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.
- Rhone, Rombauer, and More Friday – Belle Pente Pinot Saturday – And Bread is Back!
As holiday season bells ring louder and the social scene warms up, we’ve got a terrific set of free tastings for you to enjoy this weekend. And, just in time for December fun, we’re back in the bread business! Starting this Friday and Saturday, you can stock up on fresh-baked bread from Arlington’s Leonora Bakery. Crunchy baguettes, robust boules, and more will be in stock Friday and Saturday – while they last. Join us both days!
Rhone, Rombauer, Fizz and Other Treats – Friday, December 4 from 3-7pm
Friday’s festive tasting features two rich, robust, Rhone reds, both at terrific direct import savings. We’ll also sample Rombauer Chardonnay 2014, the great follow-up to the 93 point 2013 and even tastier on sale! Check out the full line-up:
Michel Turgy Blanc De Blanc Reserve Selection NV – One of our favorite all-Chardonnay Champagne’s this year, this is all Grand Cru fruit and loaded with rich orchard fruit, toast, and spice.
Rombauer Chardonnay Carneros 2014 – One of America’s premier “full-throttle” Chardonnay’s is just as cream, buttery, and long as last year’s Wine Spectator Top 100 wine, but offers up a touch more cut and precision, too. And, it’s on sale for $36.98 by the bottle or $32.98/ea by the case this week.
El Ganador Malbec Mendoza 2014 –Remember how much fun it is to drink juicy, fruit-filled, lightly wooded, Malbec by itself or with casual meals? This is that wine you remember, and at WELL under $10, it’s a steal this weekend.
Dom La Pequelette Vinsobres Cuvee Emile 2012 – As Wine Advocate said in its 90 point review, this Grenache-based red from the under-appreciated Vinsobres region is “flat out gorgeous.” And, a steal from $14.98, too!
Dom La Pequelette Vinsobres Cuvee Les Muses 2012 – The more Syrah-dominant Les Muses is darker, richer, and more powerful than Emile, but just as delicious (and well-rated with a 90 point score from the Advocate).
We’ll have something tasty from the cheese case out to sample and BREAD! Join us.
Beautiful Belle Pente Pinots at Lovely Savings – Saturday, December 5, from noon-4pm
Other than the fact that the wines are delicious, perfect to enjoy now or cellar for years, and on sale at great prices, why should you come taste six Belle Pente Pinot Noirs from Oregon’s Willamette Valley this weekend? So glad you asked:
Get to Know A Great New Winery – Belle Pente has been one of those “insider” Oregon names for years. But now, as Josh Reynolds (now of Vinous, previously with Tanzer’s IWC) says, “Always among Oregon's best values in high-end Pinots, the wines of Jill and Brian O'Donnell have been on an upward curve in recent vintages.”
Survey Four Great (and Very Different) Willamette Valley Vintages – from 2010’s soft-spoken elegance to 2011’s razor sharp purity, to 2012’s lush richness, to 2013’s fine fruit and dusky minerality, you’ll have the chance to taste for yourself how Oregon’s varied growing seasons show up in your glass.
Taste The Soils: Willakenzie vs. Jory – The highlight of the tasting (other than the wines!) is sampling two Belle Pente single vineyard wines from two different vintages, one grown on sedimentary Willakenzie soils in Yamhill-Carleton, the other on Jory volcanic soils in the Dundee Hills. Want to know why we prattle on about dirt so much? Taste these wines and you’ll see!
We’ll pour six Belle Pente Pinot Noirs on Saturday, although we can’t promise all will last through the whole tasting. Open wines are:
Belle Pente Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2013 (Vinous 90)
Belle Pente Pinot Noir Murto Vyd 2011 (Vinous 92)
Belle Pente Pinot Noir Belle Pente Vyd 2011 (Vinous 92)
Belle Pente Pinot Noir Murto Vyd 2012 (Vinous 93)
Belle Pente Pinot Noir Belle Pente Vyd 2012 (Vinous 93)
Belle Pente Pinot Noir Estate Reserve 2010 (Vinous 93)
We’ll also be sampling our just-arrived bread from Leonora Bakery and have other treats out to try as well. Join us!
- The Annual Champagne Classes: December 3 SOLD OUT; Dec 27 Going Fast
We’re calling these "Spotlight Sessions," because they each shine a focused light on one aspect of wine and the wine world. Please also see our fall One Sip at a Time Schedule.
To reserve your seats at any of these great classes, just call, email or stop by the store today.
The Annual Champagne Celebration
Thursday, Dec. 3, 7 pm, $50, SOLD OUT
Sunday, Dec. 27, 5 pm, $50
Our most popular class of the year (so much so that we had to do it 3 times last year!). We call it a "class", but bottles of bubble tend to turn things into a party before we're done!
This year's line-up features a wonderful blend of old and new - old favorites and old-fashioned styles contrasted with new-comers and the best new releases. Here's the line-up:
Alain Vincey Champagne Brut NV - We know next to nothing about this young winemaker whose pure, crisp, clean Brut Champagne has just debuted in the US market. But we know it's great value, with classic notes of pear and toast and a spicy finish.
Michel Turgy Blanc de Blancs Reserve Grand Cru Brut NV - Not far from Salon in the Cote des Blancs village of Les Mesnil-sur-Oger, Michel Turgy has been crafting beautiful all Chardonnay Champagne since the 1880s. Toasty, nutty, and rich on the nose and palate with a sizzling brisk and nervy finish. Vinous 91 points
Jean Vesselle Brut Reserve NV - Located in the small Champagne village of Bouzy, Jean Vesselle is in the heart of Pinot Noir country, and this wine features 80% Pinot Noir with just 20% Chardonnay. Pretty, sophisticated, and precise, their entry-level Brut finishes pure and very, very, long. Excellent value.
Jean Vesselle Brut Oeil de Perdrix NV - A very old style of Champagne - not white, not rose, but a pale, brassy, color similar to the color of a partridge's eye. Always 100% Pinot Noir and 100% delicious, this release is full of creamy red fruit and gentle toasty/yeast notes. Vinous 92 points
Jerome Coessens Largillier Rose de Saignee NV - Rose Champagne that gets pretty close to red Burgundy intensity and class, this is a brilliant Pinot Noir from a great young winemaker and an outstanding old vineyard. Very rare, very serious, very delicious. Wine Advocate 91 points
Bollinger Special Cuvee Brut NV - James Bond's favorite Champagne (at least in the movies) and a long-time house wine at Windsor Castle is also very, very, good this release. A touch of wood aging and base wines up to 15 years old make this a mature style showing brioche, hazelnut, toffee, and butter scents and delivering a powerful, rich, palate with an firm finish. Wine Spectator 93 points
Veuve Clicquot Grande Dame 2006 - The "widow Clicquot's" most outstanding wine from a fine harvest of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meniuer in 8 different Grand Cru Vineyards. With 8 years on the lees, this is rich and smoky and very long. Wine Spectator 94 points
If you love bubbles, then you really do not want to miss this annual celebration of fizz. These classes always sell out, so reserve your seats today!
Call 703.356.6500 or email email@example.com. Watch our web site and your email box for updates soon!
- One Sip at a Time Year-End: Cheap vs. Expensive!
One Sip at a Time classes focus on how to taste, evaluate, and talk about wine, while helping you identify the wines and flavors you enjoy most. Join us for the full series or come by for a class or two.
Core classes take place the second Thursday of each month at 7:15 pm. Sunday classes take "Deep Dives" into some of the world's greatest grapes.. (See also our schedule of "Spotlight" Wine Classes, featuring winemakers, importers, and wine regions.)
Reserve your seats by calling us at 703.356.6500, emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or just stopping by the store.
Last Class of 2015
Cheap vs. Expensive: Which Do You Really Prefer?
Second Thursday of December (Dec. 10, 2014), 7:15 pm, $25
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.
One Sip at a Time 2016 Schedule - New Classes and Old Favorites
Old World vs. New World Reds
Thursday, Jan. 14, 7:15
Sip a Cabernet/Merlot blend from Washington and one from Bordeaux. Try an oaked Pinot Noir from the Russian River Valley and one from Burgundy. Same grapes, different wines. What’s going on? And when a winery describes itself as having 'Old-World style,' what the heck does that even mean? Learn the answer as you sip pairs of wines from Europe and the USA. We’ll cover weather, clones and soils, along with the differences between Old World and New World winemaking.
Guess That Grape! Blind Tasting & Sensory Perception
Sunday, Jan. 24, 5 pm
Ever watch sommeliers swirl and sniff and magically know what's in their glass, down to the vintage and vineyard? Well, we won't get quite that far, but in this interactive class, you'll learn how to smell, taste and describe classic varieties while you discover how to taste wine 'blind.'
Wine and Chocolate
Thursday, Feb. 11, 7:15 pm
They're both classic ingredients for a romantic date, but like a lot of celebrity couples, just because something looks like it'll work, doesn't mean it actually will. You'll explore classic wine and chocolate pairings – and a few that may surprise you! – in this indulgent class just in time for Valentine's Day.
Sunday, Feb. 28, 5 pm
In this Sunday Deep Dive class, you'll learn all about delicious, versatile Grenache. You'll taste a variety of styles of this often-blended grape, both by itself and with its classic blending partners. A great pairing in a variety of cuisines, learn why Grenache belongs in your glass.
Old Word vs. New World Whites
Thursday, March 10, 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 versus California and discover the stunning difference between classic Sancerre and New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Compare Mosel and Clare Valley Riesling ... a delicious contrast.
Good Wines Gone Bad
Thursday, April 14, 7:15 pm
Ever wonder what you're supposed to look for when a waiter pours you a taste at a restaurant? Ever thought a wine you bought tasted off but you weren't sure how? In this interactive class, taste good and flawed versions of the same wine to find out how a good wine can go terribly bad.
Full and Fleshy Reds and Whites
Thursday, May 12, 7:15 pm
Think white wines are always wussy and light? Looking for a red that will wow you with steak? In this class you'll explore the world of full-bodied red and white wines from different regions and learn what makes a wine full bodied.
Sunday, May 22, 5 pm
In this Deep Dive Sunday class, you'll learn all about one of the world's most elegant and enigmatic grapes. From classic red Burgundy to that elusive great Pinot Noir for under $20, you'll learn all about what makes this classic grape so great, and what style of Pinot you prefer.
Fragrant and Fruit-Filled
Thursday, June 9, 7:15 pm
Kick off summer with an array of fun, light, aromatic wines that will be the life of all your summer barbecues and evenings on the back deck! Learn what creates those gorgeous aromas, and figure out what aromatic grape you like best.
Hooray for Rosé!
Thursday, July 14, 7:15 pm
This is not your great aunt Sally's White Zinfandel. In this summer-party of a class, you'll taste a wide variety of rosés from around the world, and see why all of us at the store spend pretty much all summer long seeing the world through rosé-colored glasses!
Sunday, July 24, 5 pm
A citrusy classic for summer! In this refreshing class, you'll taste the many sides of this pungent grape, from classic Sancerre to grapefruity New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. You'll learn all about the fascinating history of this classic grape, and figure out just how grapefruity you like your SB.
Cheap vs. Expensive:
Which Do You Really Prefer?
Thursday, Aug. 11, 7:15 pm
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 fun 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.
Sunday, Aug. 21, 5 pm
Love red wine, no matter the weather? In this interactive, "Sunday Funday" class, you'll learn how temperature affects your perception of wine as we try different summer-friendly reds at room temperature and chilled, and experience how they change. Sunglasses optional.
Foolin' Around With Flavor:
A Food/Wine Experience
Thursday, Sept. 8, 7:15 pm
Sure, you know all the tried-and-true food and wine rules: white wine with fish, Port with stilton, and the endless debate over what wine goes best with cheese. In this guided food and wine experience, you'll discover for yourself which rules are worth following, and which ones should be tossed.
Sunday, Sept. 18, 5 pm
Sure, it's everywhere, but do you really know Chardonnay? Explore the many faces of this chameleon of a grape, from classic white Burgundy to our favorite New World values. Do you like your Chard buttery or steely? Find out!
Six (Other) Whites You Should Know
Thursday, Oct. 13, 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 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.
Sunday, Oct. 23, 5 pm
Sure, we all know what 'Cab' is suppose to taste like, but where are the best values in Cabernet Sauvignon? And where does it come from, anyway? Learn all about this steak-night classic in this Sunday Deep Dive class - sorry, dry-aged beef isn't included.
Six (Other) Reds You Should Know
Thursday, Nov. 10, 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 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.
Cheap vs. Expensive: Which Do
You Really Prefer? (Session 2)
Thursday, Dec. 8, 7:15 pm
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.
Reserve your seats by calling us at 703.356.6500, emailing us at email@example.com, or just stopping by the store.