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):
<strong>Skywalker Vineyards, 2012 Marin County Pinot Noir Ros?</strong> 14.4 percent alcohol, $18. A hot-shot ros?with bright acidity, tangy fruit and refreshing minerality. Crisp finish.
<strong>Davis Bynum, 2011 River West Vineyard, Russian River Valley, Sonoma County Chardonnay, </strong>14.5 percent, $25. A dreamy, lush chardonnay. Gorgeous. Notes of apple, pear and toast. A chardonnay-lover's chardonnay. Striking.
<strong>Mill Creek, 2010 Alexander Valley, Sonoma County Merlot,</strong> 14.5 percent, $28. A seamless merlot with snappy, cracked black pepper, herbs and concentrated cherry and blackberry flavors. Spicy finish. Juicy.
<strong>DVX, 2007 Mumm Napa, Napa Valley Sparkling Ros?</strong> 12.5 percent, $70. Elegant, with great minerality. Bright fruit, with a creamy texture. Nice mousse.
<strong>Pahlmeyer, 2011 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay,</strong> 14.9 percent, $70. A silky chardonnay that's exceedingly generous — rich and opulent. It's creamy, with a lush texture. Notes of gardenia and honeysuckle. Sexy.