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):
Edna Valley, 2011 Central Coast Sauvignon Blanc, 13.9 percent alcohol, $15. A bright and lively sauvignon blanc with aromas and flavors of grapefruit, peach and guava. Good acidity. Crisp finish.
Graziano, 2011 Mendocino County Chenin Blanc, 13.5 percent, $15. A dry white with layered flavors. Notes of tropical fruit, melon and mineral. Lovely.
Carol Shelton, 2009 Xander Zin, Harris-Kratka Vineyard, Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, 14.8 percent, $33. A spot-on zin with red raspberry fruit, herbs and black pepper spice. Nice acidity. Spicy finish.
Field Stone, 2009 Staten Family Reserve, Alexander Valley Petite Sirah, 14.9 percent, $40. A zesty petite sirah with a great undercurrent of cracked black pepper. Notes of blackberry, black raspberry and herbs. Great structure. Nice length.
Penner-Ash, 2009 Zena Crown Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, 14.5 percent, $60. A pinot with depth and a great concentration of cherry and black cherry fruit flavors. Has some muscle. Lush texture. Lingering finish.