Certified sommelier Wanda Haynes wants you to stop buying the same $5 bottle of wine every time you go to the grocery store.
She understands that people often don’t know what to choose from the wine aisle, so they end up drinking one wine over and over and over again. But don’t worry; she’s here to help.
This month, Haynes will offer a three-part, in-depth series on wine at the main branch of the Stark County District Library. Her classes are open to anyone 21 and older who would like more information on navigating a wine list, setting up a wine cellar or purchasing wine as a gift.
Each session will run from 1 to 3 p.m. on a Saturday in November.
The schedule is:
• November 2: Fortified wines. Haynes will cover what fortified wine is, how the wine is produced, what regions and countries it’s from and what it pairs well with.
• November 9: Italian reds. Haynes will talk about how to cellar red wines and what grapes are most popular in Italy.
• November 16: Sparkling wines. Haynes said she likes to talk about sparkling wines before the holidays because people usually are confused about sparkling wine and the fact that it’s not all champagne. Besides champagne, she’ll also teach about cava from Spain and prosecco.
This year’s series follows a one-day program Haynes presented at the library last year, where she explained how to pair wines with end-of-year dishes.
“She is very knowledgeable, and she does a great job of speaking,” said Julie Hoffman, librarian and adult programmer with the library.
Because the upcoming wine series will be held at the library, there will not be wine tasting during the event. But Haynes encourages participants of the program to continue educating themselves by going wine tasting.
“The best way to learn about the wine is tasting the wine and documenting it in your head,” she said. (Haynes recommends Buehler’s Fresh Foods in Jackson Township, where she used to work in the wine department and where tasting pours are inexpensive.)
Haynes’ wine education was launched by a career as a single-malt scotch taster. She loved the job but realized she only could drink so much scotch—she thinks it’s strong—and wanted to learn about wine. So she started visiting wineries and attending more and more tastings.
“Once you catch the wine bug, there’s no cure for it, except learning and drinking more and more wine,” Haynes said. “That’s the only cure for it.”
Haynes said she hopes the biggest takeaway for participants is confidence in their knowledge to be able to select wine.
Registration for the program is encouraged via the library’s website.
“I think that anybody who comes will be delighted and will get a lot of good information,” Hoffman, with the library, said.