vino

Hi, I’m BJ Tumanut. Chocolate Lover, Certified Wine Nerd and Owner of Chocolates by Bernard Callebaut in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada. Friends call me CocoLady.

Born and raised in the United States, I moved to Edmonton in 1997 where I enjoyed a career in fine wine. In 2002 I swapped my wine glasses for chocolate and managed the three Chocolates by Bernard Callebaut stores. Chocolate was a great fit for me, so much so that in 2011 I moved to Red Deer to purchase my own store. I love Red Deer and am grateful for the opportunities it has given me as a businesswoman and community builder.

Friends of mine who knew about my wine background encouraged me to start offering wine and chocolate classes and parties. I thought they were nuts, but what did I know? Our wine and chocolate classes became our most popular classes almost overnight!

Given the popularity of our wine and chocolate classes, it was important to me to further my wine education. My formal wine education credentials include: Advanced Certificate Wines & Spirits Education Trust (Level 3), Fine Vintage Canadian Wine Scholar Certificate, Fine Vintage Sensory Masterclass, Fine Vintage Sommelier Certificate and Wines of British Columbia Ambassador Program. I am currently studying the French Wine Scholar program with the Wine Scholar Guild.

With all of these fancy qualifications, I have expanded my wine offerings to include: wine & food pairing classes, sensory classes, staff training and private wine functions.

It’s important for me to let you know that I work very hard to “keep it real” so you can trust my opinion and recommendations. I do not accept any financial kickbacks in exchange for suggesting wine or using wines in my classes.

Cheers!