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):
Monte Volpe, 2009 Mendocino County, Primo Rosso Red Blend, 14.5 percent, $9. A juicy red with layered notes of cherry, herbs and snappy spice. A tasty quaff.
Evodia, 2011 Altovinum Old Vines Garnacha, Calatayud, Spain, Red Wine, 15 percent, $10. A bright wine with notes of tart cherry, herbs and cracked black pepper. Tangy fruit. Bright acidity.
Shebang! Sixth Cuvee California Red Wine, 14.2 percent, $14. A rustic red wine with notes of cherry, herbs and spice. Good balance. Zesty finish.
Borsao, 2010 Garnacha, Borja, Spain, 14 percent, $16. A crisp garnacha with brambly fruit flavors and soft tannins. Notes of raspberry and spice. Nice length.
Aurora Point, 2011 Stonestreet, Alexander Mountain Estate Sauvignon Blanc, 14.5 percent, $40. A fleshy sauvignon blanc with tangy flavors. Notes of melon, pear and a hint of jalape?. Nice texture. Lingering finish.