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>Whitehaven, 2013 Marlborough, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc,</strong> 13 percent alcohol, $20. A sassy sauvignon blanc that's grassy and tropical. Aromas and flavors of grapefruit, lime and a hint of jalape? makes it edgy. A tasty pick if you like New Zealand-styled sauvignon blancs.
<strong>Flora Springs, 2011 Napa Valley Merlot,</strong> 13.5 percent, $25. A striking, earthy merlot that's seamless. It has depth, with notes of concentrated cherry, herbs and black pepper. Lingering finish.
<strong>The Prisoner, 2012 Napa Valley Red Wine,</strong> 15.2 percent, $40. A jammy blend with a big personality. Aromas and flavors of black raspberry, cherry and pepper. Ripe, but not over-the-top.