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):
Tin Roof, 2011 California Chardonnay, 13.5 percent alcohol, $10. A tasty, aromatic chardonnay. Creamy, with notes of apple, citrus, toast and crisp acidity. Balanced. Uncomplicated. A budget-savvy pick.
Four Vines, 2010 The Sophisticate Sonoma County Zinfandel, 14.8 percent, $20. A bossy zin with concentrated blackberry bramble fruit flavors. Briary, with notes of black cherry, licorice and cracked black pepper. Tangy finish.
G.G. Di Arie, 2008 Sierra Legend Syrah-blend, 14.1 percent, $35. A syrah blend with great bones. Complex, with notes of blackberry, cherry, chocolate, vanilla and coffee. Edgy.
Enkidu, 2010 Tina Marie, Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, 14.4 percent, $45. An elegant pinot with refreshing acidity. Notes of cherry, herbs and spice. Great minerality. Nice length.
Arista, 2010 Mononi Vineyard, Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, 14.4 percent, $45. A striking pinot noir that is complex and silky. Aromas and flavors of cherry, raspberry, blackberry, violet and chocolate. Lingering finish. Impressive.