The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

Local News

September 26, 2013

Local expert to lead ECC wine class

TARBORO — After a successful three-part series on wine appreciation over the summer, Edgecombe Community College is offering a six-week fall course on the fundamentals of wine.

“The first one was basic 101 for wine,” says Inez Ribustello, co-owner of On the Square restaurant and wine store in Tarboro. “This time, we’re going to go much more in depth.

Ribustello is a nationally recognized sommelier who spent years in New York as beverage director for a pair of prestigious restaurants – Windows on the World in the World Trade Center and the Blue Fin in the W Hotel-Times Square. “During this class, we’re going to go into each country. We’ll break out maps and go into the sub-regions of wine. It will be more educational.”

Wine Fundamentals begins Oct. 1 and continues each Tuesday through Nov. 5. The cost is $70 for the class, plus $15 per session.

The college’s first class on wine appreciation, which was held in June, focused primarily on pairing wine and food. It featured three instructors, including Ribustello.

Trudy Lynn, ECC’s director of special programs, explains, “We wanted to see if there was enough interest in that three-week class for this six-week program.”

The wine appreciation classes averaged about 60 students each week. “We were thrilled to death,” Ribustello says. “People underestimate this area. There are a lot of people who love to travel and who love good food and wine.”

She will be the only instructor for Wine Fundamentals, and she plans on taking students on a round-the-world wine tour, starting in France, Italy, and Spain and ending in the United States.

“We dedicate an entire class to American wines, including North Carolina wines,” Ribustello says. “North Carolina wines have made tremendous leaps and bounds, and it’s always good to drink local.”

Diane LeFiles, who has enjoyed several wine appreciation dinners at Ribustello’s On The Square restaurant, attended the college’s first wine class. She’s already signed up for the next one.

“I want to learn more about wine,” LeFiles says. “The first class was a lot of fun. People in class had similar interests, and we made new friends.

“My husband and I enjoy good food, and we enjoy good wine. We want to learn how to put the two together in the company of good friends.”

Lynn says about a dozen people have pre-registered for the fall wine course, and most of them were enrolled in the summer series. She says the

college hopes that this will evolve into a regular offering – possibly expanding to beer and other beverage appreciation classes.

“This is something we’d like to do every semester,” Lynn adds.

To pre-register or for more information about the Wine Fundamentals class that begins Oct. 1, contact Lynn at or 823-5166, ext. 220, or Brittany Harrelson at or 823-5166, ext. 293.


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