The Wine List

Female persuasion

Leslie Sbrocco is the author of Wine for Women: A Guide to Buying, Pairing, and Sharing Wine (William Morrow). She also delivers sound, jargon-free advice to all oenophiles through her column in the San Francisco Chronicle, in her appearances on PBS and CNN, and at the seminars she leads for guests of the 38 Kimpton boutique hotels. In between toasts, we asked what bottles she would put on her own table.

The powerful Catena Alamos Malbec 2003, from one of Argentina's best wineries, is worth twice the price. Malbec is the signature red grape of the South American country, and the wine is loaded with ripe, fruity character. $8

Great French Champagne is the ultimate splurge and the sensational Louis Roederer Cristal Champagne 1997 is no exception. The flavor is creamy but crisp and elegant. Pair it with caviar or oysters. $200

Eroica Columbia Valley Riesling 2003 is made by two of the world's leading wine producers, Germany's Dr. Loosen and Washington's Chateau Ste. Michelle. The floral aromas and peach notes give it the complexity Rieslings are known for. $20