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.

 

Super Value Friday, Maurizio’s Italian Favorites Saturday – Free Weekend Tastings

Two fine tastings this weekend.  We’re loading up the store with some great new wines, and on Friday we’ll feature some of our favorite new great value selections.  Then, on Saturday, Italian importer and Naples Native Maurizio Farro will be at the tasting table showcasing a few of his favorites – including the Wine Spectator Top 100 Barolo from Odderro!

Best Value New Arrivals – Friday, January 23 from 3-7pm

We’ve got a dozen or two great new wines on the shelves this week, and you can see some of our favorites on the New Arrivals rack in the front of the store.  Even better – just come taste five favorites, all for under $15!

Cadastres Picpoul De Pinet 2013 – Ok, so this multi-year favorite value isn’t “new” – it’s been in the store non-stop for 5 years now – but the 2013 vintage certainly delivers new levels of lemon/lime, Granny Smith apple, green melon, and savory anise deliciousness. 

Patient Cottat Sauvignon Blanc Le Grand Caillou 2013 – There’s an awful lot of Sancerre character to this fresh and juicy Loire Valley Sauvignon Blanc, especially on the smoky, flinty, finish.  The green melon and tangy citrus fruit is pretty fun, too!

Silver Ridge Pinot Noir California 2012 - The best thing about big harvests in great years like 2012 is how many top-notch "little" wines get made.  Here’s a great example, an under $10 bottle that packs in plenty of authentic Pinot Noir character in its light, fresh, frame.

Il Bastardo Sangiovese Toscana 2013– Don’t let the fun label fool you; this is seriously fun Tuscan Sangiovese with loads of black cherry and red berry fruit and a bit more going on in the finish than you’d expect for this just silly low price.

Sur De Los Andes Malbec Cabernet Premium 2010 - This was supposed to be a $24 “Premium” red, and we certainly found enough in the bottle and the enthusiastic critical reviews to support that price. Rich and robust with a fine Wine Enthusiast 91 point review and all the tastier at the sub-$15 price!

We’ll have some fun nibbles from the cheese case out to sample and plenty of fresh-baked Lyon  Bakery bread to take home and enjoy, too.  Join us!


Maurizio Farro Shares Italian Classics from Chianti, Barolo and More!  Saturday, January 24 from noon-4pm.

We’re making Maurizio work this week, following up his tour of the wines of Campania on Thursday with this fun Saturday tasting of fine Italian wines from North and South.  Join Maurizio to taste:

Fontezopa Verdicchio di Matelica 2013    - Fresh but nicely ripe, with rich golden fruit holding center stage and tangy accents of crisp apple citrus peel.  With air, a note of anise/fennel comes up to add complexity and make this as delicious with green salad as it is with seafood.

Cantine Farro Falanghina 2013 – All Falanghina from volcanic soils within sight of Mt. Vesuvius made by Maurizio’s family near Naples.  Aromas of tangy pineapple, peach, apricot, fresh straw and white flowers lead to tangy, brisk, flavors of stone fruit, lemon curd, and green peach.  Fresh, fun, and food friendly!

Carpineta Fontalpino Chianti Classico 2012 – Rock-solid Chianti with enough cut to handle pasta and enough richness and power to sing with steak.  Not surprising it earned three different 90 point ratings this year!

Oddero Barolo Normale 2010 – We’ve enjoyed the Oddero wines for years, but have to agree with James Suckling – this Wine Spectator Top 100 selection is simply the “Best blended Barolo ever from here.”  Very refined and with tons of potential.

Sardus Pater Nur Carignano Del Sulcis 2011 – You don’t naturally think of “Carignan” and “Italy” in the same sentence, but this bold, blue-fruited, example from Sardinia could change all that.  Rich and full with a fine mineral finish.

Maurizio will give you all the background on each wine, it’s winemaker and region as he pours, making this as educational as it is delicious.  We look forward to seeing you there!


"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.

 

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.

Winter Wine Classes - Tour Campania with Maurizio and Billecart Bubbly

We're working on an exciting line up of classes for 2015!  Is there a theme, topic, or experience you'd especially enjoy?  Just let us know.  We're looking for great new class ideas to share throughout the year.  Watch this space for new listings, including features on Burgundy, Bordeaux, and the Rhone and winemaker visits.

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 Tasty Tour of Campania with Maurizio Farro
Thursday, Jan. 22, 7pm
Course Fee $30
- Just 5 seats left!!!

In the dead of winter, it’s especially delightful to imagine the delights of Italy’s Campania region.  From towering Mt. Vesuvius to chaotic Naples and on south to the stunning vistas of the Amalfi Coast, many have found this to be one of Italy’s most exciting regions to visit – but almost everyone misses the great wines!  

Here’s your chance to fix that.  Join Naples native and boutique importer Maurizio Farro as he takes you on a tour up and down the Campania coast and even inland to the hidden villages and vineyards of the region’s stunning interior.  We’ll sample 8 wines ranging from whites made from grapes like Falanghina, Greco di Tufo, and Fiano di Avalino to robust reds from Aglianico and Piedirosso. Here's the list:

Cantine Farro Falanghina 2013
Cantine Farro Falanghina Reserva Cigliate 2012
Cantine Farro Piedirosso 2013

Pietracupa Greco di Tufo 2013
Pietracupa Fiano di Avellino 2013
Pietracupa Tauasi (Aglianico) 2008

Marisa Cumo Furore Bianco 2013
Marisa Cumo Furore Rosso 2013

And, because these wines are meant for food, we’ll have some special treats for you to enjoy – Maurizio has even offered to bring in a pan of his mother’s eggplant parmigiana!  Call, email, or stop by the store to reserve your seats today.


Brilliant Bubbles from Billecart-Salmon
Sunday, Feb. 8, 6pm
Course Fee $40


Want to do something fun and a little romantic the week before Valentine’s Day?  Or just enjoy and learn more about one of Champagne’s most interesting and important estates?  Then sign up now for our special Sunday class with Clement Calleja, the winery’s US Brand Ambassador.  Founded in 1818 with the marriage of Nicolas François Billecart and Elisabeth Salmon, this is one of the few important houses to remain family owned.  The style here is all about purity and elegance, although the wines never lack concentration or depth.  

Clement will share this very respected domaine’s history, reveal how the wines are made and blended, and pour 6 great wines:

Billecart-Salmon Brut Rose NV
Billecart-Salmon Brut Reserve NV (from Magnum)
Billecart-Salmon Blanc de Blancs NV
Billecart-Salmon Brut Sous Bois NV
Billecart-Salmon Extra Brut NV
Billecart-Salmon Brut Cuvee Nicolas 1999


We’ll have fizz friendly snacks out to enjoy with the wines and even a little pre-Valentine’s Day chocolate to try.  And while the bright lights and yellow walls of our tasting classroom aren’t really romantic, the wines certainly are!  To reserve your seats, just call, email, or stop by the store today.