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):
Sebastiani, 2010 Sonoma County Zinfandel, 14.5 percent, $17, A snappy zin with notes of black raspberry, blueberry and cracked black pepper. Long finish. Striking.
Gnarly Head, 2011 California Authentic White, 11.5 percent. $10. A bright and breezy summer white, with notes of apple, honeysuckle and lemon zest. Crisp, clean acidity, and a nice kick of spice.
McManis Family Vineyards, 2012 California Viognier, 13.5 percent, $11. A rich viognier with aromas and flavors of peach, honey and pear. Aromatic. Seamless texture. Nice length.
Shebang! North Coast Cuvee II White Wine, 13.7 percent, $12. A vibrant white wine with nice acid and layered flavors. Notes of peach, mineral and a hint of honey. Lingering finish.
Dry Creek Vineyards, 2012 Clarksburg Dry Chenin Blanc, 12.5, $12. A lively chenin blanc with great minerality. Notes of melon, white peach and apple. Citrusy finish. Lovely.