Press Democrat wine writer Peg Melnik scopes out wine lists around the North Bay, looking for good value and the occasional splurge. This week's picks (prices are retail; restaurant markup varies):
<strong>Basa, 2012 Blanco Rueda, Spain White Wine,</strong> 13 percent alcohol, $10. A very tasty wine with crisp acidity racing through it. Aromas and flavors of lemon, lime, jalape? and mineral. Zesty finish.
<strong>Easton, 2010 Amador County Zinfandel,</strong> 14.5 percent, $18. This juicy zin is a knockout because of its deep, rich, black-raspberry flavor. It also has notes of blackberry, herbs and cracked black pepper. Striking.
<strong>Roederer Estate, NV Anderson Valley Brut,</strong> 12 percent, $23. A bright sparkler, with notes of pear, hazelnut and brioche. Crisp finish. Impressive.
<strong>Domaine Carneros by Taittinger,</strong> 2009 Blanc de Noir, Brut, 12 percent, $35. An elegant sparkler, round and toasty. Yeasty, with notes of pear, apple and brioche. Nice mousse.
<strong>JCB, No. 3 Pinot Noir,</strong> 13 percent, $123. An impressive pinot with depth. Aromas and flavors of Bing cherry, herbs and white pepper. Lingering finish. Lovely.