Here’s where to learn about wine in Northern Virginia

Can’t tell a merlot from a cabernet? These locations have everything from spotlight classes on specific blends to wine boot camps.

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From avid supporters of the boxed variety to those with temperature-maintained wine cellars, no one can know everything about the wide world of wine.

Here’s where you can find one-time classes, monthly series or certifications at local wineries and wine shops in the DMV.

Little Washington Winery

One two-hour weekend course at this winery and it promises to turn you into a “certified wine snob.” Little Washington Winery’s Foodie U hosts classes every weekend that vary in topic, from blending to chocolate and cheese pairings. During Virginia Wine Month (October), the winery will host everything from Wine Bootcamp to a World of Malbecs course, and guests can even attend a three-day, two-night wine retreat if they’re feeling exceptionally inspired. Find two of the winery’s offered classes, below. // 72 Christmas Tree Lane, Washington

Class: Wine Boot Camp
This seminar is led by Little Washington Winery’s winemaker, who will teach you how to taste like a pro, how to achieve aeration perfection, how to choose your perfect bottle in a wine shop, how to to pair food with wine and the chemistry of different blends of wine. This boot camp includes a molecular pairing experiment, three chocolate pairings and the Dirt Road Wine Tour. // Every Saturday and Sunday in October; $40

Class: Wine Blending Lab
Yes, you too can be a winemaker for a day. Learn to mix and match different blends to make your very own masterpiece of wine. Little Washington Winery’s wine professionals will guide you through an understanding of different types of grapes and their flavor profiles, and leave you feeling with a sense of accomplishment … and your very own one-of-a-kind blend. // Oct. 20, 2 p.m.; Oct. 27, 2 p.m.; $40

Chain Bridge Cellars

This McLean wine shop offers free wine tastings every Friday from 3 to 7 p.m., and Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m., but it also offers over 25 different wine classes per year in two different formats. Guests can enjoy classes from the One Sip at a Time 2019 series (until Dec. 12) for $30 per session, with classes specializing in understanding the differences between Old World and New World wines, cheap wines and expensive wines and wines from various regions. // 1351 Chain Bridge Road, McLean

Class: Deep Dive Cabernet Sauvignon
Ever wondered where cabernet sauvignon originated and the different flavors it can have? This class is for you. Learn all about the classic in this course, but be warned, there is not a steak dinner included. //  Oct. 27, 3 p.m.; $30

Sonoma Cellar 

The wine tasting room in Alexandria leverages the city’s historic heritage with its evolving personality, all while offering over 180 Sonoma, California-specific wines and over 20 Virginia-based wines. While the location offers guests the opportunity to taste the brews from the growing region and live music nights, guests can also stop by a Wine Class with Jose, or join the Wine Book Club. Below, find an upcoming event, with more to be announced soon. // 207 King St., Alexandria

Class: SoCel Wine Book Club, The House of Mondavi
This month’s book is The House of Mondavi: The Rise and Fall of an American Wine Dynasty, and  readers can come to discuss the story behind the California wine empire that is rooted in Cesare Mondavi’s immigration to the United States from Italy and journeys through a scandal-filled rise to being a household name. And, of course, there will be wine. // Oct. 21, 7 p.m.; $30

Want to discover all there is to know about Virginia wine? Find our October issue on newsstands, filled with wine day trips, tasting tips and more. 

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