Swirl, sip, snack and repeat. What could be better than spending the afternoon with friends at a wine bar tasting and toasting in between bites of bruschetta? With the help of friendly and knowledgeable staff, wine bars provide a great opportunity to sample and explore the countless wine varietals available, plus a menu of small plates to pair with your wine makes the experience all the better. Whether you are a sommelier in training or just looking to a find a new favorite wine to enjoy with cheese, here are five popular wine bars South of San Francisco pouring glasses of wine alongside a menu of tasty bar bites. If we missed your favorite, please be sure to share it in the comments.

B Street & Vine

A glass of pinot noir and a selection of savory and sweet bruschetta at B Street & Vine.
A glass of pinot noir and a selection of savory and sweet bruschetta at B Street & Vine. (Jeff Cianci)

Located among numerous restaurants in downtown San Mateo, B Street & Vine stands out as a popular spot for enjoying a glass of wine and a plate of bruschetta. The restaurant menu includes a variety of sandwiches and dinner salads but is best known for the selection of bruschetta that are both savory and sweet. The most popular bruschetta creations are: prosciutto with figs and mascarpone; Tuscan bean with sun-dried tomatoes; and ricotta with dates and pistachios. With regard to wine, B Street & Vine offers a number of different wines by the glass and bottle, with the option to build your own flight of half glasses.

Customers at the bar inside B Street & Vine in San Mateo.
Customers at the bar inside B Street & Vine in San Mateo. (Jeff Cianci)
A glass of sauvignon blanc at B Street & Vine.
A glass of sauvignon blanc at B Street & Vine. (Jeff Cianci)

B Street & Vine
320 S B St. [map]
San Mateo, CA 94401
Ph: (650) 347-8463
Hours: Mon-Tues 11:30am-9pm; Wed-Sat 11:30am-10pm; Sun 2-9pm
Facebook: B Street and Vine
Twitter: @BStreetandVine
Price Range: $$ Entrees ($11-$17)

Enoteca La Storia

A crostini sampler at Enoteca La Storia.
A crostini sampler at Enoteca La Storia. (Jeff Cianci)

Taking its name “enoteca” from the Italian word for wine shop, this wine bar and restaurant in Los Gatos pours from a wine list with an Italian accent and offers a menu of Italian small plates and pasta. Serving both wines by the glass and a large collection of bottles for purchase, Enoteca La Storia is a comfortable place to enjoy wine whether you’re a connoisseur or casual sipper. The restaurant serves several crostinis with toppings such as spicy salami and truffle honey, a housemade fig spread with spec and mascarpone, and offers a sampling of all five if you can’t make a decision. Enoteca La Storia will soon be expanding to a second location in San Jose’s Little Italy neighborhood.

Inside Enoteca La Storia in Los Gatos.
Inside Enoteca La Storia in Los Gatos. (Jeff Cianci)
Gorgonzola dolcelatte with Acme bread and accompaniments at Enoteca La Storia.
Gorgonzola dolcelatte with Acme bread and accompaniments at Enoteca La Storia. (Jeff Cianci)
A glass of nero d'avola and rioja blanco at Enoteca La Storia.
A glass of nero d’avola and rioja blanco at Enoteca La Storia. (Jeff Cianci)

Enoteca La Storia
416 North Santa Cruz Ave. [map]
Los Gatos, California 95030
Ph: (408) 625-7272
Hours: Mon 12-9pm; Tue-Thu 12-10pm; Fri-Sat 12-11pm; Sun 12-8pm
Facebook: Enoteca La Storia
Twitter: @EnotecaLaStoria
Price Range: $$ Entrees ($11-$17)

Rootstock Wine Bar Los Gatos

A glass of zinfandel and rose at Rootstock Wine Bar.
A glass of zinfandel and rose at Rootstock Wine Bar. (Jeff Cianci)

Located at the base of the Santa Cruz mountains in downtown Los Gatos, Rootstock Wine Bar showcases local wineries as well as selections from around the globe. To complement the lengthy wine list, Rootstock offers a menu of small plates prepared with local ingredients, including empanadas, bruschettas, salads and sandwiches. Keeping with the local-driven wine list, Rootstock serves a selection of artisanal California cheeses such as the truffle tremor goat cheese by Cypress Grove which pairs beautifully with the silky pinot noirs from Santa Cruz and the central coast. Rootstock has recently expanded to a second location in Cupertino.

A cheeseboard at Rootstock Wine Bar with Marin French triple cream brie, Cypress Grove truffle tremor, pork rillette and Acme bread.
A cheeseboard at Rootstock Wine Bar with Marin French triple cream brie, Cypress Grove truffle tremor, pork rillette and Acme bread. (Jeff Cianci)
Inside Rootstock Wine Bar in Los Gatos.
Inside Rootstock Wine Bar in Los Gatos. (Jeff Cianci)

Rootstock Wine Bar Los Gatos
217 N Santa Cruz Ave. [map]
Los Gatos, CA 95030
Ph: (408) 354-7668
Hours: Mon-Wed 3-9pm; Thu 3-11pm; Fri-Sat 11:30am-12am; Sun 11:30am-9pm
Facebook: Rootstock Wine Bar
Twitter: @RootstockLG
Price Range: $$ Entrees ($11-$17)

Vintage Wine Bar

A cheese plate at Vintage Wine Bar.
A cheese plate at Vintage Wine Bar. (Jeff Cianci)

Located in the Santana Row shopping mall in San Jose, Vintage Wine Bar is the perfect destination to relax and enjoy people watching with friends over a glass of wine. The wine bar is located in a small building in the center courtyard of Santana Row, but has ample seating with a larger patio space. Vintage Wine Bar pours a number of whimsically named wine flights, such as the Party Chardy, as well as offering an extensive list of bottled wines and by the glass offerings with a strong Napa Valley representation. Foodwise, Vintage has a small menu that includes artisanal cheese plates and charcuterie. In addition to the wine bar, the nearby Vintage Wine Merchants sells an impressive selection of wine as well as hosting wine tastings and classes.

Inside Vintage Wine Bar on Santana Row in San Jose.
Inside Vintage Wine Bar on Santana Row in San Jose. (Jeff Cianci)
A glass of zinfandel and sparkling rose at Vintage Wine Bar.
A glass of zinfandel and sparkling rose at Vintage Wine Bar. (Jeff Cianci)

Vintage Wine Bar
368 Santana Row [map]
San Jose, CA 95128
Ph: (408) 260-1115
Hours: Mon-Wed 12-9pm; Thu 12-10pm; Fri-Sat 12-11pm; Sun 12-8pm
Facebook: Vintage Wine Merchants
Twitter: @VintageWineSR
Price Range: $$ Entrees ($11-$17)

Cin-Cin Wine Bar & Restaurant

The Korean fried chicken at Cin-Cin Wine Bar & Restaurant.
The Korean fried chicken at Cin-Cin Wine Bar & Restaurant. (Jeff Cianci)

Tucked away off the main drag of downtown Los Gatos, Cin-Cin Wine Bar & Restaurant has been awarded with numerous recognitions by Wine Spectator as well as being recommended in the 2015 San Francisco Michelin Guide. Popular happy hour specials include several wines by the glass, as well as cocktails and an eclectic menu of small plates including Korean fried chicken and truffled French fries. Alongside the regular menu, the restaurant serves an award-winning wine list with bottles and by-the-glass offerings from around the world, including a number of special flights.

A cheese plate at Cin-Cin Wine Bar & Restaurant with Brillat-Savarin, Ewe-nique and Dutch Gouda.
A cheese plate at Cin-Cin Wine Bar & Restaurant with Brillat-Savarin, Ewe-nique and Dutch Gouda. (Jeff Cianci)
Customers enjoying happy hour at Cin-Cin Wine Bar & Restaurant.
Customers enjoying happy hour at Cin-Cin Wine Bar & Restaurant. (Jeff Cianci)
A glass of prosecco and cabernet sauvignon at Cin-Cin Wine Bar & Restaurant.
A glass of prosecco and cabernet sauvignon at Cin-Cin Wine Bar & Restaurant. (Jeff Cianci)

Cin-Cin Wine Bar & Restaurant
368 Village Ln. [map]
Los Gatos, CA 95030
Ph: (408) 354-8006
Hours: Mon-Thu 4-10pm; Fri-Sat 4-11pm; Closed on Sunday
Facebook: Cin-Cin Wine Bar & Restaurant
Twitter: @CinCinwinebar
Price Range: $$ Entrees ($11-$17)

Bay Area Bites Guide to Five Popular Wine Bars South of San Francisco 24 March,2017Jeff Cianci

Author

Jeff Cianci

Jeff Cianci is a freelance food writer based in San Jose. While studying journalism in college, Jeff’s curiosity landed him at a busy California bistro where he experienced a crash course in culinary training over two summer breaks, learning on the job with a very patient chef as his mentor. Around the same time, Jeff married his journalism degree to his appreciation for the restaurant world and determined food writing would be his career path. In his work Jeff most enjoys profiling chefs and learning their background, finding a new favorite restaurant and sharing his experiences with others through his reviews and social media. In addition to KQED's Bay Area Bites, Jeff writes restaurant reviews for Metro Silicon Valley and new restaurant guides for Eater National. Follow Jeff on Twitter @Cheffreycianci.

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