Press Democrat wine writer Peg Melnik scopes out restaurant wine lists around the North Bay, looking for good value and the occasional splurge. This week's picks (prices are retail; restaurant markup varies):
Graziano, 2010 Mendocino County Carignane, 14.5 percent alcohol, $18. A full-bodied, earthy wine with notes of plum, herbs and spice. Firm tannins. Nice length.
Carmel Road, 2012 Monterey Pinot Noir, 13.5 percent, $22. A pinot with a seamless texture. Notes of red fruit, mineral and spice. Earthy.
Longboard Vineyards, 2011 Point Break North Coast Red Wine, 13.8 percent, $24. Surfers drink well if this wine is any indication. Concentrated notes of blackberry and cherry fruit, with a kick of spice in the mix. A knockout.
Gloria Ferrer, 2008 Carneros Brut Ros? 12.5 percent, $42. A bright, approachable ros? with notes of strawberry, cranberry and a hint of lemon. Fruity, but it still manages to have backbone. Lively mousse.
Ten Acre, 2011 Cummings Vineyard, Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, 14.3 percent, $55. A pinot with depth. Briary, with concentrated black and red fruit. Full-bodied, rich and complex. Lingering finish.