International and domestic wines will be paired with foods from local artisan cheesemakers and chocolatiers during Nashua’s first Chocolate, Wine & Cheese Festival on Friday, March 21.
It all starts with a Practical Wine Class presentation from WineNot Boutique owner and sommelier Svetlana Yanushkevich, who helped organize the event. Topics include “Wine Lingo 101,” “How to talk about wine’s legs and body without getting in trouble,” and “How to choose wine for a large group when you pay for a dinner vs. when your boss pays.”
Each wine vendor will have seven wines to taste with chocolate and cheese pairings, Yanushkevich said.
“It’s going to be a very exciting event,” she said. “I love wine so much, but for me it’s also pairing amazing wine with amazing food and educating clients.”
Participating local wineries include Grape Time Winery, LaBelle Winery and Sap House Meadery. Other wine vendors include Horizon Beverage Group and Monsieur Touton, a company that markets unique international wines with no “middle man,” Yanushkevich said. Circa plans to bring a Spanish wine made in a monastery that dates back to the Middle Ages.
“It’s a beautiful story of monks making grapes from the 11th century, and it’s still operating,” Yanushkevich said.
It’s those kinds of stories that guests will get a chance to hear at the festival. They’ll be able to meet and chat with wine vendors and sample chocolates with chocolatier Richard Tango-Lowy of Manchester’s Dancing Lion Chocolate, as well as Chocolate Plus, Taza Chocolates, Ryly’s Cheese and Seacrest Cheese. The program will include other vendors with food pairings like Cavedoni balsamic vinegars and olive oils from Cucina Aurora.
The festival benefits the New Hampshire Food Bank and Newspapers in Education, a program that gives students access to their local newspaper. It’s a collaborative effort between Yanushkevich and The Nashua Telegraph. Yanushkevich had previously held a similar wine, cheese and chocolate event on a smaller scale at a local church. That event became the inspiration for this year’s festival.
“It happened two years ago, but a lot of people still remember the event because it was so much fun,” Yanushkevich said.
As seen in the March 13, 2014 issue of the Hippo.