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):
Green & Red Vineyard, 2010 Chiles Mill Vineyard, Napa Valley Zinfandel, 14.7 percent alcohol, $26. A bossy zin with a great concentration of blackberry and black cherry fruit. Spicy. Seamless texture. Long finish.
Carol Shelton Wines, 2009 Wild Thing Zinfandel, Mendocino County, 14.5 percent, $19. A tasty zin with bright, fresh fruit. Great undercurrent of spice. Nice length.
Miraflores, 2010 El Dorado Zinfandel, 14.9 percent, $25. A lush zin with generous fruit. Aromas and flavors of black fruit, herbs and spice. Lingering finish.
Edmeades, 2009 Perli Vineyard, Mendocino Ridge Zinfandel, 15.8 percent, $31. A ripe zin with notes of blackberry, plum and cracked black pepper. Zesty.
Collier Falls, 2007 Dry Creek Valley, 15.7 percent, $34. A layered zin with aromas and flavors of blackberry, black cherry, plum, spice and a hint of caramel on the finish. Tasty.
Storybook Mountain Vineyards, 2010 Mayacamas Range, Napa Valley, 14.8 percent, $36. A pretty zin with generous fruit and good acid. Deep flavors of blackberry and black raspberry fruit. Spicy finish.
Wilson, 2011 Bramble Creek, Alexander Valley, 16.2 percent, $36. A ripe zin, but not over the top. Aromas and flavors of blackberry, plum and cracked black pepper. Lingering finish.
Bella, 2010 Lily Hill, 14.6 percent, $42. A zin with a great concentration of blackberry fruit. Juicy. Lingering finish.
Limerick Lane, 2010 Limerick Lane Cellars, 14.4 percent, $44. A pretty zin with black and red fruit. Layered flavors. Bright acid. Nice length.