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.

 

Beyond 2012 Pinot on Friday; Jonas with ENV Reds Saturday - Free Weekend Tastings!

Two great tastings this weekend with Oregon and super-values on Friday and a visit from Jonas Gustafsson on Saturday to pour ultra rare, ultra delicious Priorat from Silvia Puig.  You won’t want to miss either tasting – and both are absolutely free!

Willamette Beyond 2012 Pinot Noir and Value Favorites – Friday, September 26 from 3-7pm

Here’s a great chance to taste beyond the headlines in Oregon’s famous Willamette Valley and to explore some great values, too.  Our featured wines will be:

WildAire Pinot Noir Willamette Valley Shea Vyd 2011 – The unique character of one of America’s greatest Pinot Noir vineyards shines through in this pretty and pure Pinot.  Plenty of 2011’s snap and vibrancy, but also dark fruit that keeps unfolding as time passes.  Just $44.98 for bottles or $39.98 by the case.

Grochau Pinot Noir Commuter Cuvee 2013 – A youthful blend of multiple Willamette Valley fruit sources that pumps out boatloads of ripe cherry/berry fruit with just the right touch of fresh earth and sweet spice.  At just $19.98 for bottles or $16.98 by the case, proof positive that there’s fantastic value to be found in the Willamette Valley!

Brick House Vineyards Gamay Noir Willamette Valley 2012 – Vintage 2012 wasn’t just a great Pinot vintage!  Doug Tunnell’s biodynamically grown Gamay is more like a top Moulin-a-Vent than ever.  Quite possibly the world’s best Gamay not grown on the granite hills of Beaujolais, it’s a floral, fruit-filled, bottle you just have to try at $31.98 by the bottle or $28.98 by the case!

We’ll also have a couple of great value reds (both selling for comfortably under $10!) open to try along with something tasty from the cheese case.  A fun way to kick off your end of September weekend – join us!


New ENV Priorat Cuvees Plus Succulent Whites with Jonas Gustafsson – Saturday, September 27 from noon-4pm

So, if you love the best wines of Spain’s famous Priorat region – or gutsy, hand-crafted, reds from anywhere in the world, do NOT miss this Saturday’s tasting from noon-4pm.  At the tasting bar:  Jonas Gustafsson, whose knowledge of, and passion for, the great wines of Spain knows no bounds.  In your glass:  Five brilliant wines including two rare whites and all three cuvees of Silvia Puig’s completely captivating 2012 En Numeros Vermells Priorat reds.

Many of you have already tried (and loved!) the 2012 En Numerous Vermells Priorat Classic.  On Saturday, we’ll show that plus introduce you to two tiny barrel selection blends Silvia made in her garage as well!   Join us as we pour:

En Numerous Vermells Priorat Classic 2012 (540 bottles made) - Garnacha Negre and Garnacha Peluda (“Hairy Grenache”) plus Syrah and Carignan, all aged in new Berthomieu Ermitage bariques.  Powerful and deep with intense notes of roasted black fruits, hot stones, and smoked meat supported by firm tannins and loads of mineral cut.

En Numeros Vermells Priorat Cuvee #1 2012 (762 bottles made) – The sneaky wine in this set, one that comes across as demure and well-behaved at first only to reveal its inner wild child with air or time.  Almost glassy smooth at first before the layers of fresh fruit, dark flowers, and wet slate that get longer and more complex the longer the bottle sits open.

En Numeros Vermells Priorat Cuvee #2 (323 bottles made) – The brawler of the trio, a wine that prompted this initial note:  “Kaboom!”  Think chocolate covered cherries, blueberries and plums munched on while spit-roasting an herb covered lamb.  Massive and powerful from first sip to the long, well-supported, finish.

In addition to the three ENV reds, Jonas will also share:

Finca Valldosera Subirat Parent 2012 – As Wine Advocate said in the 90 point review: “a young and flowery unoaked Subirat Parent (aka Malvasia Riojana), with aromas of jasmine and lilies, exotic fruits (lychee) and a Muscat-like grapey taste, with moderate acidity and good length. Experiment with spicy oriental food.”

Vinedos De Ithaca Odysseus Priorat Garnacha Blanca 2012 – Not many people make better white Grenache than Silvia, perhaps because so few use such old vines grown on slate-covered soils!  As always, wildly aromatic and complex and fun to drink with complex foods or just as a contemplation wine on it’s own.

It’s a fantastic set of wines unlike anything we’ve ever had on the tasting table before – and utterly unlike anything you’ll find anywhere else in town this or any other weekend.  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

Hey, Wait A Minute: That’s Sweet!
Second Thursday of October (Oct. 9, 2014), 7:15

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 paté? 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!

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!

Fall Classes Featuring Oregon Pinot, Guigal Rhones, Cru Beaujolais ...

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.

See the full descriptions of each of these classes below:

  • Get to know Rhone giant E. Guigal on Oct. 2
  • See how delicious and versatile Cru Beaujolais can be on Oct. 30

Keep watching for new sessions including:

  • Fantastic Fortified Flavors of Port, Sherry and Madeira (Thursday, Nov. 20 and Sunday, Nov. 23)
  • Annual Champagne Celebration and Class (Thursday, Dec. 4 and Sunday, Dec. 28)

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. 

 

From Condrieu to Chateauneuf: Wines of E(xtraordinary) Guigal
Thursday, Oct. 2, 7pm
Course Fee $40


“Legendary.”  “Masterful.” “Extraordinary.”  These are the kinds of words you hear again and again from experts and critics about the winemaking and wines of E. Guigal.  Founded by Etienne Guigal and managed today by son and grandson Marcel and Philippe Guigal, this is the estate that led the re-birth of the Northern Rhone after WWII and continues to make great wines from Cote Rotie down to Chateauneuf-du-Pape today.

Come experience some of France’s greatest wines as Christophe Courteaud from Guigal’s US importer leads us through the history, vineyards, and wines of this great estate.  We’ll sample whites and reds and wines from both North and South, including:

Guigal Cotes du Rhone Blanc 2012
Guigal Crozes-Hermitage Blanc 2011
Guigal Condrieu 2012  (WA 93)
Guigal Crozes-Hermitage Rouge 2010
Guigal Saint Joseph 2011 (WA 89-91)
Guigal Cote Rotie Blonde et Brune 2010  (WA 93+)
Guigal Chateauneuf du Pape 2007 (WA 93)


We’ll have light snacks to enjoy with the great conversation and outstanding wines.  Just 30 seats available. To reserve yours, call us at 703.356.6500, email us at wineteam@chainbridgecellars.com, or simply 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!