Looking to try the best wines of Northern California but no time to get out to visit wine country? Here are six bars that let you sample wines from our local wine regions (Santa Clara Valley and the Santa Cruz Mountains), Napa, Sonoma, and around the world.
Wine Affairs, 1435 The Alameda, San Jose
A wine store in the Rose Garden neighborhood that stocks small and boutique wines from around the world. The shop offers a tapas-style food menu from 4pm to close. Wine Affairs is unique in that it also offers a very impressive craft beer selection and hosts beer tastings for both Silicon Valley Beer Week and San Francisco Beer Weeks. Open daily. Happy hour from 3-8pm on Thursday and all day on Wednesday and Sundays.
Vino Vino, 87 N San Pedro St, San Jose
Unpretentious wine tasting in San Jose's San Pedro Square Market. Their motto is "wine without attitude" and the bar looks and feels like a neighborhood pub. They have about a dozen local and regional wines on tap and about 30 more by the bottle, an outdoor seating patio on San Pedro Street, and a full food menu. Open daily. Happy hour Monday through Friday, 4-6pm and all day Sunday.
The Village California Bistro & Wine Bar, 378 Santana Row, San Jose
A wine bar and restaurant with an award-winning wine list that specializes in small production wineries (2000 cases or less) and mostly local California wines, including many rare and hard to find wines. The bistro offers a a diverse menu of fresh, locally sourced foods and outdoor seating in the heart of Santana Row. Open daily. Happy hour (bar only) from 3-5pm.
Vintage Wine Bar, 368 Santana Row, San Jose
The wine bar at Santana Row's wine store, Vintage Wine Merchants. The bar offers about a dozen themed tasting flights (Pinot Paradise, Party Chardy, Bold & Jammy), a small-plates menu, and a buy one glass, get one glass free happy hour, Monday through Wednesday.
20twenty Cheese Bar, 1389 Lincoln Ave., San Jose
A unique cheese, beer, and wine bar in the heart of the Willow Glen neighborhood. The bar offers 20 craft beers and 20 wines on tap and an always-changing menu of artisan cheese, charcuterie, and small plate dishes. Discounts on bottles of wine and beer-to-go every day. Happy hour on Sunday from 1-7pm. Closed on Mondays.