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.


Fizz on Friday, Great Wines from Across Europe on Saturday! Free Weekend Tastings

On Black Friday, we know many of you will be out shopping the big deals at the mall (or hiding out at home to avoid the madness), so we won’t have our regular Friday tasting this week.  We will have Villa Jolanda Holiday Sparkling Wine NV open to taste throughout our limited hours – just noon-6pm on Friday.

On Saturday, November 29, we’ll celebrate American Express’s Small Business Saturday by having great friend of the shop Amanda Page pour selections from 2013 Wine Enthusiast Importer of the Year (and Winchester-based) Kysela Pere et Fils.  Join us as Amanda pours:

Carod Clairette De Die Tradition NV – A very old-school sparkler, made by bottling the young wine while it's still fermenting.  It's a blend of 75% Muscat and 25% Clairette that fizzes with fine, pinpoint, bubbles and shows off aromas and flavors of peach, orange, white grapefruit, and fresh flowers.  

The Royal Chenin Blanc 2013 – From our good friends at Riebeek, this crisp, fresh, Chenin is a killer party white - flat out fun to drink.  As Robert Parker (90 points) said, it’s "One of the greatest buys I have tasted this year is this under $10.”

Figaro Tinto Calatayud 2012 – Here’s a great party read from an under-appreciated corner of Northern Spain.  100% Garnacha made in tank with a nice 89 point Parker review that “offers uplifted, fragrant notes of licorice, lavender and black cherry jam. Intense and spicy with medium to full body, and not a hard edge to be found.”

Dom Alain Jaume Vacqueyras Grande Garrigue 2012 – Cold weather and heart food cry out for gutsy Rhone reds like this one, a wine that pumps out rich black and red fruit with classic accents of Rhone garrigue.

Bodegas Luis Canas Rioja Gran Reserva 2007 – A powerhouse red that shows the earthy, oaky, complexity you’d expect from a Rioja Gran Reserva with an extra dash of lush, ripe, fruit.

All the wines will be on sale at special tasting prices, and you’ll save even more with our special Small Business Saturday storewide savings program.  Join us!


"One Sip at a Time" Wine Classes - The Grand Finale!

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.

Sign up for any of the core classes, which take place the second Thursday of each month at 7:15pm (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. Course fee for each class is $25.

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.

Cheap vs. Expensive: Which Do You Really Prefer?
Second Thursday of December (Dec. 11, 2014), 7:15

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 December class opens to the general public on Dec. 1. Registration before Dec. 1 restricted to Passport holders and attendees of at least four other 2014 One Sip at a Time sessions.)

Reserve your seats by calling us at 703.356.6500, emailing us at wineteam@chainbridgecellars.com, or just stopping by the store.

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.

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

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

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”!

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

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.

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

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

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!

Fun with Fizz
Second Thursday of July (July 9, 2015) – 7:15

In this fun and fizzy session, we’ll explore the world of beautiful bubbles, ranging from the classic vineyards of Champagne to the high desert of New Mexico. And, as if straight sparkling wine wasn’t delicious enough, we’ll even share a few of our favorite sparkling cocktail ideas. You’ll learn where the bubbles come from, what to eat with fizz, and figure out your favorite styles – One Sip at a Time!

The Annual Champagne Class

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
TWO DATES:  Thursday, Dec. 4, 7pm (ALMOST SOLD OUT!) and Sunday, Dec. 28, 5 pm

So popular, we have to do it twice! 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:

L. Aubry Champagne Brut NV (IWC 91/WA 92)
Andre Jacquart Champagne Brut Experience Blanc de Blancs NV (WS 91)
Coessens Champagne Blanc De Noirs Largillier NV (WA 91)
Billecart-Salmon Brut Rose NV (IWC 92)           
Eric Rodez Ambonnay Cuvee de Grands Vintages NV (IWC 93)
Cedric Mousse Champagne Brut Millesime 2009       
Billecart Salmon Brut Cuvee Nicolas Francois 1999 (WS 93)
Krug Grande Cuvee NV (WS 97)

This session starts out as a class and then usually devolves into a party as the evening wears on.  Whether you’d prefer to join us on December 4 to kick-off the Holiday Season or share bubbles with us on December 28 to prepare for New Year’s Eve, you’ll find plenty to delight.  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.