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Apr 20, 2018







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Sampling wine at the 2014 Chocolate, Wine and Cheese Festival. Courtesy photo.




Chocolate, Wine & Cheese Festival

When: Friday, March 20, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. and 7:30 to 9 p.m.
Where: Crowne Plaza, 2 Somerset Parkway, Nashua
Tickets: $25 for a sampler (must be 21+ with valid ID), which includes a commemorative wine glass. Designated driver ticket costs $5 (can still sample chocolate and cheese). 
Visit: nashuatelegraph.com/events




Wine with that cheese?
Festival offers pairings

03/19/15



After last year’s overwhelmingly successful debut, the Chocolate, Wine & Cheese Festival returns on the first day of spring with two chances for guests to try over 50 pairings of chocolate, wine and cheese.

“We were trying to come up with something new and just thought this would be a great addition to our events calendar,” Tracy Dionne, events producer for The Telegraph, said about last year’s festival. “We tried it out, and it was a huge success. We actually had to turn people away at the door, which we’ve really never had to do.” 
To ensure that those who wish to attend aren’t turned away, this year’s festival will include two sessions, one at 6 p.m. and one at 7:30 p.m., at the Crowne Plaza in Nashua.
So what is it about the combination of wine, chocolate and cheese that is so appealing? 
“I just think it’s the way they’re paired,” Dionne said. “[WineNot Boutique owner and sommelier Svetlana Yanushkevich] is a pro, so she does all the pairings for us. Right now we have a little over 60 wines we’ll be sampling.”
Yanushkevich arranges the pairings and works with many of the vendors who will provide products. 
“Because I own the independent wine shop it was easy for me to contact people I work with,” Yanushkevich said in a phone interview. 
This year’s vendors include Sap House Meadery in Center Ossipee, offering samples of traditional mead, sugar maple mead and vanilla bean mead; The Imported Grape in Bedford, currently focusing on wine from Argentina, Chile and Uruguay; Stellar Brands cheese, KRM Chocolates and other gourmet food vendors such as Putney House-Cavedoni Balsamic Vinegars in New London, Michele’s Totally Awesome Gourmet Popcorn in Epsom and Laurel Hill Jams & Jellies in Bedford. 
“It’s kind of table-to-table sampling,” Yanushkevich said. “We will have 40 tables, and all vendors will represent gourmet food, cheese, chocolate, wine and spirits.”
Yanushkevich said she’s spent hours preparing notes for the pairings, including product descriptions, flavor profiles, type of grape and a recommended meal to enjoy the wine with. She hopes that with guided tastings, people will discover new wines and ways to serve them. She also hopes that the festival will introduce people to unique wines, from “unknown regions or unique grapes.” 
“If they like this bottle they can find it in local markets and cook a nice meal at home,” she said. 
The tasting will be rather free-form, with tables set up around the perimeter of the room. Other than Yanushkevich saying a few words about chocolate, wine and cheese at the beginning of each session, guests are free to roam the tables as they choose, sampling and asking questions and learning more about wine, chocolate and cheese.
“It’s not structured; it’s a very casual [event],” Dionne said.
Except for the wineries and wine distributors, most of the vendors will sell their products as well as offer them as samples. A portion of the festival proceeds will benefit the New Hampshire Food Bank. 
 
As seen in the March 19, 2015 issue of the Hippo.





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