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):

Chateau de Beaupre, 2009 Chateau D' Aix en Provence Rose, 13 percent, $10. A crisp rose with bright notes of cherry, pomegranate, mineral and spice. Dry finish. A steal for the price.

Bonterra, 2008 Mendocino County Merlot, 13.5 percent alcohol, $14. An approachable, seamless merlot with soft tannins. Aromas and flavors of cranberry, plum, vanilla and toast. Bright. Balanced.

Davis Family Vineyards, 2008 Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey County Riesling, 13 percent, $18. A dry, crisp riesling with notes of honey, a hint of apricot and mineral. Has great lift. Balanced. Nice length.

Villa del Monte, 2009 Regan Vineyard, Santa Cruz Mountains Reserve Pinot Noir, 14.9 percent, $28. A spicy pinot with a lush texture. Aromas and flavors of jammy red fruit, cracked black pepper, toast and vanilla. Lingering finish.

La Follette, 2008 Manchester Ridge Vineyard, Mendocino Ridge Pinot Noir, 14.6 percent, $50. A silky pinot noir with great depth. Earthy, with notes of cherry, raspberry, a hint of plum, mineral and spice. Great acidity, yet it manages to have generous, lush flavors. Lovely.

Want to share a current wine on your favorite restaurant's list? E-mail peg.melnik@ or check out her Tasting Room blog at