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Grape Nuts

The World Series of Wine is a different kind of fall classic.

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The Tribe didn't make it to the World Series, but the Jake will. The sixth annual Heinen's/WVIZ World Series of Wine will score big this week with six wine seminars, three wine-tasting events at Jacobs Field, and five dinners starring the fruit of the vine. And all the bacchanalian indulgence can be excused, because proceeds benefit public television station WVIZ, and participants will simply be doing their part to support the arts.

Those with a flush entertainment budget -- as in $150 to $200 per person -- will sup and sip at five Cleveland restaurants. The dinners are filling up fast, but seating is still available at certain locations, including Blue Point Grille and One Walnut. In addition to good food and wine, there's an educational component: Winery representatives will be on hand to answer diners' questions. To learn even more, wine enthusiasts can attend the seminars, priced from $30 to $50, at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel. Topics range from "The ABC's of Wine Tasting," for novices, to a "Far Niente Vertical Tasting," more suited to those prone to debating the relative merits of one vintage versus another. This is where you're likely to overhear such comments as "Everyone fell in love with the '94, but I really think that the '91 is so much more interesting . . . more chewy and leathery."

Peg Neeson, community relations director for WVIZ, says the highlight of the World Series of Wine has to be the Grand Tasting events. Friday and Saturday nights are already sold out, but tickets are still available for the Saturday afternoon tasting. All are held in the Terrace Club at Jacobs Field. At $65 per person, they offer a great opportunity to find out what the heck "chewy and leathery" wine tastes like anyway.

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