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.


Plantevin Rhones & A 94 Point Cab Friday, Olivier Daubresse on Saturday!

It’s going to be a beautiful weekend, so we’re serving up some very compelling tastings this Friday and Saturday.  On Friday from 3-7pm, we’ll be showing off all three of Philippe Plantevin’s just-arrived Cotes du Rhones plus a very limited, very exciting, 97 point Australian Cabernet Sauvignon.  Then, on Saturday, importer and French wine expert extraordinaire Olivier Daubresse will be in to pour Philippe’s wine and two succulent Burgundies – one red, one white, from Jean Michel Guillon.  Well worth joining us both days!

Red, White and Pink Plantevin Rhones & a 97 Point Cabernet – Friday, April 25 from 3-7pm

On Friday, we’ll be showing off this week’s featured Cotes du Rhones from Philippe Plantevin plus a big, plush, but nicely balanced Australian Cabernet Sauvignon.  Join us from 3-7pm to try:

Dom Philippe Plantevin Cotes du Rhone Blanc 2011 - a beguiling blend of Viognier, Grenache Blanc and Marsanne that puts most $40 Chateauneuf-du-Pape blanc to shame, bursting with fresh peach, white flowers, and a refreshing, stony, finish.

Dom Philippe Plantevin Cotes du Rhone Rouge 2010 - from the great 2010 vintage, this is starting to unfurl, with loads of inky black fruit, melted licorice, fresh earth, and a zesty dose of classic Rhone garrigue – a blend of rosemary, thyme, lavender and pine that gives the ripe fruit a savory accent.

Dom Philippe Plantevin Cotes du Rhone Rosé 2013
- a touch darker, more powerful, and even more lively than last year’s excellent version, all you need is one taste of this pink beauty to know you’ve found your go-to value rosé for 2014.

Thorne-Clarke William Randell Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 – a blockbuster Aussie  Cabernet Sauvignon that pulled down a whopping 94 point score from Australian expert James Halliday, 94+ from Wine Enthusiast, and a very respectable 92 from Tanzer's IWC.  A lot of wine for under $45!

Olivier Daubresse Pours Plantevin and Guillon – Saturday, April 26 from noon-4pm

Our favorite local importer and expert on all things French, Olivier Daubresse, mans the tasting table this Saturday to show off six magnificent wines.  He’ll pour all three of Philippe Plantevin’s magnificent featured Cotes du Rhone wines – including the luscious, do-not-miss-it, rosé! – along with three Burgundies from Jean Michel Guillon:

Guillon Santenay Les Bras Blanc 2011 – if you enjoyed Jean-Michel’s 2011 Bourgogne blanc, wait until you taste this masterpiece from down south in Santenay.  Rich, creamy, and layered with lovely ripe fruit and a finish that just won’t quit.

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.

Guillon Gevrey-Chambertin Pere Galland 2010 – knowing how little 2012 would be available, last year we stashed away a dozen cases of this fantastic village Gevrey from the monumental 2010 harvest.  Still a baby, but impressive and long.

All three Guillon Burgundies, three great Rhone’s from Philippe Plantevin, special cheeses to sample, and fascinating commentary from Olivier Daubresse.  Join us!

New April/May Classes - Wine Events for Spring

Spring is starting with a bang: In addition to our One Sip At A Time series Here's what's on tap so far:

  • April 29: Free Walk-Around Tasting featuring Classic Prosecco & Benchmark Chianti
  • May 13: The Brilliant Biodynamic Alto Adige Wines of Manincor
  • May 22:  Explore The Single Vineyard Crus of Produttori del Barbaresco
  • June 3: The Extraordinary Beaujolais of Jules Desjourneys - A First in the USA Tasting

Read below for details.


Special Free Tasting Featuring Adami Prosecco and Tuscany's Castello dei Rampolla
Walk-Around Tasting, Tuesday, April 29 from 6-8:30 pm

Join us for a special Tuesday night walk-around tasting featuring the classic Prosecco of Adami and the benchmark Chianti Classico and super-Tuscan reds of Castello dei Rampolla.  You’ll have the chance to meet and talk with Adami’s Export Manager Enrico Velleferro and Tuscany’s Maurizia di Napoli Rampolla.

As Wine Advocate has said, “Adami makes a wide range of Proseccos that demonstrate just how interesting this grape can be.”  You’ll try everything from a simple, fresh, great value Prosecco for  back porch sipping to the apex of Prosecco quality, Adami’s vintage-dated Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Dry Vigneto Giardino.  Want to know what the Prosecco grape tastes like in a still wine?  We’ll have one of those out to sample, too1

Castello dei Rampolla has become one of our very favorite estates in Tuscany, and it’s widely viewed as one of the very small number of truly elite addresses in the heart of Chianti.  With her brother, Luca, Maurizia di Napoli Rampolla carries forward the tradition established by her father, Alceo, of biodynamic farming, careful winemaking, and excellence in both traditional Chianti Classico and super-Tusca blends.  You’ll  taste Chianti Classico as well as the highly rated Sammarco and d’Alceo blends.

We’ll offer some light snacks to enjoy while you taste and chat with our Italian guests, so it’s well worth coming early and staying a while.  No fee for this fun, walk-around, tasting.  Join us!


The Brilliant Biodynamic Alto Adige Wines of Manincor
Tuesday, May 13, 7pm
Course Fee $25

Take a 400 year-old wine estate stretching up and down the hills and valleys of what used to be Austria's and is now Italy's Alto Adige region.  Add a does of energetic nobility in the form of owner/manager Count Michael Goëss-Enzenberg.  Then, create a modern, eco-friendly, underground winery and convert all of the vineyards to the painstaking discipline of biodynamic farming.  You'll end up with some of the most compelling Italian wines we know, all brought to us by our good friend, importer Maurizio Farro!

With Maurizio's help, we'll be joined by Manincor's Matthias Jaeger for a wide ranging discussion of Alto Aidge varietals, biodyanamic farming, and how an urbane Count ends up a hands-on grape farmer.  And, we'll taste some stunning wines, including Alto Adige classics like Pinot Bianco, Pinot Noir, Schiava and Lagrein along with captivating and creative blends from red and white grapes.

If you've ever wondered what Biodynamics are and how they impact wine and vineyard quality, this is your chance to learn from one of the most advanced and thoughtful practitioners in the world - while tasting some absolutely delicious wines.  To reserve your seats, just call us at 703.356.6500, email us at wineteam@chainbridgecellars.com, or simply stop by the store.

Explore The Single Vineyard Crus of Produttori del Barbaresco
Thursday, May 22, 7pm
Course Fee $40

Produttori del Barbaresco is often called the greatest co-operative winery - meaning a winery owned by its growers - in Italy, if not the world.  Their "basic" Nebbiolo and Barbaresco have been considered among the best values in traditional, but accessible, Piemontese Nebbiolo.  And the single-vineyard Crus, while sometimes difficult to find, are always outstanding expressions of Barbaresco's top Nebbiolo vineyards.

But, over the past 10 years, the managers here have launched a huge push to make Produttori not just a "fine value," but instead one of the very top addresses for long-lived, deeply complex, Nebbiolo in all of Piemonte.  And, this set of single-vineyard wines and the brilliant Barbaresco "Normale" show that this mountain has been climbed!

Come see for yourself as Italian expert Jim Hutton of Vias Imports presents 7 wines from Produttori del Barbaresco including a rare tasting of 6 different single vineyard wines from the outstanding 2009 harvest.  We'll taste:

Langhe Nebbiolo 2010
Barbaresco 2009 (WA 92)
Barbaresco Riserva Pora 2009 (AG 92)
Barbaresco Riserva Asili 2009 (AG 92)
Barbaresco Riserva Ovello 2009 (AG 93)
Barbaresco Riserva Rabaja 2009 (AG 94+)
Barbaresco Riserva Montestefano 2009 (AG 94)

As you work your way through the tasting, you'll quickly see that not only are these great wines - they are astonishing values, too.  And, with Jim's help, you'll learn how Produttori del Barbaresco has risen to the very top of one of the world's greatest regions for long-lived classic wines.  To reserve your seats, just call us at 703.356.6500, email us at wineteam@chainbridgecellars.com, or simply stop by the store.


The Extraordinary Beaujolais of Jules Desjourneys - A First in the USA Tasting
Tuesday, June 3, 7pm
Course Fee $40

You've probably never heard of, much less tried, the extraordinary Beaujolais being made by Fabien Duperray at his estate called Jules Desjourneys. But, as Wine Advocate reports, "I know of no more exciting Beaujolais wines than these, and subscribers must seek them out in order to learn what is possible from the old vines and top sites of this region."  This class represents a first-ever in the USA chance to try these compelling wines from 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010.

I encountered the estate's first commercial release, the 2007 Fleurie, when it was served blind to a group of wine buyers by the Chef of a Michelin starred restaurant in Pommard.  Coming after 7 or 8 top red Burgundies, the wine was compelling, captivating, and made us all smile - although none of us guessed that cool-vintage Gamay could deliver a palate and aromatic experience like this!

We've been working to get our hands on Desjourney's Fleurie for nearly 2 years now, and a glorious assortment imported just for us arrives just in time for Spring.  In this session, you'll have the chance to sample six different wines from the Domaine, including the two highest rated Beaujolais ever by Wine Advocate and the 2007 Fleurie that started this madness.  We'll try:

Jules Desjourneys Fleurie 2007 (WA 90)
Jules Desjourneys (Fleurie) Interdit 2008 (WA 93)
Jules Desjourneys Fleurie 2009 (WA 93-94)
Jules Desjourneys Fleurie La Chapelle des Bois 2009 (WA 94-95)
Jules Desjourneys Fleurie La Chapelle des Bois 2010 (WA 95)
Jules Desjourneys Fleurie Les Moriers 2010 (WA 94)

While the Jules  Desjourneys wines are starting to trickle into the United States, no one retailer has ever had an assortment this broad and deep to offer its customers - and no one in the USA has ever had the chance to taste all six of these wines at a single sitting.  The wines match 1er (or even Grand) Cru Burgundy for quality, class, and complexity, and the prices edge up towards Burgundy levels, too.  But, once you hear the story of what is becoming the benchmark Gamay vigneron in the world, we think you'll be as captivated as we are.

To reserve your seats, just call us at 703.356.6500, email us at wineteam@chainbridgecellars.com, or simply stop by the store.

"One Sip at a Time" 2014 - Sign Up For Good Wines Gone Bad in April!

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.

Classes are the second Thursday of each month at 7:15pm (except August) and last about 90 minutes. Course fee for each class is $25.

New for 2014 - "Deep Dives" One Sip at a Time. We've added six classes on Sundays focusing on some of the world's greatest grapes! Also $25 each. See the line-up below.


2014 One Sip at a Time Thursday Class Schedule

Good Wines Gone Bad
Second Thursday of April (April 10, 2014), 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 8, 2014) – 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 12, 2014) – 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 10, 2014) – 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!

Six (Other) Reds You Should Know
Second Thursday of September (Sept. 11, 2014) – 7:15

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-friendly 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 awaits your discovery.

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!

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 One Sip at a Time Passport holders and attendees of at least four other 2014 One Sip at a Time sessions.

NEW THIS YEAR - Sunday Classes - A Deep Dive Into Great Grapes

Each of these new classes focuses on one grape: how and where it’s grown, how it’s made into wine, and the major styles of wine it yields. You’ll sample at least six wines, including one over $40 wine. Choose from six bi-monthly classes on the second Sunday of the month. Each class only $25.

Great Grenache - Sunday, Jan. 12, 5:00 pm

Cabernet Sauvignon – Sunday, March 9, 5:00 pm

Chardonnay – Sunday, May 11, 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.

Sauvignon Blanc – Sunday, July 13, 5:00 pm
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. From minerally Loire-Valley examples, to New Zealand “grapefruit bombs” to richer, oaked examples, learn all about this mouthwatering grape in this fun, casual One Sip at a Time class.

Pinot Noir - Sunday, Sept. 14, 5:00 pm
Delicate, ephemeral, and 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.

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.

As with all our One Sip at a Time classes, you can reserve your seats by calling us at 703.356.6500, emailing us at wineteam@chainbridgecellars.com, or just stopping by the store.