As someone inclined to pronounce terroir like a breed of dog, it’s comforting that wine snobbery is nowhere in sight at CooperVino, a new wine bar in Cupertino’s planned “downtown” development across from Vallco Mall. Though short on neighbors for the time being, the wine bar should more than hold its own until others arrive.

The restaurant and bar is decorated with a faux winery theme (although much of the furniture is reclaimed), complete with a “barrel room” which can be separated from the rest of the restaurant for private events. Though the décor may be faux, the knowledge behind the bar is real.

During a recent visit for lunch, our winetender Antonio was at ease educating two wine newbies at one end of the bar, while chatting with a winery employee at the other. A friend and I ordered two wine flights, each with three 2-ounce pours. Antonio thoroughly schooled us. My “Queen Chardonnay” flight ($16) consisted of the light, earthy Alpha Omega Unoaked ’13, the sharper and more alcohol-forward Storrs ’13 and the Lloyd by Robert Lloyd ’14, which reminded me, fresh off the Star Wars premiere, of intense buttered popcorn.

My friend ordered “The Sweet Life” flight ($14), with the Smith Story Rose of Pinot Noir ’14, and the Weingut Max Ferd Richter ‘14 Reisling Kabinett. They were out of the wine that usually makes up the third leg of the flight, but Antonio recommended a mellow and sweet Hugel that more than sufficed.

As for food, CooperVino’s menu sticks to California cuisine. We split a smoked salmon Panini ($13) with a side of pickled vegetables and a truffle oil mac and cheese ($14). A hungry diner might run up a hefty bill with CooperVino’s light tapas portion sizes, but after tasting the bread-crumbed mac and cheese, no one was complaining. The warm smoked salmon Panini was topped with mascarpone cheese, red onion and capers, the saltiness nicely complementing the refreshing chardonnays.

CooperVino’s happy hour from 2:30pm-6pm daily offers several $8 small plates and plus deals on cheese plates and select wines-by-the-glass. They also offer wine education classes for the curious, plus a wine club featuring new bottles monthly. A rotating cast of jazz musicians performs weekly acoustic sessions.

19800 Vallco Pkwy., Ste. 130, Cupertino, CA