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, 2011 Mendocino County Pinot Grigio, 13.5 percent alcohol, $15. A floral white with aromas and flavors of pear, melon, grapefruit and honeysuckle. Crisp acidity. Seamless texture. Lovely.

Groth, 2011 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc, 13.9 percent, $18. A rich sauvignon blanc with vibrant citrus, melon and spice. Creamy texture. Bright finish.

Enotria, 2009 Mendocino County Barbera, 14.5 percent, $18. A tasty barbera with bright blackberry flavors and refreshing acidity. Balanced. Soft tannins. Earthy.

Echelon, 2010 Alexander Valley Collection Cabernet Sauvignon, 13.5 percent, $18. This tasty cab is a steal. Layered aromas and flavors of black cherry, blackberry, chocolate and anise. Firm tannins. Nice length.

Longboard Vineyards, 2011 Russian River Valley Sonoma County Sauvignon Blanc, 13.5 percent, $20. A sauvignon blanc with tasty notes of grapefruit, herbs and spice. Zesty finish.

Geyser Peak Winery, 2011 River Ranches Block Collection Russian River Valley, Sauvignon Blanc, 13.5 percent, $21. Layered sauvignon blanc with notes of peach, quince and lemongrass. Nice acidity. Crisp finish.

Mossback, 2009 Chalk Hill Cabernet Sauvignon, 13.9 percent, $25. A concentrated cab with notes of blackberry, chocolate, leather and spice. A cab with good bones. Seamless, with ripe tannins.

Merry Edwards, 2009 Meredith Estate Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, 14.5 percent, $57. A complex pinot with notes of blackberry, plum, violets and tobacco. Seamless texture. Lingering finish.

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