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.


End of Season Sale Rosés on Friday, Maurizio’s Italian Selections Saturday: Free Weekend Tastings!

Two great tastings this late-summer weekend, including all 3 of our featured End of Season Sale pink wines on Friday.  Then, on Saturday, Italian native and importer Maurizio Farro will be on hand to pour Vernaccia, Ripasso, Amarone, and more from noon-4pm.  Come by both days!

Ripasso, Vernaccia and End of Season Pink Savings – Friday, August 28 from 3-7pm

We’re all about refreshment – and savings! – during this Friday’s free tasting as we pour two of this week’s featured Italian wines and three great rosés.  Be sure to stock up on the pink stuff this weekend.  You’ll get our regular great sale prices and save an extra 5% off when you take home six or more bottles or an extra 10% on 12 or more!  Here’s the line-up:

Paul D Rosé of Zweigelt/Blauberger 2014 (1.0 Liter) – As soon as we saw the big stack of hot pink colored cases in Paul’s  Wagram winery, we knew that Paul D Rosé would be a happy, wild, thing.  And, that it is, with exuberant aromas and flavors of crushed cranberry, ripe watermelon and tangy strawberry plus juicy, citrusy, acidity at the end.  Use a wine glass, a tumbler, or just one of those huge Big Gulp straws…

Dom Philippe Plantevin Cotes du Rhone Rosé 2014 – This year’s crop of pretty pink wines is turned out to be just fantastic (and the most popular we’ve seen so far!), and Philippe Plantevin’s contribution is another winner.  Pretty strawberry and watermelon fruit with a dry finish that just won’t quit.

Dom d’Eole Rosé Coteaux d'Aix En Provence 2014 – It’s been years since we could get our hands on what was, for a long time, the best-selling pink in the store.  It’s still organically grown and brought to us by Olivier Daubresse, but it’s gotten a tad more elegant and pale in color.  Delicious stuff.

Poggio Alloro Vernaccia di San Gimignano 2013 – A great example from Tuscany’s only white wine DOCG, this crisp, refreshing, white shows juicy apple, lemon, and lime fruit with accents of white flowers, bitter almond, and more.

Musella Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso 2011 – Better than “baby Amarone,” this Ripasso has loads of dried fruit depth to go with juicy fresh cherry and cranberry and a finish that just won’t quit.

As always, we’ll have a treat or two from the cheese case out to sample and plenty of fresh-baked Lyon Bakery bread to take home, too.  Join us!

Maurizio Farro Pours Italian Treats Including Amarone!  Saturday, August 29 from noon-4pm

While the rosé sale continues on Saturday, our favorite Italian importer, Maurizio Farro, will be on hand sharing brilliant wines from Tuscany, Umbria and Valpolicella.  They’re all at great prices, too, with best deals on mix/match cases.  Join Maurizio from noon-4pm this Saturday to sample:

Poggio Alloro Vernaccia di San Gimignano 2013 – A great example from Tuscany’s only white wine DOCG, this crisp, refreshing, white shows juicy apple, lemon, and lime fruit with accents of white flowers, bitter almond, and more.

Perticaia Umbria Rosso 2013 - A very nearly perfect pizza red that you'll love just as much with burgers, chicken, or even olive oil-slicked grilled fish.  Mostly Sangiovese with dashes of Colorino and Merlot for complexity, this is all about fresh black cherry juice, crushed raspberries, and subtle spice.

Perticaia Montefalco Rosso 2012 - Still mostly Sangiovese (70%) with 15% Colorino, but here we get an introduction (15%) to Umbria's most important red grape:  Sagrantino.  A dark, powerful, Italian red that's built for richer foods, this stays wonderfully light on its feet and will just get better over the next few years.

Musella Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso 2011 – Better than “baby Amarone,” this Ripasso has loads of dried fruit depth to go with juicy fresh cherry and cranberry and a finish that just won’t quit.

Musella Amarone della Valpolicella 2010 – Wine Advocate’s 92 point review tells the story here:  "The 2010 Amarone della Valpolicella delivers great bang for your buck. This is an exceptional red wine that is loaded tight with the distinct intensity and boldness that characterizes wines made from air-dried grapes. Thick layers of dark cherry, raisin and prune peel back slowly. In the mouth, there is a touch of sweetness followed by flavors of barbecue smoke and teriyaki."

Take a little time from you busy late August weekend and stop by to see Maurizio and stock up on a great set of wines – all at mix/match case savings!

Napa Cabernet Class 9/1 and New Fall Wine Classes

Our new fall/early winter class schedule ranges from California to Portugal, Piemonte, Tuscany, and – of course – Champagne.  And, in early October, we’ll help you explore how food and wine change each other as we launch a brand new food/wine pairing class.  You can see our current fall schedule below. 

Full details on September's Napa Valley Cabernet Class and Introduction to The Withers Class are below. Call, email or visit the store to reserve your seats today to ensure a tasty start to fall!  And check out the rest of the schedule further down; reservations for those sessions open on 9/15.

*** SOLD OUT   Exploring Napa Cabernet Sauvignon Terroir  SOLD OUT***
Tuesday, Sept. 1, 7pm - Course Fee:  $40

Even many Napa Cabernet fans fall into the trap of thinking “Napa” is one, homogenous, growing area.  But there are now 13 recognized AVA’s in Napa Valley and at least two or three more likely to receive approval over the next few years.  More and more California winemakers are now seeking to deliver both classic “Napa” richness and a more clearly defined sense of “place” in their wines.  With the arrival of a very fine set of 2012s, right now is a great opportunity to see how well they’re doing!

We’ll explore Napa Valley Cabernet from the cool Oak Knoll district in the South to the warm sulfur springs of Calistoga in the North, passing through the world famous Rutherford Bench on the way.  Then, we’ll climb Napa’s hillsides to experience the firm, structured, wines of Mt. Veeder, the benchmark Stag’s Leap District, the supple wines of Diamond Mountain, and the majestic slopes of Napa’s “Rodeo Drive” – Prichard Hill.  In all, we’ll taste 8 wines, all from the great 2012 harvest:

Trefethen Cabernet Sauvignon Oak Knoll 2012 (Oak Knoll)
Oakville Winery Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 (Oakville - WE 90)
Round Pond Cabernet Sauvignon Estate 2012 (Rutherford - WS 92)
Honig Cabernet Sauvignon Bartolucci Vineyard 2012 (St. Helena)

Mount Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2012 (Mt. Veeder)
Shafer One Point Five Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 (Stag's Leap - WA 94)
Chappellet Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Signature 2012 (Prichard Hill - WS 93)

Martin Ray Cabernet Sauvignon Diamond Mountain 2012 (Diamond Mountain - WE 90)

While none of these wines is “cheap” (and several nestle right under the $100 mark), all are exciting examples of their regions and contemporary Napa winegrowing and winemaking.  You’ll enjoy light snacks as we discuss Napa Valley’s vinous history, recent vintages, and – of course – enjoy some fantastic Cabernet Sauvignon.  This class is strictly limited to 28 attendees, so call, email, or stop by the store to reserve your seats today!


Owner Andrew Tow Introduces The Withers, Cool Climate California Excitement
Thursday, Sept. 17, 7pm - Course Fee $30

In July, Andrew Tow introduced us to some of the most exciting California Pinot Noir and Rhone Ranger blends we've tasted in quite some time.  Join us and Andrew on September 17 and you'll quickly see why we're so excited to be the first local retailer to carry these beauties.

Andrew is a New York-based wine lover with a deep appreciation for food-friendly, vibrant, California wines - and an equally deep appreciation for how hard it is to find them!  He partnered with Anthill Farms owner/winemaker David Low to create this project focusing on high elevation, cool-climate, wines from sites in the sierra Foothills, Anderson and Green Valleys, and the Sonoma Coast.  Just a few vintages into the project, the praise has already started, and is very well deserved!  Across the board, we found The Withers wines to be pure, balanced and food-friendly, but still brimming with ripe California fruit and fun.

Come join Andrew and us and see for yourself.  Andrew will pour and discuss nine wines from The Withers:

Rose El Durado 2014

Pinot Noir English Hills Sonoma Coast 2013
Pinot Noir Peter's Vyd Sonoma Coast 2013
Pinot Noir Charlie's Vyd Anderson Valley 2013

Bel Canto Sierra Foothills 2013 (Grenache/Mourvedre/Syrah)
Bel Canto Sierra Foothills 2010 (Grenache/Mourvedre/Syrah)
Ruben Sierra Foothills 2013 (Mourvedre/Syrah)
Mr. Burgess Sierra Foothills 2013 (Syrah/Grenache/Mourvedre)
Mr. Burgess Sierra Foothills 2010 (Syrah/Grenache/Mourvedre)

This is a rare opportunity to get to know these very small production (from less than 100 to just a few hundred cases each) wines from an exciting new California project. You'll enjoy both light snacks with the wines and special discounts on the limited amount of each wine available.  Call, email, or stop by the store to join us today!


Other Fall Classes

Foolin’ Around With Flavor:  A Food/Wine Experience – Sunday, Oct. 11 ($20) – Our own Diane McMartin will put her degree from the Culinary Institute of America Greystone facility in Napa to work as she leads you in this highly interactive exploration of how food changes wine and wine changes food.

Benchmark Port and Dry Reds from Warre’s – Thursday, Oct. 15 ($30):  Rui Ribeiro, export manager for Symington Family Ports, will lead us on an exploration of classic Ports and very modern and exciting dry wines from the legendary Warre’s.

Barbaresco and Beyond with Sori Baitin Winemaker Giovanni Pasquero-Elia – Wednesday, Oct. 28 ($40) – The wines at this benchmark Piemonte house are better than ever, but the prices remain very reasonable indeed.   Join winemaker Giovanni Pasquero-Elia as we sample Arneis, Barbera, Dolcetto, Langhe Nebbiolo and four different Barbareco.

Chianti and Beyond: A Tour of Tuscan Sangiovese – Tuesday, Nov. 10 ($30) – We think of Tuscany as the home of Sangiovese, but you’ll be shocked by just how much variety this classic Italian grape shows depending on where it’s grown.  Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Super-Tuscans, Brunello di Montalcino, Chianti from 4 different regions and more – all distinctive and all very, very, delicious.

The Annual Champagne Celebration – Thursday, Dec. 3 and Sunday, Dec. 27 ($50) – Our most popular class of the year (so much so that we had to do it 3 times last year!).  Grower Champagne, Grand Marques, and everything in between along with very celebratory nibbles.


Our September classes are open for reservations now and we’ll open all of the other classes after Labor Day.  Vall 703.356.6500 or email wineteam@chainbridgecellars.com. Watch our web site and your email box for updates soon!

Wine Class: A One Sip at a Time - Fall Classes Coming!

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.

No Classes for August ... Happy Summer!

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.