Wine bars on the Peninsula
Although neither qualifies as a "wine bar" both Zibibbo and Lavanda in downtown Palo Alto might fill your need. Lavanda has an enormous wine list, but as I recall a fairly limited number of wines by the glass. Zibibbo's list is not as extensive, but has more by-the-glass selections and serves flights as well. Both have plenty of "snacks", eg pizzas, small plates, antipasti, etc. There is also a more traditional wine bar across the street from Zibibbo which has limited food options ... I'm blanking on the name.
750ml in downtown San Mateo is a wine bar that I sometimes frequent. What I like about it is that they have about twenty bottles of wine "on tap" - you buy a card, and go up to the machine and dispense one ounce pours of each wine. Each ounce is 1/10th of the price of a full bottle of that particular wine. They also have a bar section with some other tasting selections that are served by the bartender. It's a nice way to try a bunch of different wines, and a good place for wine newbies to learn about what they like and don't like.
I second a recommendation for Savvy Cellar in Redwood City.
It's intimate, however, so if looking for a big place,
might not be your style.
But we've really enjoyed it w/friends numerous times.
It truly has nice jazz trio's on Saturday evenings from 8pm-11pm, and is only a block away or so from the New Century Movie Theatre on Broadway.
Live music only Saturday's at Savvy Cellar, so well worth a trip there then! We've all 'reviewed' it while visiting, and think the volume level is just perfect for conversation, while at the same time enjoying the musicians. You can go to their calendar for which instruments are which Saturday.
Might be savvycellar.com but I'm not sure.
Anyway, they change their drinking menu every week or two,
and they can be really a neat selection. We often share or try a wine flight...you can do four or 6 reds, or 4 whites.
But flights are generally only recommended/accepted up at the bar itself.
There are also two cozy nooks at this little spot, which to me
seem like the perfect 'hideaway' for a couple in love.
Not really a hideaway, but just cozy. Right now, there are a few holiday lighs up too, so I'd say it's a nice time to check it out at least.
We sometimes go down to it, even in the middle of a show at the Fox Theatre or Little Fox. (both again, next door to Century...closer than the wine bar)
During intermissions, if craving some good wine...
it's a quick hop over. Enjoy! :-)