Anjoleena Griffin-Holst

Do you enjoy sipping on a glass of Chardonnay while you're out with the girls? Are you one of those people who makes sure you've got a bottle of red wine to go with the steak you're grilling as the weather warms up? Have you ever walked down the aisle of your favorite liquor store and wondered why on earth they have so many cabernets and what makes one more expensive than the others? Maybe it's time to learn a little more about wine.

Many retail stores offer in-store samplings, which are quick and easy. These are helpful when you want to taste a wine to see if it fits into your weekend plans.

Circle Liquor in Somers Point sends out emails discussing the theme they are focusing on, so next time you're there be sure to get on their mailing list for the Saturday Samplings they offer.

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Bootleggers in Egg Harbor Township posts their tastings on their website, and, right up the street, Joe Canal's on Fire Road opens up some cool wines for you to try.

White Horse Wine & Spirits in Absecon takes it one step further and has an interactive educational page on their website as well as in-store tastings. If you want more than a small sip, you can visit Joe Canal's in Mays Landing to taste wine from the Enomatic machines. Sure, you have to pay for a taste, but you have the chance to enjoy many different wines to see which one you like best.

If you want to go more in-depth, you can purchase tickets to a tasting from the folks at Passion Vines in Somers Point for one of their wine, beer or spirit classes. They offer tastings themed on a winery, brewery or region. These classes range from $20 to $35. Just visit their website to see what events they are offering.

Another great place to learn about wine is Vintage, A Wine Boutique at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa. Beginning May 7, Vintage welcomes you to The Wine Classroom. Discover the world of wine, learn about wine pairings and sample some exceptional varietals.

These 45-minute classes will be taught by a few of Borgata's wine professionals: Trevor Dunn, manager of Vintage; Laura Turenne, wine manager of Borgata; Gale Stein-Lutz, sommelier of Old Homestead; and me.

I'm looking forward to sparkling wines from around the world and off the beaten path, but there are 10 different classes to choose from, so you're sure to find something to stimulate your taste buds for just $25 per person. We'll have a good time learning about wine and you'll get to take home some ideas on what food to pair with the wine you enjoyed. Call 609-317-1000 to reserve your seat or go to to learn more.

The wine team and I look forward to welcoming you to The Wine Classroom. Cheers!

Anjoleena Griffin-Holst is Wine Director at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa since March 2006 and is the only female wine director at a casino-resort in the United States. She helped establish Borgata's reputation for its impressive wine selection, which includes more than 40,000 bottles and recently received four separate Best of Award of Excellence and two Award of Excellence by Wine Spectators 2011 Restaurant Awards. Her column will run every other week.

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