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>Healdsburg Ranches, 2011 California Coastal Series Zinfandel</strong>, 14.5 percent alcohol, $13. A tasty zinfandel for the price. Briary, with aromas and flavors of cherry, blueberry and white pepper. Zesty finish. A good quaffer.
<strong>Greg Norman Estate, 2011 Shark Red Central Coast Red Blend,</strong> 13.9 percent, $15. A layered red blend that has a lot of flavors in the mix. Notes of blackberry pie, plum, blueberry, fig and sweet oak. Bright acidity. Crisp finish.
<strong>Robert Mondavi Winery, 2012 Napa Valley Carneros Pinot Noir,</strong> 14.5 percent, $26. An earthy pinot noir with complex aromas and flavors. Notes of cherry, white pepper, mineral and mushroom. Bright acidity. Lingering finish.