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):

<b>La Marca,</b> NV Prosecco, Italy, 11 percent alcohol, $17. A lively bubbly with layered flavors of white peach, honeysuckle and apple. A great value and a festive way to begin the evening.

<b>Incognito,</b> 2010 Lodi, California Red Blend, 14.5 percent, $18. This is an irresistible red with rustic appeal. It has bright red fruit and a great undercurrent of spice. Striking.

<b>Enotria,</b> 2010 Mendocino County Barbera, 14.5 percent, $18. It doesn't get any better for barbera than this. Feisty red fruit, smoky, meaty, with a crisp finish.

<b>Chandon,</b> NV California Ros? 13 percent, $18. A tasty sparkler with bright red fruit — strawberry and cherry — that's buoyed by great acidity. Nice mousse.

<b>Bella,</b> 2010 Rocky Ridge Vineyard, Rockpile Zinfandel, 14.3 percent, $45. A knockout zin with concentrated fruit. Notes of blackberry, cassis, plum and cracked black pepper. Ripe tannins. Lingering finish. Seamless.

<i>Want to share a current wine on your favorite restaurant's list? Email peg.melnik@ or check out her Tasting Room blog at</i>