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.


A Fine Fizz Fest Including a Veuve Cliquot Shootout – Saturday, December 27 from noon-4pm!

With Christmas in the rearview mirror and New Year’s Eve coming up fast, it’s time to focus on fizz and choose your best bubbly for the Holidays and (we hope) well beyond!  Join us on Saturday, December 27, as we share a fine selection of sparkling wines from Champagne and around the world.

And, we’ll ponder the question so many of you ask – is Veuve Clicquot worth the money?  Or, at least we’ll let you make up your own mind as you taste Veuve against the less-expensive Pierre Paillard Brut Champagne “blind” – which will you prefer?

We’re still making our final selections on featured Champagnes, so this list is subject to change. For now, though, here’s our line-up:

Adami Prosecco Bosco Di Gica NV - A classic Prosecco with a creamy texture and generous flavors of lemon, apple, and peach.  Fun fizz that finishes smooth and bright.

Bohigas Cava Brut Reserve NV - This Wine Advocate 90 point Cava is one of the most clean, crisp, and tasty versions we've seen in years.  A nice Champagne-alternative for a crowd.

Charles De Cazanove Champagne Brut Tradition NV - We're a year removed from this great value's 92 point review, but the current release still pumps out plenty of texture in a classic Champagne style. A lot of wine for under $30 in regular bottles or under $70 in magnums!

Pierre Paillard Bouzy Grand Cru Brut NV - Could just be the price/quality champion of this year's Champagne selections, there's richness here to go with plenty of style and class.  About as fun to drink at Champagne gets.

Veuve Clicquot Champagne Brut NV "Yellow Label" - It's the most famous and best selling Champagne in the USA - but is it any good?  The answer is, "Of course it's good - quite good in fact!" but it may or may not be "better" than our value champion.  Come try them blind and see for yourself!

L. Aubry Fils Brut 1er Cru NV - This is utterly captivating Champagne, based on Pinot Meunier (45%), about 25% each of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and the rest Arbanne, Petit Meslier and Fromenteau.  About half is from 2010, 25% from 2009, and the rest from a solera going back to 1998.  As Wine Advocate says, "If that sounds like a recipe for delivering complexity, you’re right!"

We’ll have some champagne-friendly cheese out to sample with the fizz and be ready to help you find your perfect bottle of bubbly for New Year’s Eve.  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 wineteam@chainbridgecellars.com, or just stopping by the store. For more wine class options, check out our winemaker/importer classes.


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.

Great Grenache: A One Sip at a Time Deep Dive
Sunday, Jan. 18, 2015, 5:00 pm

Grenache is one of the most important grape varieties in the world of wine and covers more acres of vineyard than any other. So, why does it play second fiddle to Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon when folks list the great red grapes of the world? Beats us, because we love Grenache, and in this One Sip at a Time Deep Dive session we’ll show you why. You’ll taste a great white Grenache from Spain to open and then explore how this gutsy, bold, red grape expresses itself around the world. Examples from Australia, the USA, Sardinia, Spain and France will all delight, including a mainly Grenache Chateauneuf du Pape to bring things to a rousing close. Join us to see do how great Grenache can be – One Sip at a Time.

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

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 pm

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”!

Cabernet Sauvignon - A One Sip at a Time Deep Dive
Sunday, March 22, 2015, 5:00 pm

An essential grape in most ‘steak house’ wines, Cabernet Sauvignon, with its complex aromas and dark berry flavors, is one of the most popular red grapes in the world. The most famous examples of Cabernet come from Bordeaux and California’s Napa Valley, and while you’ll certainly taste those, you’ll also taste some Cabernet from areas that you might not think of right away when you think of Cabernet. Join us for a fun, casual exploration of this bold, structured varietal.

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.

The Annual Champagne Class - SOLD OUT!

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
Sunday, December 28 at 5pm - Monday, December 29 @ 7pm

Sorry, but both remaining Champagne classes are SOLD OUT.  If you'd like to be placed on the waiting list for either session, please just call us at 703.356.6500.  Thanks!