Weekly Wine Picks | Rosé, Sauvignon Blanc, Chianti Classico

Wine-Picks-Season-1-Episode-1On the Season 10 premiere episode we showcased some amazing restaurants but as always we had fantastic wine to share with our new guests!

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.

My Favorite Eateries of Check, Please! Bay Area’s Past Seasons


We start shooting the newest season of Check, Please! Bay Area in a few weeks so why not catch up on seasons past? Enjoy a walk down memory lane of great restaurants, a jewelry extravaganza, and my ever-changing hairstyles (some pretty bad hair days in those early seasons…ouch).

The hardest part of my job on the show is that I don’t get to give my opinion even though I visit many of the restaurants before shooting. I clench my teeth sometimes when I think the guests have it all wrong, but there’s nothing I can do!

So for the first time, I’ve highlighted my favorite eateries from each season. (BTW: These are only chosen from the restaurants I’ve personally eaten at.) Let me know your thoughts.

Season 9

King of Falafel (SF), Hana (Rohnert Park), 20 Spot (SF), Murray Circle (Sausalito), Old Jerusalem (SF), Maykadeh (SF).

*This is my favorite season for the wine tips series. Don’t miss my tango ode to Argentina and a battle of Spanish wines.

Season 8

Copita (Sausalito), Live Sushi (SF), Bistro Vis à Vis (Greenbrae), Poesia (San Francisco), Willi’s Wine Bar (Santa Rosa), SPQR (San Francisco), Zare at Fly Trap (San Francisco)

Season 7

Park Tavern (San Francisco), Outerlands (SF),  Wexler’s (SF), Big 4 Restaurant (SF), 1300 on Fillmore (SF), Hillstone (SF)

Season 6

DOSA on Fillmore (SF), the girl & the fig (Sonoma), Paxti’s Pizza (SF), Risibisi (Petaluma), The Elite Cafe (SF)

Season 5

Panama Hotel (Marin), La Ciccia (SF), Butterfly (SF), Marnee Thai (SF), Farina Focaccia & Cucina Italiana (SF), Brown Sugar Kitchen (Oakland), Saha (SF)

Season 4

Mustard’s Grill (Yountville), Acquerello (SF), Poggio (Sausalito), Coco500 (SF)

Season 3

DaFlora (SF), NOPA (SF), Stella Alpina Osteria (Burlingame), The Slanted Door (SF)

Season 2

B44 (SF), La Folie (SF), La Forêt (San Jose), Sociale (SF), Buckeye Roadhouse (Marin)

Season 1

The start of it all! Kokkari Estiatorio (SF), The House (SF), Limon (SF)