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Chocolate, Wine & Cheese Festival on tap for Friday

By ERIC STANWAY - For The Telegraph | Mar 5, 2020

When it comes to decadent luxury, you really have to work at surpassing the gustatory pleasures of fine wine, aged cheese and artisan chocolate. Attendees at the Chocolate, Wine & Cheese Festival will have ample opportunity to savor all three when they gather at the Radisson Hotel in Nashua from 7-9:30 p.m. on Friday. Tickets range from $15 to $50, with proceeds going to benefit the High Hopes Foundation of New Hampshire, a non-profit that specializes in organizing life-affirming experiences for critically ill children.

Attendees will be able to taste and experience international and domestic wines, gourmet chocolates, artisan cheeses, and specialty food products, including gourmet pastas, caramel and hot fudge, mustards, spicy ketchups, relishes & chutneys, dressings, jellies, infused maple syrups, infused sea salts, olive oils, balsamic vinegars and more.

“This is the seventh year that we’ve hosted this event,” said Tracy Dionne-Carlen, Director of Programs for the High Hopes Foundation. “We knew this would be a winner from the start, as the festival combines three things that all people love, along with a lot of other surprises along the way. We have an incredible number of local artisans, creating their own varieties of chocolate, wine and cheese. The opportunity was there to share that diversity with our attendees. There is really something here to satisfy every palate.”

Dionne-Carlen said the wines were chosen by the group’s partner, Wine on Main – previously known as Cava de Vino. The menu includes products provided by Ahtel Wines, Dunn Wines, Fortune Wine, The Imported Grape, PSP Imports, Vinilandia, Vino Del Sol, and LaBelle Winery.

Cheese will be featured from Cabot Cheese, Stellar Brands, and Hickory Nut Farms, chocolates from Loon Chocolate, Key Lime Chocolate, Lindt Chocolate, Spirit of Cacao, and Chrismix Candy. Other participating local producers will be Jack’s Crackers, Laurel Hill Jams and Jellies, Maca Boston, Golden Rule Farm, Wozz! Kitchen Creations, and Cucina Aurora.

“Everything is produced locally,” Dionne-Carlen said. “We feel very strongly about supporting local businesses.”

The High Hopes Foundation of NH is a 501(c)(3) New Hampshire-only nonprofit with no national affiliation. They were founded in 1983 by two New Hampshire moms. They are dedicated to helping New Hampshire’s families, one experience at a time. Their mission statement: High Hopes Foundation provides life-enhancing experiences to New Hampshire’s chronically ill children. Their guiding principle is to make hope happen.

Dionne-Carlen said that the foundation also sponsors a number of other events throughout the year.

“We also host the New Hampshire Bacon and Beer Festival, now in its fifth year,” she said. “It’s a whole day to celebrate the savory goodness of bacon, alongside the endless possibilities of flavors that have come to define well-crafted beer. Then there’s the Show of Dreams, now in its 24th year. The event is put on by British Cars of New Hampshire, and benefits High Hopes and the NH Food Bank. We host the Peterborough Open Golf Tournament, now in its 29th year, held at the Crotched Mountain Golf Club. Finally, there’s the Pirate and Princess Festival, a fun-filled family day with games, food, music and more.”

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