Press Democrat wine writer Peg Melnik scopes out wine lists around the North Bay, looking for good value and the occasional splurge.
This week's picks (prices are retail; restaurant markup varies.)
<strong>Dry Creek Vineyard, 2013 Clarksburg Dry Chenin Blanc,</strong> 13 percent alcohol, $12. A chenin blanc that's a perfect summer pick - light and lively with plenty of citrus notes. Flavors of apple, white peach and melon. Crisp and refreshing. An absolute steal for the price.
<strong>Graziano, 2013 Mendocino County Sauvignon Blanc,</strong> 13.5 percent, $15. A vibrant sauvignon blanc with aromas and flavors of grapefruit, herbs and spice. Zesty finish. Nice length.
<strong>River Road Family Vineyards & Winery, 2013 Reserve Russian River Valley Unoaked Pinot Gris,</strong> 13.2 percent, $16. A lovely pinot gris, delicate and yet complex. Notes of pear, apricot and mineral. Subtle, yet it makes a strong impression. A smart pick.
<strong>Landmark Vineyards, 2012 Overlook Pinot Noir,</strong> 14.5 percent, $25. This is a complex pinot noir with bright acid. It has a great range of fruit - black cherry, plum and strawberry - with a seamless texture. The breakdown is: 53 percent San Luis Obispo, 40 percent Sonoma and 7 percent Monterey counties. If this vintage isn't on the wine list quite yet, simply pick the 2011.
<strong>J.Lohr, 2012 Arroyo Seco Monterey, Fog's Reach, Pinot Noir,</strong> 14.9 percent, $35. Burgundian-styled with great structure and a touch of earth. Notes of strawberry, herbs and spice. Toasty finish. Tasty.
<em>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 tastingroom.blogs.pressdemocrat.com.</em>