Certified wine pro Janet Stone has worked at Vin Master wine shop in the past and conducted tastings in the retail environment along with informal wine tastings during gatherings with friends. Where her love of wine came from? Food.

“I always selected wines to go with the wonderful dishes my husband was creating,” said Stone, who now works as a freelance producer and writer. “Our team effort started casually but then evolved. He eventually went to culinary school and I looked for something more than wine tastings to increase my knowledge.”

It was six years ago that Stone began taking Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) courses at Johnson & Wales University. WSET is a London-based, internationally recognized wine certification program that is taught locally.

“I started with a class that focused on Bordeaux specifically. After realizing how little I knew about wine, I continued on with WSET’s intermediate and advanced courses,” said Stone. “We are fortunate in Charlotte to have access to excellent wine education instructors and courses.”

Stone’s knowledge grew about wine, as well as her curiosity about the subject.

“Once I started understanding and tasting the connection between wines and the territory of their regions, I wanted to keep learning and exploring as much as possible.”

Through her wine certifications, Stone has developed a high-level ability to describe wine accurately, including style, quality and price of wines. She can pinpoint major grape varieties, important wine regions, as well as, identify key classifications and labeling terminology and more.

When not engrossed in wine education, Stone helps friends find special bottles to enjoy for themselves, serve at an event or give to others, or allows herself to simply enjoy sipping on wine.

“I like to head to the mountains with a picnic, find a good spot to hang the hammock and enjoy a nice rosé. My favorite wine drinking is always with family and friends who share my appreciation,” said Stone.

Today she is helping us find a few good summer wines. Stone defines a summer wine as “lower in alcohol, lighter bodied with nice acidity that pairs well with many different types of warm weather foods.”

She said to “think of something you would enjoy drinking at the beach or a barbecue, look for a refreshing wine, nothing too big or heavy.”

Here are her picks:

Novellum Chardonnay 2015 – France

Where to purchase: winestore (SouthPark) and Foxcroft Wine Co. (SouthPark)

Tasting notes: Peach and honeysuckle notes.

Fontanavecchia Falanghina del Sannio Taburno  2016 – Italy

Where to purchase: Pasta and Provisions (Park Road) and Foxcroft Wine Co. (Dilworth)

Tasting notes: Tropical fruit, citrus, almond and honey notes with bright acidity.

Garofoli Rosato Komaros 2016 – Italy

Where to purchase: Common Market (Oakwold), Foxcroft Wine Co. (SouthPark) and Pasta and Provisions (Park Road and Providence Road)

Tasting notes: Cherry and strawberry notes with balanced acidity.

Gramona Gessami 2015 – Spain

Where to purchase: winestore (SouthPark), Foxcroft Wine Co. (SouthPark) and Whole Foods (SouthPark)

Tasting notes: Notes of floral, citrus and white stone fruits.

Cleto Chiarli Brut de Noir Rosé Lambrusco NV – Italy

Where to purchase: Foxcroft Wine Co. (Dilworth and SouthPark)

Tasting notes: Strawberry and raspberry notes.

Schloss Gobelsburg Cistercien Rosé  2016 – Austria

Where to purchase: Foxcroft Wine Co. (SouthPark)

Tasting notes: Berry and melon notes with balanced minerality and zippy acid.