Celebrating 25 years of Chocolate, Wine & Roses


Chocolate candy. Chocolate desserts. There are few foods that can evoke the pleasurable response that chocolate has on the mind and body. One of the most pleasant effects of eating chocolate is the good feeling one gets when indulging.

The Chocolate, Wine & Roses Festival, a celebration of chocolate, turns 25 this year. Tahoe SAFE Alliance and Project MANA are thrilled to bring supporters together for a 25th Anniversary Silver Soiree celebration on Nov. 2 at the Hyatt Regency. Indulge in chocolate treats, sample a variety of wines and enjoy appetizers by Hyatt chefs while supporting two community organizations that are dedicated to fulfilling authentic social needs throughout the community.

Dress the Party, the main event sponsor, expects that guests attending Chocolate, Wine & Roses will want to add glitz and glamour for this year’s 25th Anniversary Silver Soiree. Guests are encouraged to add silver and white to their look to contribute to the ambiance of the evening. Visit the costume and party superstore in Incline Village to create a definitive look or find accessories that accentuate an outfit.


Dorinda’s Chocolates, Hyatt Regency, Jake’s on the Lake, Mr. Z’s, Nine 41, North Tahoe Catering, Rustic Lounge, Sunnyside, The Resort at Squaw Creek and The Ritz-Carlton will be participating at the Nov. 2 event. Many of these restaurateurs and chocolatiers have participated for many years and are all instrumental in supporting the collaborative fundraiser to keep Tahoe communities safe, healthy and fed.

The 25th Annual Chocolate, Wine & Roses also is a celebration of the men and women from around the lake that work with this temperamental ingredient, creating pieces of chocolate heaven. Justin Kaplan, Executive Chef at the new Incline Village eatery, Nine 41, will be serving a chocolate mousse with caramel ganache and gingerbread puree.

“Chocolate, while common, is delicate and difficult to work with,” Kaplan says. “A general tip for chocolate is to work low and slow. Low meaning low temperatures. Like our precious winter snow, chocolate does not like heat.”

Jake’s on the Lake and Mr. Z’s Chocolates have supported the Chocolate, Wine & Roses Festival for seven years. Scott Yorkey became Executive Chef at Jake’s On the Lake in May of 2005. Since then, Yorkey’s influence on the menu has garnered many awards and praise from food lovers of all types. He will be showcasing marshmallow bon bons at the Festival.

“The Chocolate, Wine & Roses Festival is an event Jake’s looks forward to each year,” he says. “We love the opportunity to raise money for violence prevention and hunger relief because these are real issues that must be addressed.”


Attendees of the 25th Annual Chocolate, Wine & Roses Festival will sample varietals from wineries including Ard Aven Winery, Hahn Family Wines, Opolo Vineyards, People’s Wine Revolution, Perry Creek Winery, Roots Run Deep and Wilson Creek with their signature almond champagne and chocolate port, to name a few. In addition, a uniquely spirited shot luge ice sculpture, care of Tahoe Ice Sculptures and Chocolatier Chris Banovich, will feature Tahoe Blue Vodka.


What better way is there to support two important nonprofits than spending an evening sipping wine and tasting delectable chocolate? Tahoe SAFE Alliance is dedicated to ending the incidence and trauma of intimate partner/domestic violence, sexual violence and child abuse. The need for their services is a real one – last year the agency provided direct services to 726 women, men, teens and children. Proceeds from ticket sales and live and silent auction support the 24-hour crisis line, safe house, a comprehensive children’s program and violence prevention education. Furthermore, since the collaboration began in 2009, the Chocolate, Wine & Roses Festival supports food distribution and nutrition education by Project MANA. In 2012, 4,501 individuals were served at weekly food distributions.

“A generous donor will provide a cash match at the Festival. We are hopeful that we will raise an additional $40,000 for our collaboration,” said Heidi Allstead, Project MANA’s Executive Director

The funds raised will help provide the nearly 25,000 community members that are food insecure and more than 700 clients to receive services for intimate partner/domestic violence, sexual violence and child abuse. Project MANA’s mission is to reduce hunger in the region and promote nutrition through education and awareness. Both agencies serve all of the North Shore including Incline Village, Kings Beach, Tahoe City and Truckee regions.

Visit tahoechocolatefestival.org to purchase tickets in advance for $85 per person or purchase at the door at the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe for $95 per person. The event is in the Regency Ballroom. Both organizations encourage guests to drink responsibly and worked with the Hyatt Regency to offer a special room rate for Chocolate, Wine & Roses Festival. Visit tahoechocolatefestival.org for more information.

For more information on the beneficiaries, visit tahoesafealliance.org or projectmana.org. Volunteers also are needed to help with the event and other programs.

Courtesy Tahoe SAFE Alliance

Jim Markle Photography

Tahoe Weekly
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