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Because it’s strange and beautiful and hot, people from everywhere converge on Florida and they bring their cuisine and their traditions with them. The Zest celebrates the intersection of food and communities in the Sunshine State.

'Epicurious On': Stephanie Love is disrupting the wine industry, one chicken wing at a time

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Her interest in wine began as a child. Now, the St. Pete resident has earned her level 3 certification from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust and she offers classes, trips and other experiences through her company.

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Stephanie Love’s philosophy on wine is simple: “Wine is for everybody.”

The entrepreneur’s passion for vino started young — really young — when the adults in her family allowed her to sip wine on holidays. As a teen, she was allowed to drink wine with dinner, where she discovered some unusual food-and-wine pairings. Among her favorites? Chianti with her grandmother’s pot roast.

Over the years, Stephanie continued honing her knack for unique food-and-wine pairings. After years of learning about wine on her own, she began taking classes at Atlanta’s Vino Venue. Today, the St. Petersburg resident has earned her level 3 certification from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust.

Through her company, Epicurious One, Stephanie offers classes, trips and other experiences. Students praise her down-to-earth approach, including Stephanie’s wine-and-comfort-food pairings and her descriptions of wine as people with different personalities.

In this conversation, Stephanie shares the importance of supporting minority-owned vineyards, suggests wine to enjoy with chicken wings and offers advice for finding an affordable wine you’ll like.

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