 7:30pm on KQED 9. See other television airtimes. And never miss an episode by subscribing to the video podcast.

Check, Please! visits the North Beach landmark now serving an Italian-inspired menu and specialty cocktails at Tosca Cafe. Next, we go to Los Gatos where American Bistro fare is served up in an elegant setting full of neighborly charm at Nick’s Next Door. Last, but certainly not least, the poetry begins, on the menu, in the glass and on the plate with the orchestrated experience at San Francisco’s Atelier Crenn.

Host Leslie Sbrocco and guests having fun on the set of the episode 16 of season 11.
Host Leslie Sbrocco and guests having fun on the set of the episode 16 of season 11. (Wendy Goodfriend)

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Host Leslie Sbrocco tasting wine.
Host Leslie Sbrocco tasting wine. (Wendy Goodfriend)

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, beer, and spirits the guests and I drank on set during the taping of the show. I will also share some wine tips with each episode. This week I discuss: Creative Gift Ideas for Drink Lovers

Lamiable Grand Cru Rosé Grand Cru Brut, Champagne, France $60
Pink Champagne makes me happy and this a vibrantly garnet sparkler puts a smile on my face. A mostly Pinot Noir-based blend with Chardonnay, the wine is rich and fruity. Not a Champagne for those who like lean and crisp, this is generous style. Paired with tuna tartare or seared salmon, it’s a bubbly for lovers of lush.

2014 Tasca d’Almerita “Tenuta Regaliali” Grillo, Sicilia DOC, Italy $22
When people ask me to recommend an adventurous white, I suggest Grillo. It’s my go-to white wine for unique citrusy freshness layered with a fleshy texture. Tasca’s Cavallo Delle Fate version of the native Sicilian white variety is complex and classy. It’s a stunning example of Grillo and ranks among the best from Sicily.

2012 Kutch Pinot Noir “McDougall Ranch” Sonoma Coast, California $55
Jamie Kutch is a winemaker with personality – just like the wines he crafts. Each of his vineyard-designate bottlings is a mirror that reflects the place they originate. The McDougall is always my top choice in his lineup of Pinot Noir as it expresses the succulence of a Pinot fruit while maintaining the vibrancy and elegance for which Kutch wines are known.

2012 J. Lohr “Cuvée POM” Paso Robles, California $50
Jerry Lohr is a pioneer in the California wine industry. Founding J. Lohr in the early 1970s with vineyards in the Monterey area, he brought attention to what is now considered a world-class growing region. Even though the winery has a decades-deep history in central California, this wine is an ode to Bordeaux in France. Inspired by the blends of the Right Bank – in this case the Pomerol region – it’s a blend of mostly Merlot and Cabernet Franc with a kick of Malbec. These grapes give a velvety texture to the red with concentrated dark fruit flavors and exotic, spicy aromas. It’s a wine to wrap yourself in and indulge.

Wines that guests drank on the set of the sixteenth episode of season 11.
Wines that guests drank on the set of the sixteenth episode of season 11. (Wendy Goodfriend)

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