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.


Selections from Clerico on Friday, Olivier Pours Guillon 1er Cru (and More) on Saturday!

It’s going to be a bit crazy in the store this weekend as Prisoner 2013 arrives, we feature Dolcetto, Barbera and Barolo from the legendary Domenico Clerico, and importer Olivier Daubresse takes the tasting table on Saturday to show off red Burgundy from Jean-Michel Guillon.  But, if you brave the madness, you’ll be well rewarded by the chance to sample some extraordinary wines!

Three from Barolo Master Domenico Clerico Plus Some Extra Treats – Friday, October 24 from 3-7pm

Friday’s tasting celebrates a huge week at the store as we show off our featured value Russian River Chardonnay, a stunning 2012 red Burgundy from Domaine Guillon, and three wines from Barolo legend Domenico Clerico.  The Clerico wines include two that were poured by Domenico at Ripple restaurant this week plus the rarely seen, and utterly captivating, 2008 Barolo Aeroplanservaj.  Here’s the full line-up.

Rued Chardonnay Russian River 2013 – A long-time store favorite reaches new heights in the outstanding 2013 vintage.  The Rued family made just 646 cases of this classic, buttery, fruit and spice-filled beauty that tastes even better from just $15.98.

Guillon Chambolle-Musigny 2012 – We couldn’t work this into Saturday’s tasting with Olivier Daubresse, but don’t want you to miss the chance to try one of the most elegant and charming wines Jean-Michel and son/co-winemaker Alexis make.  Lovely stuff here.

Domenico Clerico Dolcetto Visadi 2012 – As Wine Spectator says, this is “a textbook Dolcetto” with “a fine, mouthwatering finish.”  The fruit is fresh, the tannins soft, and the fun starts with the first sip!  A very fine value, too.

Domenico Clerico Barbera d’Alba Trevigne 2011 – No surprise that this is a double 90 pointer!  Loads of dark fruit cascade across your palate with accents of fresh flowers and a fine snap of juicy acids on the finish.  Pulls you back again and again.

Domenico Clerico Barolo Barolo Aeroplanservaj 2008 – A new wine for many Clerico fans, this adds a more elegant twist to Clerico’s normal opulence and power.  A WA 95 pointer, limited, and not cheap – but a thrill to try!

A powerhouse tasting to kick off a big Fall weekend.  Join us!

Olivier Daubresse Pours Guillon 2012 Including Grand Cru Mazis-Chambertin – Saturday, October 25

This is always one of our most exciting Saturdays of the year!  Join us as importer and Burgundy expert Olivier Daubresse shares five glorious wines from one of the best grower/winemakers in Burgundy – Jean-Michel Guillon.  We’ll even open one bottle of Grand Cru Mazis-Chambertin – but if you want to taste that, come early because when it’s gone, it’s gone.  We’ll pour:

Guillon Gevrey Chambertin Cuvee Alexis 2012 - Co-winemaker Alexis Guillon's cuvee is always a bit more elegant than the Domaine's other Village wines, but still has the concentration and depth that only comes from 60+ year-old vines. This is the best vintage for this wine I can recall
Guillon Gevrey Chambertin 1er Cru Les Champeaux 2012 -  In 2012, Champeaux stands out among Guillon's 1er Cru wines for its depth of concentration and beautiful texture.  Much more open and accessible than Champonnets today, Champeax impresses with it's blend of ripe dark fruit, classic Gevrey earth and iron-ore, and hints of floral elegance. 

Guillon Gevrey Chambertin 1er Cru Champonnets 2012 -  As Burghound says, "Sweet Spot Outstanding," but 60% less than usual. A big "wow" wine that delivers a silky, plush, nose of spice, peach, red fruit, chamoile and cocoa.  Then a mouthful of dark fruit, unctuous cocoa butters, spice and cigar tobacco with superb length, plenty of power, but absolutely no excess weight.  This is arguably the wine that most clearly exemplifies Jean Michel’s style and talent.

Guillon Gevrey Chambertin 1er Cru Petit Chapelle 2012 - As always, teeters right on the edge of Grand Cru quality.  Just 35% whole cluster in 2012 and fantastic precision and delineation to the aromas and flavors of blue/black fruit, smoked earth, spice and fresh cut flowers. More tempting young than usual, but plenty of potential to age for a long time.

Guillon Grand Cru Mazis Chambertin 2012 - Jean-Michel got only 2 barrels from his Grand Cru Mazis-Chambertin vineyard in 2012, but what magnificent barrels they were! The wine is so packed with fruit, spice, and minerality that it's hard to believe it could have such an elegant, silky, texture. 

As always, we’ll have some treats from the cheese case out to sample and plenty of fresh-baked Lyon Bakery bread to take home, too.  But, we don’t have a lot of any of these wines – and will only open one bottle of the rare (and expensive!) Mazis-Chambertin, so come early to avoid disappointment!

"One Sip at a Time" Wine Classes - Go Back to School for Fall!

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.

Sign up for any of the core classes, which take place the second Thursday of each month at 7:15pm (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. Course fee for each class is $25.

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.


Back to School Time!  One Sip at a Time Class Schedule

OSAAT Deep Dive:  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.

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

Reserve your seats by calling us at 703.356.6500, emailing us at wineteam@chainbridgecellars.com, or just stopping by the store.

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.

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

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

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”!

Good Wines Gone Bad
Second Thursday of April (April 9, 2015), 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 14, 2015) – 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 11, 2015) – 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 9, 2015) – 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!

Beaujolais, Port and Champagne - The Last of 2014 Wine Classes

The best part about “back to school” season?  Going back to wine school! We’re working on an exciting line-up of fun and tasty wine classes for you to enjoy this fall, all offered right here in our downstairs tasting room. The full schedule for remaining 2014 classes is below.

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. 

A Tour of Beaujolais Crus – Going Well Beyond Nouveau!
Thursday, Oct. 30, 7pm
Course Fee $20

The third Thursday of November marks one of the most important marketing days of the wine year – “Beaujolais Nouveau C'est Arrive!”  When Georges Duboeuf popularized the annual release of what had previously been a simple country wine and turned it into a global marketing event, he certainly didn’t realize that it would forever confuse wine lovers and tarnish the wine he loved.  So as the calendar gets ready to turn from October to November, it seems like a great time to take a tour of the great vineyards of Beaujolais and get a better idea of what great wine Gamay Noir can make in these granite soils.

We love the wines of Jean-Marc Lafont and his wife Annick, so we’ll use them to help you understand the differences between light, fresh, Brouilly, floral Fleurie, supple St. Amour, and majestic, ageworthy, Moulin-a-Vent.  We’ll taste 7 wines in total, including a fun, festive, sparkling, cremant, including:

Cremant de Bourgogne (sparkling)
Beaujolais Villages les Granits Blues 2013
Brouilly Briante 2012
Fleurie les Granits Roses
St. Amour 2012
Chiroubles 2012
Moulin A Vent les Burdelines 2012

After tasting all seven wines, taking a virtual tour of Beaujolais via map and photograph, and enjoying a few snacks, you’ll be ready to resist the Nouveau hype and choose your favorite style of “real” Beaujolais like a pro!  To reserve your seats, call us at 703.356.6500, email us at wineteam@chainbridgecellars.com, or simply stop by the store.

Fantastic Fortified Flavors of Port, Sherry and Madeira
Course Fee $40
TWO DATES:  Thursday, Nov. 20, 7pm and Sunday, Nov. 23, 5pm

As Fall turns to Winter and Thanksgiving and the December Holidays come close, it’s a fine time to explore the warming wonders of the world’s best fortified wines.  They can be dry and savory (like Oloroso Sherry or saline Madeira) or sweet and unctuous (like Port, Pedro Ximenez Sherry, or sweet Mmadeiras).  Some are complements to a fine meal, while others are the crowning touch after dessert.  But all are fascinating, fun to explore, and very, very, delicious.  Join us on either Thursday, November 20 or Sunday, November 23, as we explore the world of sweet and savory fortified wines from Port, Madeira and Sherry.

We’ll serve you some wonderful pairing bites like walnuts, dried fruit, salty bleu cheeses, and even a little dark chocolate so you can enjoy how well the wines play with food.  You’ll learn how they were created, are made, and the best way and time to enjoy each wine.  Most of all, though, you’ll enjoy seven delicious fortified wines and a rousing good time!

To reserve your seats, just call us at 703.356.6500, email us at wineteam@chainbridge cellars, or just stop by the store.  You’ll leave the class perfectly warmed up for the holidays to come.

Annual Champagne Celebration and Class
Course Fee $60
TWO DATES:  Thursday, Dec. 4, 7pm and Sunday, Dec. 28, 5 pm

So popular, we have to do it twice! And, this year’s holiday-season Champagne class will reach new heights of delectable fun.  We’ll pour eight Champagnes, each paired with a small bite or two from our own Cheese/Food selections and plus some fun special nibbles as well.  You’ll explore a range of styles from lean and crisp Blanc de Blancs to darker fruited Blanc de Noirs, and even try a compelling and pretty pink wine, too.  Here's the line-up:

L. Aubry Champagne Brut NV (IWC 91/WA 92)
Andre Jacquart Champagne Brut Experience Blanc de Blancs NV (WS 91)
Coessens Champagne Blanc De Noirs Largillier NV (WA 91)
Billecart-Salmon Brut Rose NV (IWC 92)           
Eric Rodez Ambonnay Cuvee de Grands Vintages NV (IWC 93)
Cedric Mousse Champagne Brut Millesime 2009       
Billecart Salmon Brut Cuvee Nicolas Francois 1999 (WS 93)
Krug Grande Cuvee NV (WS 97)

This session starts out as a class and then usually devolves into a party as the evening wears on.  Whether you’d prefer to join us on December 4 to kick-off the Holiday Season or share bubbles with us on December 28 to prepare for New Year’s Eve, you’ll find plenty to delight.  Reserve your seats now – for yourself, for a group, or as a gift! – by calling us at 703.356.6500, emailing us, or just stopping by the store.