Wine list

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):

Pacific Rim, 2011 Columbia Valley Gewurztraminer, 12 percent alcohol, $13. A vibrant gewurztraminer with crisp acidity. Aromas and flavors of peach, apricot and melon. A refreshing pick.

Korbel NV California Champagne Brut Ros? 12 percent, $13. An approachable sparkler with aromas and flavors of strawberry, apple and mineral. Bright acidity. Bubbly that's light on its feet.

J. Lohr, 2009 Los Osos Paso Robles Merlot, 13.5 percent, $13. A merlot with concentrated notes of blackberry, currant and cracked black pepper. Seamless texture. Lingering finish.

Chasseur 2010 Sonoma County Pinot Noir, 14.8 percent, $30. A pinot with depth. Great concentration of high-toned cherry fruit. Crisp acidity. Great minerality. Striking.

LWC Loring Wine Co., 2011 Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir, 14.8 percent, $32. Earthy, with notes of blackberry, black cherry, herbs and spice. Nice length. Very tasty.

Want to share a current wine on your favorite restaurant's list?

E-mail peg.melnik@ pressdemocrat.com or check out her Tasting Room blog at pressdemocrat.com.

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