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 firstname.lastname@example.org to find out what's coming up or make your reservations.
- March/April Classes - Rioja and Willamette Valley Classics
World-class winemakers and an in-depth exploration of one of Rioja's most important estates on tap for the early spring (plus One Sip at a Time sessions – see here for the details on those).
Call (703.356.6500), email (email@example.com) or stop by the store to reserve your seats today!
Rioja Old-School and Modern Classics from CVNE
Thursday, March 26, 7pm
Course Fee $30
Much of the world first really focused on the wines of Compañía Vinícola del Norte de España - abbreviated CVNE or Cune - last year when its 2004 Rioja Imperial Gran Reserva was named Wine Spectator's 2013 Wine of the Year. But fans of wines from Spain's most legendary wine region, Rioja, have known for years that Cune is one of the most exciting names in the region. Matt Daniels from Cvne's US Importer, Europvin, will help you understand why.
We'll focus on two of the three wineries that make up this benchmark estate, Cune and Vina Real. Established in 1879, Cune's cellars still sit next to the train station in Haro where thousands of gallons of robust Rioja were shipped north to Bordeaux during the phylloxera epidemic. It's a bastion of "traditional" Rioja - elegant, complex, and well-aged before release. Vina Real sits nearby and shows its relative youth (first vintage: 1920) in a style that shows more primary fruit without losing contact with Rioja tradition.
Matt will share the Cune story and some truly brilliant wines. Here’s what we will taste:
Cune Rioja Rosé 2013
Cune Viura Rioja Monopole White 2014
Cune Rioja Reserva 2010
Imperial Rioja Reserva 2008
Imperial Rioja Gran Reserva 2007
Vina Real Rioja Crianza 2010
Vina Real Rioja Reserva 2010
Vina Real Rioja Gran Reserva Red 2006
You'll enjoy light snacks and plenty of great information with the wines. Don't miss it!
Virginia is for PINOT Lovers - A Visit with Winemaker Erin Nuccio from Evesham Wood and Haden Fig
Wednesday, April 22, 7pm
Course Fee: $40
Thanks to our good friends at Roanoke Valley Wine Co., we're delighted to welcome a great Willamette Valley winemaker to the Chain Bridge Cellars classroom on April 22: Erin Nuccio from Evesham Wood and Haden Fig. Erin started his wine exploration here in the DC area before taking a winding path towards working with Rus Raney at Evesham Wood. While making wine with Russ, he launched his own Haden Fig label - and then unexpectedly had Russ offer him the keys to Evesham Wood!
Erin works mainly with fruit from the southern part of Willamette Valley, farms organically, and is always among the first to harvest his ripe but never very sugar-laden fruit. Modest use of wood, light extraction, and a special yeast cultured from the cellars of Henri Jayer make these some of the most elegant, pretty, and perfumed Pinots of the Valley.
During this class, you'll have the chance to get to Erin and taste 8 fantastic Willamette Valley wines:
Evesham Wood Blanc du Puits Sec 2014
Evesham Wood Eola Cuvee Pinot Noir 2013
Evesham Wood Mahonia Pinot Noir 2012
Evesham Wood Pinot Noir Temperance Hill 2012
Evesham Wood Pinot Noir Le Puits Sec 2011
Evesham Wood Pinot Noir Le Puits Sec 2012
Hadenfig Chardonnay Juliette 2012
Hadenfig Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2013
This is a fantastic opportunity to get to know one of the most talented young winemakers working in Oregon today, hear the story of one of Willamette Valley's most important pioneering estates, and explore the fascinating differences between vintages 2011, 2012, and 2013. Light snacks will be served with the wines - 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or just stopping by the store. For more wine class options, check out our winemaker/importer classes.
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.
- Red and White Values Friday & Saturday Plus The 98 Point 2010 Sammarco Super-Tuscan Saturday Only
While the volatile weather keeps things in doubt, this is the first full weekend of Spring, and we’re celebrating with a great set of wines for you to try on Friday from 3-7pm and Saturday from noon-4pm. Join us to try:
Kellerei Kaltern Caldaro Pinot Grigio 2013 – With Spring coming (really – it’s on the way!), it seemed like a great time to check in on our favorite Pinot Grigio value from the hilly vineyards of Alto Adige. Juicy, fresh, and bursting with ripe fruit, this is Pinot Grigio for folks who like a lot of flavor (and a very low price).
De Morgenzon DMZ Chardonnay 2013 – Yes, it’s true: the folks at South Africa’s DeMorgenzon play baroque music to their grapes 24/7 to make them happier. Odd farming, perhaps, but nothing odd about this rich and cream Chardonnay with a finish that sails on and on!
Hillinger Pinot Noir Eveline 2013 – a perennial winner in the “Best Pinot Under $20” here is better than ever in 2013. Pure, juicy, and loaded with luscious fruit, this is an irresistible, grab by the case, buy!
Ogier (Michel Et Stephane) L'Ame Soeur Syrah 2011 – a breathtaking Northern Rhone Syrah that Wine Advocate rated 92 points and Robert Parker called ““A dead-ringer for a Cote Blonde Cote Rotie, this cuvee may be the greatest vin de pays I have ever tasted.” Very limited, though.
Castello Dei Rampolla Sammarco 2010 (Saturday Only)– We have hardly any to sell, but what the heck. Let’s celebrate the first weekend of Spring by opening a bottle of the 98 point 2010 Sammarco, one of Italy’s greatest Cabernet-based Super-Tuscan reds. This will be open on Saturday only and available to taste while the bottle lasts.
We’ll have some treats from the cheese case out to enjoy with the wines and plenty of fresh baked Lyon Bakery bread to take home, too. Join us!