Wine NL uncorks tasting and education club Conception Bay South
Jennifer Cooper recently launched Wine NL, a wine and spirits tasting and education club in Conception
Let’s be honest: most of us, when presented with a variety of wine options at a bar or restaurant, choose the path of least resistance and those who choose something obscure are likely embellishing their knowledge.
But it doesn’t have to be that way and Jennifer Cooper’s goal is to educate people about wine in a way that makes it less intimidating and helps them break down the barriers that keep people from being adventurous.
“There’s nothing better than looking at a wine menu and knowing what you’re ordering or having an idea what these words mean,” says Cooper, founder of Wine NL, a new wine and spirits education venture based in Conception Bay South.
“In general, if you have no idea what you really like or what these words mean, looking at a French wine label is super intimidating and you’re going to say ‘No, I’m going to stick with my California, it’s simple, it says exactly what it is, the name of the winery, the name of grape variety, simple.”
Cooper admits she’s not an expert, but she does have both training and experience in wine knowledge that goes beyond just enjoying a Chenin Blanc or a Malbec.
She’s completed her level two international sommelier guild certification and previously operated the club with great success in Labrador City for two years prior to moving to St. John’s for work last October. “The geography of the land, soil, the climate, the terroir, food pairings … I have an interest in that,” she says.
“I thought if I have some sort of an education in it and I had passion for it, why not make a club out of it and share that knowledge.”
Originally, Cooper figured the St. John’s market on wine clubs offering education courses and tastings was cornered, but after meeting with the Conception Bay Area Chamber of Commerce it was clear an opportunity existed.
“This is a perfect business where it doesn’t overlap with any other business in the community,” says chamber executive director John Smith.
“It creates more revenue for the community. It creates another service. It’s a win-win.” Cooper, with assistance from the chamber, will soon acquire a business license, allowing for more opportunities to commercialize the service through corporate or private events.
But they’ll also establish a separate wine club.
“Anybody who has an interest or wants to learn, we’ll be getting together once a month and we’ll have a selection of wines we’ll go over and learn some things through that.”
The two parties have teamed up for a wine tasting at Vio’s Bistro in C.B.S. on Tuesday, Sept. 19. Details are available on the Chamber’s website cbachamber.com.
KENN OLIVER/THE TELEGRAM Jennifer Cooper recently launched Wine NL, a wine and spirits tasting and education club in Conception Bay South.