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ONE of the great things about the wine industry here in the west is the number of wine dinners, tastings, presentations and cellar doors.

Over the coming couple of months there is an amazing range of events to immerse yourself in.

The continuously forward thinking Fremantle Arts Centre has again come up trumps with a series of wine and food events. Combining the talents of resident food consultant Sophie Zalokar and WA’s ‘queen of Champagne’, Lexie Thompson, the food and wine series explores the delights of Champagne, sparkling red, and dessert and fortified wines.

The series begins on Friday May 9 with the theme ‘Celebrating Autumn with Champagne’. Tickets are available through the Arts Centre 9432 9555, members $45 and non members $50 or www.fac.org.au

Next week marks the second annual Western Australian Fine Wine event. It is an opportunity for all those who enjoy a glass of wine or two to taste through more than 600 wines. About 100 of the ever-increasing number of Western Australian wineries will be showing their produce over three days.

If you’re planning on heading along you may also want to take part in the series of master classes being run as part of the event. More information is available on the Wine Industry Association’s website, www.winewa.asn.au.

Bill Pannell from Picardy Wines is a very passionate pinot noir man and will present ‘The Holy Grail’, an in-depth look at the beast that is pinot noir.

If you have an opinion on pinot you won’t want to miss Bill’s musings on this noble variety. The master class will be presented on Friday May 16 from 6-8pm and limited tickets cost $50.

James Talijancich from Talijancich Wines will present a look into ‘Liquid Gold’ when he delves into the world of fortified wines. A master of fortified wines himself, James will lead you through a tasting of a range of fortified styles, given the number of award winning examples our own Swan Valley produces.

With winter approaching, this is a session I am sure to be attending, from 4-6pm on Sunday, May 18 (cost $25).

Those who attend on the Saturday will be able to taste through an extensive range of a number of wineries’ museum stock.

For many of the wines on show it will be their first and last appearance at such a show, especially considering the response from wineries last year such as Leeuwin Estate, which had the legendary 1995 Art Series Chardonnay on tasting.

This year, inside information tells me that the wines are every bit as good, with wines such as the 1990 Devil’s Lair Cabernet tempting you to get along.

Western Australian Fine Wine – Silver Jubilee Pavilion at the Royal Showgrounds in Claremont from May 16-18, with opening hours as follows: 5-9pm on Friday May 16; noon-8pm on Saturday May 17; and noon-6pm on Sunday May 17. Tickets cost $15 for entry (including program and tasting glass) on Friday and $25 on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are available at the door or by contacting the Association on 9385-1699.

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