Port Wine (credit: Thinkstock)

Traditionally classified as a sweet dessert wine, port wine has been gaining mainstream popularity in recent years. While once relegated solely to the end of a meal, many wine sippers are now looking to enjoy a glass of port on its own. The South Bay offers a number of spots to enjoy a glass of port, ranging from high-end steakhouses to casual neighborhood wine bars. Here are five of the top places for port wine in the South Bay.

Vintage Wine Merchants
377 Santana Row, Ste. 1135
San Jose, CA 95128
(408) 260-1115
www.vintagewinemerchants.com

Located along swank Santana Row, Vintage Wine Merchants is an inviting wine bar catering to both oenophiles and casual sippers alike. The well-stocked shop’s wine bar menu includes a generous selection of foreign and domestic reds and whites available by the glass. Select tasting flights are offered, including a port flight with three one and a half ounce pours for $22. Individual half glasses are also available, as well as a small menu of small plate snacks and chocolates.

Vino Vino
87 N. San Pedro St.
San Jose, CA 95110
(408) 703-2333
www.vinovinobar.com

Downtown San Jose’s Vino Vino takes pride in being the perfect transition between stogy wine bar and beer-soaked party bar. The target clientele tends to be social, food loving and curious about wine. In addition to 13 different wines on tap, the menu also offers a Derose port out of Hollister, available by both the bottle or the glass. Round out a pleasant evening of sipping by pairing with a tantalizing dish of crème brulee or tiramisu.

Bacalhau Grill & Trade Rite Market
1555 Alum Rock Ave.
San Jose, CA 95116
(408) 259-6101
www.bacalhaugrill.com

Located in San Jose, Bacalhau Grill is the perfect spot for anyone looking for a taste of Portugal or Brazil. This neighborhood market-restaurant combination sells a wide variety of food and drink products essential to putting together a native Portugese meal. In addition to imported wines, the shop stocks an extensive selection of bottles of port. Bottles are also available to accompany a sit-down meal at the grill. The broad dine-in menu includes everything from traditional Portugese breakfast items to linguica kabobs and marinated fried rabbit.

The Table
1110 Willow St.
San Jose, CA 95125
(408) 638-7911
thetablesj.com

Nestled in the heart of downtown Willow Glen, The Table is a neighborhood restaurant that dishes up seasonal American cuisine. Open seven days a week for dinner, and for brunch Wednesday through Sunday, The Table has a strong commitment to integrating with the local farming community as well as making a majority of ingredients from scratch. The wine list includes a number of sweet wines, including a true port as well as a zinfandel port from the Meyer Family Vineyards in Mendocino. Diners frequently enjoy a progressive wine experience at The Table, with many meals rounded out by dessert paired with a glass of port.

Arcadia
100 W. San Carlos St.
San Jose, CA 95113
(408) 278-4555
www.michaelmina.net/arcadia

Arcadia is chef Michael Mina’s downtown San Jose modern style steakhouse. The menu boasts generous cuts of prime, dry-aged and wagyu beef, as well as a luxurious selection of seafood. While the wine list alone is impressive, Arcadia has one of the most extensive selections of port in the area. With well over ten varied choices, the port list includes several affordable options as well as 35 and 40-year vintage bottles.

Joanna Metheny is a freelance writer covering all things South Bay. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.