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.


Sassicaia’s Second, Lush Red and White Burgundy, and More – Free Weekend Tastings

Some great tasting opportunities for you this weekend! Three of the wines represent great opportunities to get to know the work of winemakers whose top wines sell for much, much, more. Tenuta San Guido Guidalberto is the second wine of the folks who started the “super-Tuscan” revolution: Sassicaia. Then, while Jean-Michel Guillon is best known for his magnificent 1er and Grand Cru Burgundies, his 2012 white and red Bourgognes are outstanding introductions to his work at very affordable prices. Join us this week to sample:

Dom Guillon Bourgogne Blanc 2012 - “Rare” is the key word here, too.  It’s a rare white from Gevrey Chambertin, a rare example of ultra-luxurious Chardonnay to please both Burgundy and Cali-Chard fans, and – even though it tastes like a $50 bottle – a rare deal in white Burgundy at just $26.98 for bottles or $21.98 case price! If you enjoyed the 2011, the 2012 will blow you away!

Dom Guillon Bourgogne Rouge La Graviers 2012 – This baby Chambolle-Musigny shows off everything that’s so exciting about the 2012 red Burgundies – extraordinary ripeness, purity, and transparency at a very elegant 12% abv.  The fruit is really singing right now – well worth trying.

Tenuta San Guido Guidalberto 2012 – This poised, perfumed, and pretty blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot is, as always, a fine vale for any super-Tuscan fan. James Suckling calls the 93 point 2012 the “best ever” here, and the sale price is pretty darn good, too!

Clos du Mont-Olivet Cotes du Rhone Vieilles Vignes 2012 – An outstanding value in old-school Cotes du Rhone you can enjoy tonight or over the next few years.  The Tanzer 90 point rating may under-shoot the mark – this stuff is delicious! – but there’s certainly nothing wrong with the sub-$15 price tag!

Vista Hills Fourmen Pinot Noir Dundee Hills 2012 – We’re still scratching our heads on how this delicious 2012 Oregon Pinot Noir could be all estate grown in the Willamette’s top AVA (Dundee Hills), spend 18 months in oak, and have only 500 cases made – and still be so affordable.  Tasty, great value, stuff.

Fun treats from the cheese case and plenty of fresh-baked Lyon Bakery bread to take home as well.  Join us!

"One Sip at a Time" Wine Classes - Go Back to School for Fall!

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.


Back to School Time!  One Sip at a Time Class Schedule

OSAAT Deep Dive:  Riesling
Sunday, Nov. 9, 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) Whites You Should Know
Second Thursday of November (Nov. 13, 2014), 7:15

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 some unique grapes you’ve seen on wine lists before, but not been sure what to expect. Now you'll not only know how they taste, you'll also know how to pronounce them!

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!

Clerico Wine Dinner, Beaujolais, Port and Champagne - 2014 Wine Classes

The best part about “back to school” season?  Going back to wine school! We’re working on an exciting line-up of fun and tasty wine classes for you to enjoy this fall, all offered right here in our downstairs tasting room. The full schedule for remaining 2014 classes is below.

Don't miss Domenico Clerico!  One of Barolo's most iconic winemakers will make a rare visit to the USA in October to join us for a magnificent wine dinner on Wednesday, October 22 at 7:30pm. We'll convene at Ripple in Cleveland Park to enjoy a 5 course feast and 6 wines, including two of Clerico's majestic 2010 single-vineyard Barolo.  The cost is $150 per person (plus tax/tip); well worth it for an evening like this. See the full menu and reservation details here.

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. 

A Tour of Beaujolais Crus – Going Well Beyond Nouveau!
Thursday, Oct. 30, 7pm
Course Fee $20

The third Thursday of November marks one of the most important marketing days of the wine year – “Beaujolais Nouveau C'est Arrive!”  When Georges Duboeuf popularized the annual release of what had previously been a simple country wine and turned it into a global marketing event, he certainly didn’t realize that it would forever confuse wine lovers and tarnish the wine he loved.  So as the calendar gets ready to turn from October to November, it seems like a great time to take a tour of the great vineyards of Beaujolais and get a better idea of what great wine Gamay Noir can make in these granite soils.

We love the wines of Jean-Marc Lafont and his wife Annick, so we’ll use them to help you understand the differences between light, fresh, Brouilly, floral Fleurie, supple St. Amour, and majestic, ageworthy, Moulin-a-Vent.  We’ll taste 7 wines in total, including a fun, festive, sparkling, cremant, including:

Cremant de Bourgogne (sparkling)
Beaujolais Villages les Granits Blues 2013
Brouilly Briante 2012
Fleurie les Granits Roses
St. Amour 2012
Chiroubles 2012
Moulin A Vent les Burdelines 2012

After tasting all seven wines, taking a virtual tour of Beaujolais via map and photograph, and enjoying a few snacks, you’ll be ready to resist the Nouveau hype and choose your favorite style of “real” Beaujolais like a pro!  To reserve your seats, call us at 703.356.6500, email us at wineteam@chainbridgecellars.com, or simply stop by the store.

Fantastic Fortified Flavors of Port, Sherry and Madeira
Course Fee $40
TWO DATES:  Thursday, Nov. 20, 7pm and Sunday, Nov. 23, 5pm

As Fall turns to Winter and Thanksgiving and the December Holidays come close, it’s a fine time to explore the warming wonders of the world’s best fortified wines.  They can be dry and savory (like Oloroso Sherry or saline Madeira) or sweet and unctuous (like Port, Pedro Ximenez Sherry, or sweet Mmadeiras).  Some are complements to a fine meal, while others are the crowning touch after dessert.  But all are fascinating, fun to explore, and very, very, delicious.  Join us on either Thursday, November 20 or Sunday, November 23, as we explore the world of sweet and savory fortified wines from Port, Madeira and Sherry.

We’ll serve you some wonderful pairing bites like walnuts, dried fruit, salty bleu cheeses, and even a little dark chocolate so you can enjoy how well the wines play with food.  You’ll learn how they were created, are made, and the best way and time to enjoy each wine.  Most of all, though, you’ll enjoy seven delicious fortified wines and a rousing good time!

To reserve your seats, just call us at 703.356.6500, email us at wineteam@chainbridge cellars, or just stop by the store.  You’ll leave the class perfectly warmed up for the holidays to come.

Annual Champagne Celebration and Class
Course Fee $60
TWO DATES:  Thursday, Dec. 4, 7pm 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 warm 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 at least one compelling and pretty pink wine, too.  We’re especially excited to feature Billecart Salmon Nicolas Francois 1999 this year and we’ll pour at least one other Grandes Marques Champagne as well.

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.