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.

<b>Las Rocas, 2013 Rose Calatayud, Spain,</b> 13.4 percent alcohol, $14. A full-bodied, fruit forward rose with crisp finish. Bright red high-toned fruit and a hint of spice. Delicious.

<b>Dry Creek Vineyard, 2013 Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County Sauvignon Blanc,</b> 14.1 percent, $14. A striking sauvignon blanc that's grassy and citrusy, with great minerality. Crisp finish.

<b>Wente, 2011 Sandstone, Livermore Valley, San Francisco Bay Merlot,</b> 13.5 percent. $18. This is a tasty merlot with aromas and flavors raspberry, plum and subtle spice. Well-integrated. Nice length.

<b>VML, 2013 Russian River Valley Gewurztraminer,</b> $23. Tropical fruit meets exotic spices. Notes of white flowers and vanilla. Manages to keep its balance with its bright citrus notes.

<b>J. Lohr "Gesture" Paso Robles Viognier,</b> 14.5 percent, $25. Floral, with tropical fruit and a lush texture. Bright and lively. Crisp and clean.

<i>Want to share a current wine on your favorite restaurant's list? E-mail or check out her Tasting Room blog at</i>