State of Wine — a five-day festival celebrating all things wine — has returned to the State Buildings for its third year.
The festival is the brainchild of State Buildings’ Director of Wine, Emma Farrelly, and was started during COVID when WA’s borders were closed to the rest of the world. The idea was simple, let’s give people something to celebrate, bringing a little bit of joy to people’s lives during what will go down as one of the toughest periods this generation will likely endure.
Enough about COVID — although we’re certainly happy that this festival came out of it. State of Wine runs over five days, starting today, and includes a series of events designed to be approachable for any wine lover, from the seasoned oenophile to those just starting their journey through the world of wine. Who better to talk about the event series than the person behind it, so we sat down with Emma Farrelly to talk all things wine.
When talking about the vision and inspiration for the series, Farrelly said, “I like to try and create things that are a little bit outside of the box for people who maybe don’t want to be too nerdy or they don’t want to feel pressured to know a lot about wine.”
Farrelly has worked in wine for over 20 years and believes that there’s no wrong way to enjoy wine. Every wine lover is on their own journey, each having their own preferences and palate. Some enjoy a chardonnay, while others prefer a cabernet sauvignon. Based on our conversation, here’s a breakdown of State of Wine events and which may be best for you.
Early On Your Wine Journey
The most casual and approachable event in the series, Fizzy Rascal has been nicknamed “the party event” and is perfect for those who are early in their wine journey.
“It’s essentially a heap of local West Australian producers and a couple of importers just showing fizzy wines. So pet nats, sparkling, champagne, a little bit of cider and beer as well. Hip Hop DJ, just like a fun one” Farrelly told So Perth.
Wines That Thai
Wine is always enjoyed best with friends over food. Wines That Thai does just that and it’s not your typical wine event. It’ll take you on a journey while you explore the flavours of Thai food with unexpected wine pairings.
This event is held at Long Chim, arguably Perth’s best Thai restaurant. If you haven’t eaten there before, you’re in for a treat. It’ll be a classic luncheon menu with some really interesting wines, from Greek wine to sparkling reds and some Italian drops.
Going A Little Deeper On Your Journey
When we talk about French wine, we usually go straight to Burgandy and Bordeaux, two of the more popular varietals. There’s a lot more to explore in the world of French wine, though.
Farrelly told us, “Modern French is more like, ‘Oh, you know, something about French wine? Come and taste these red wines, because I guarantee you would not have tried them.’ And they are really interesting. So I think that’s kind of cool for someone who’s on the journey of loving wine but wants to know more.”
Italiano Americano Dinner
What better place to hold an Italian wine dinner, than at Post? The Italiano Americano Dinner Farrelly describes as “kind of like a big cuddle.” The menu looks incredible and is a range of what can best be described as comfort food — think spaghetti and meatballs, veal cotoletta, rigatoni alla vodka, and cheesecake with cherries, each paired with a delicious American or Italian wine.
For The Oenophiles
This one is for those lovers of cult-status French chardonnays. PYCM which sold out almost straight away is a celebration of wines from one of the young rising star wineries of the Burgundy region, Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey.
The Greatest Wine Dinner
This is the headline event of the series and if you’re a bit of a wine nerd, this is absolutely the event for you. Talking about last year’s Greatest Wine Dinner, Farrelly reminisced, saying, “I had six winemakers and 14 guests, so it was just like a big dinner party. And the winemakers were telling stories about each other and how they all met and it was super fun. The guests barely got a word in and I was like, ‘Sorry, you guys have barely had a chance to talk’ and they said ‘This is the greatest thing ever.’”
This year’s Greatest Wine Dinner is a Pinot Noir edition, held at Wildflower, the State Buildings’ fine dining restaurant.
To find out more about State of Wine and how to get tickets, visit the State Buildings website.