Tastings & Classes

Stop by for our weekend free tastings and check back here often for our wine class schedule, wine dinners and festivals through out the year, including our One Sip at a Time series.

Call us at 703.356.6500 or email us at wineteam@chainbridgecellars.com to find out what's coming up or make your reservations.


Sizzling Italian Sangiovese and Beautiful Burgundy – Free Tastings Friday/Saturday, Dec. 19 & 20

It’s an exciting time of year, and that calls for an even more exciting than usual weekend tasting agenda.  Join It will be a busy weekend, but not too busy to stop and enjoy some great wine!  We’ll have five different selections for you to sample this weekend, all perfect for Holiday giving, sharing, and sipping.  Come by Friday from 3-7pm or Saturday from noon-4pm and sample these gems:

Villa Jolanda Holiday Italian Sparkling Wine – An annual December favorite, this frothy, fun, Italian sparkler made from 100% Prosecco shows as well in the glass as it does in the bright blue Holiday bottle.  Even brighter and juicier than last year, it’s a very tasty value.

Dom Larue Saint-Aubin 1er Cru Murgers des Dents de Chien 2009 – A rich, creamy, and wide open white Burgundy from a 1er Cru vineyard called “Teeth of the Dog” for the sharp stones that jut up along its sides.  A great value in 1er Cru Chardonnay from our great friend, Didier Larue.

Guillon Marsannay Clos des Portes 2012 – This could just be the perfect Christmas-time Pinot Noir, with the dark, rich, fruit needed to stand up to beef or lamb and the earthy complexity to sing with duck, goose, or pork.  You can cellar it if you like, but it’s awfully fun to drink right now!

Voliero Rosso Di Montalcino 2012 – The warm weather in 2012 left some top Brunello di Montalcino vineyards struggling, but was pretty kind to this outstanding (Wine Advocate 90 point) “baby Brunello” from Ucceliera’s Andrea Cortonesi.   Lithe, lovely, and a fine bottle for any holiday meal.

Tenuta di Valgiano Palistorti Rosso 2011 – Is this more like a maturing Brunello di Montalcino (dark fruit, leather, balsamic, earth) or a top Sangiovese-based super-Tuscan like Tignanello (juicy and ripe with a whiff of crushed herb)?  Neither and both, but it’s certainly outstanding and worth your attention!

We’ll have treats from the cheese case out to sample and plenty of fresh-baked bread from Lyon Bakery to take home both days as well.  A great chance to sip and savor while you shop.  Join us!

"One Sip at a Time" Wine Classes - The 2015 Schedule

One Sip at a Time classes focus on wine basics like how to taste, evaluate, and talk about wine, while helping you identify the wines and flavors you enjoy most. You can join us for the full series or just come by for a class or two. Course fee for each class is $25.

Sign up for any of the core classes, which take place the second Thursday of each month at 7:15 pm (except August) and last about 90 minutes. In addition, you can sign up for "Deep Dives" into some of the world's greatest grapes on six Sundays throughout the  year. 

Reserve your seats by calling us at 703.356.6500, emailing us at wineteam@chainbridgecellars.com, or just stopping by the store. For more wine class options, check out our winemaker/importer classes.


Coming in 2015 ...

Tasting and Talking about Whites
Second Thursday of January (Jan. 8, 2015), 7:15 pm

At one level, what could be easier than tasting wine: Tip your glass and swallow! At another level, it seems more intimidating: Why is everyone swirling their glasses? Why are they saying they taste star fruit, melon and spice? Taste through six different wines and learn the tricks for smelling, tasting, and feeling everything a wine has to offer. We’ll focus exclusively on white wines in this session, where you’ll sip your way to a better understanding of why wines taste the way they do, how to describe what you’re tasting and – most importantly of all – what kinds of wines you really love.

Great Grenache: A One Sip at a Time Deep Dive
Sunday, Jan. 18, 2015, 5:00 pm

Grenache is one of the most important grape varieties in the world of wine and covers more acres of vineyard than any other. So, why does it play second fiddle to Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon when folks list the great red grapes of the world? Beats us, because we love Grenache, and in this One Sip at a Time Deep Dive session we’ll show you why. You’ll taste a great white Grenache from Spain to open and then explore how this gutsy, bold, red grape expresses itself around the world. Examples from Australia, the USA, Sardinia, Spain and France will all delight, including a mainly Grenache Chateauneuf du Pape to bring things to a rousing close. Join us to see do how great Grenache can be – One Sip at a Time.

Tasting and Talking about Reds
Second Thursday of February (Feb. 12, 2015), 7:15 pm

A natural continuation of our white wine class, but no previous class or experience necessary! We’ll do a quick recap on tasting skills then dive right in to helping you understand what’s happening in your mouth when you take a taste of Cabernet, Merlot and more.When we’re done, you’ll understand how acidity, fruit, alcohol and tannin work together to create balance and grace and the differences between light, medium, and full-bodied reds. Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Grenache and other great red grapes take center stage in this fast- paced, delicious time of tasting, sharing and learning about wine.

Wine Doesn’t Get Wrinkles: What Happens When it Ages??
Second Thursday of March (March 12, 2015), 7:15 pm

What happens when a wine ages – does it get better? Does it get different? Can I decant a young wine to make it taste mature? We have lots of information and opinions to share during this fun, free-wheeling session.
Taste what happens when a wine is decanted, and compare a current release red and white with one that has five or more years in cellar. Is older better? Is young and fresh the way to go? You’ll definitely have your own opinions to share the next time someone says a bottle “isn’t ready”!

Cabernet Sauvignon - A One Sip at a Time Deep Dive
Sunday, March 22, 2015, 5:00 pm

An essential grape in most ‘steak house’ wines, Cabernet Sauvignon, with its complex aromas and dark berry flavors, is one of the most popular red grapes in the world. The most famous examples of Cabernet come from Bordeaux and California’s Napa Valley, and while you’ll certainly taste those, you’ll also taste some Cabernet from areas that you might not think of right away when you think of Cabernet. Join us for a fun, casual exploration of this bold, structured varietal.

Good Wines Gone Bad
Second Thursday of April (April 9, 2015), 7:15 pm

The wine you’ve just opened is not as exciting as you expected. Is it flawed? Or you’re at a fine restaurant and the waiter presents the wine. You get a pour and something doesn’t smell right ... now what? Learn how to answer these questions in this class. Sample wines in perfect condition, and then taste some of the most common ways things go wrong. You’ll learn what a “corked” wine is and how to spot oxidation, heat damage and more. And we’ll give you some great strategies for dealing with the wine waiter anytime you have questions or concerns about a bottle.

Chardonnay - A One Sip at a Time Deep Dive
Sunday, May 3, 2015, 5:00 pm

Often referred to as the winemaker’s grape, Chardonnay is a chameleon. From steely, citrusy Chablis to full-throttle, lavishly oaked California examples, Chardonnay can taste radically different depending on where it was grown and how it was made. You might even taste one from a place you’d never expect to find Chardonnay, just to keep things interesting! In this casual, Sunday-evening class, you’ll explore the many faces of Chardonnay.

Old World vs New World Reds
Second Thursday of May (May 14, 2015), 7:15 pm

Taste a Cab/Merlot blend from Bordeaux and one from outside Europe. Try an oaked Pinot Noir from the Russian River Valley and one from Burgundy. Same grapes, different wines. What’s going on? Learn the answer as you sip pairs of wines from Europe and the USA. We’ll cover weather, winemaking, and soils, along with the differences between Old World and New World winemaking.

Old World vs New World Whites
Second Thursday of June (June 11, 2015), 7:15 pm

Discover the similarities and differences between white wines grown in classic European wine regions and their New World counterparts. As you sip, find the common thread in Chardonnay from Burgundy vs. California, and discover the stunning difference between classic Sancerre and New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Then compare Mosel vs. Clare Valley Riesling ... a fun and delicious contrast!

Hooray for Rose!
Second Thursday of July (July 9, 2015) – 7:15 pm

See the world through rose colored glasses!  We'll kick off the dog days of summer by learning all about everyone's favorite warm-weather sipper.  During this fun and casual class, you'll try iconic, pale salmon styles from Provence, to pink fizz, to more unusual styles from around the world.  You'll try an array of rose with complementary snacks, and learn all about how those gorgeous shades of pink get that way!

Sauvignon Blanc – A One Sip at a Time Deep Dive
Sunday, July 19, 2015, 5:00 pm

our every-other-month Sunday series gives you a “Deep Dive” into a single important grape variety – and this month we’re focused on a great summer white, Sauvignon Blanc. Aromatic, sometimes even pungent, Sauvignon Blanc is like that friend we all have who makes his or her presence known the second they enter a room! Despite its distinctive varietal character, there are many different ways to express this popular, citrusy varietal.

Six (Other) Whites You Should Know 
Second Thursday of September (Sept. 10, 2015), 7:15 pm

No Chardonnay. Not a taste of Sauvignon Blanc. Nope, we’re going to delve into some of the world’s most interesting whites, many of which come from grapes you’ve never heard of! Sure, we’ll play with Pinot Gris and rock out with Riesling, but we’ll also get to know Verdejo, sip on Chenin, and…well, you get the drift. A chance to explore some of the world’s most versatile, delicious, and great value whites.

Pinot Noir - A One Sip at a Time Deep Dive
Sunday, Sept. 20, 2015, 5:00 pm

Delicate and ephemeral, difficult and expensive to grow, Pinot Noir is the diva of the grape world. Maybe that’s why we love it so much? In this Deep-Dive One Sip at a Time class you’ll get to explore this complex, aromatic grape. You’ll taste everything from earthy red Burgundy to plush California Pinot, and maybe even find that elusive, delicious, great Pinot Noir for less than $20.

Hey, Wait A Minute: That’s Sweet! 
Second Thursday of October (Oct. 8, 2015), 7:15 pm

We know, we know. “I don’t like sweet wines” is something we hear every day. But, have you ever tried a sweet-and-tangy Loire Chenin Blanc with a little mousse pate? Or, a golden Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc blend with bleu cheese? Or, perhaps most wonderful of all, a nutty, caramel-infused barrel-aged sweetie with toasted nuts? Come give these beauties a try, and you may just find yourself sweetly convinced!

Riesling - A One Sip at a Time Deep Dive
Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015, 5:00 pm

One of the world’s most misunderstood grapes, Riesling is beloved by sommeliers, but causes an involuntary nose-wrinkling in most consumers. Wind down the weekend with a look at this surprisingly versatile grape. From bone-dry Australian Rieslings with racy acidity to unctuous German examples that are about as far away from Blue Nun as you could imagine, you’ll taste all that Riesling has to offer.

Six (Other) Reds You Should Know
Second Thursday of November (Nov. 12, 2015), 7:15 pm

Cabernet and Pinot Noir…not going to be in your glass! Instead, we’re going to explore a world of flavor and fun with some of the world’s other great red grapes. These are some of our favorite food and sipping friendly reds, some from “important” grapes you may have tried before and others from a bit off the beaten path. A world of interesting, delicious, and often super value reds away your discovery.

Cheap vs. Expensive: Which Do You Really Prefer?
Second Thursday of December (Dec. 10, 2014), 7:15 pm

The Grand Finale: A blind tasting! Sample four pairs of wines “blind.” One will be a $12-$15 value; the other a $25-$40 star. Can you tell them apart? And which do you prefer? In this festive session, you’ll learn why wines cost what they do and tricks for getting the most wine for your hard-earned dollar. And you’ll find out how much a price tag may influence your preferences – One Sip at a Time.

Note: Registration for this class opens to the general public on Dec. 1. Registration before Dec. 1 restricted to One Sip at a Time Passport holders and attendees of at least four other 2015 One Sip at a Time sessions.

The Annual Champagne Class - NEW SESSION Monday, Dec. 29!

We wind up our fall 2014 wine class season with two sessions of our annual Champagne Class - although just a seat or two remain in the first session.

Also, don’t miss any of our One Sip at a Time Classes. To register for any Chain Bridge Cellars class, call us at 703.356.6500, email us, or stop by the store. 

Annual Champagne Celebration and Class
Course Fee $60
ADDING A NEW DATE - Monday, December 29 @ 7pm

So popular, we have to do it three times! And, this year’s holiday-season Champagne class will reach new heights of delectable fun.  We’ll pour eight Champagnes, each paired with a small bite or two from our own Cheese/Food selections and plus some fun special nibbles as well.  You’ll explore a range of styles from lean and crisp Blanc de Blancs to darker fruited Blanc de Noirs, and even try a compelling and pretty pink wine, too.  Here's the line-up:

Billecart-Salmon Brut Rose NV (IWC 92)               
Pierre Gimonnet Brut 1er Cru Blanc De Blancs NV (WS 91)       
Coessens Champagne Blanc De Noirs Largillier NV (WA 91)       
L. Aubry Champagne Brut NV (WA 92)               
Eric Rodez Grand Cru Ambonney Brut Grande Vintages (WA 92)   
Pierre Paillard Grand Cru Bouzy Brut Miliesime 2004 (IWC 91)   
Billecart Salmon Brut Cuvee Nicolas Francois 1999 (WS 93
Krug Grande Cuvee NV (WS 97)

You'll learn all about how Champagne is made and how and why these stunning wines sparkle in their own unique ways.  Light snacks will be served to pair with the wines.  Reserve your seats now – for yourself, for a group, or as a gift! – by calling us at 703.356.6500, emailing us, or just stopping by the store.