You really don’t need a formal invitation to savor some chocolate and wine — having discretion with your own desserts is one of the great perks of being an adult.
But if you must, get ready to RSVP: The 33nd annual Fantasies in Chocolate, a wine tasting and chocolate sampling fundraiser to benefit the RGJ Foundation, will be held Saturday, Nov. 18 at the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino.
Tickets are now on sale for the event. General admission pre-sale tickets cost $90 and can be purchased online. Pre-sale VIP single tickets cost $215 or $2,000 for a VIP table until Nov. 1.
The evening begins with a VIP dinner for VIP ticketholders that includes early access, reserved table seating for the evening, a sit-down dinner prepared by Grand Sierra, a live band, bubbles and wine. For general admission attendees, the evening includes tastings of chocolate confections and savory creations presented by some of the region’s top chefs and paired with champagne, wine, beer and spirits. Entertainment includes a live deejay, dance floor and more.
This year’s technicolor event is themed a “Splash of Color,” featuring art and interactive entertainment.
Since 2001, the RGJ Foundation has distributed more than $1 million to local nonprofit organizations, schools and individuals in the form of scholarships and grants. Previous recipients include the Nevada Diabetes Association, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northern Nevada, Nevada STEM Coalition, CARE Chest of Sierra Nevada, Ridge House, Food Bank of Northern Nevada and Boys and Girls Club of Truckee Meadows.
Wine, wine everywhere
Want to know what to sip at the 33rd annual Fantasies in Chocolate, a wine tasting and chocolate sampling fundraiser Nov. 18 at the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino?
Here are a few favorites from previous events to look for at this year's event:
- Dry Creek Zinfandel: You really can’t go wrong with any of Dry Creek’s fruity, classic California zins. Great paired with carrot cake, apple pie, fruit tarts, cheesecake with berries, and of course, chocolate.
- Divining Rod Pinot Noir: Sourced from a famed Oregon pinot noir region by winemaker Marc Mondavi, this pinot pairs well with herbal and savory treats.
- Ferrari-Carano Siena: From the Sonoma County winery’s Spirit of Italy family of wines, the siena features rich layers of smoky plums and, interestingly, cherry cola. Pairs with a variety of foods and great for sipping on its own.
- El Portillo Malbec: Rich and fruity with medium acidity, malbecs are great with charcuterie, cassoulets and dark chocolate.
- Wente Southern Hills Cabernet Sauvignon: With fruit from the valley floor and southern hills of Livermore Valley, this flavor-rich wine pairs with grilled veggies, pastas and red meat.
- Chateau Ste. Michelle Cold Creek Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon: Washington cabernets typically are lush, since long summer days on the vine promote the fruit. Pairs with veal, hearty pasta and good-old fashioned chocolate chip cookies.
- Chateau St. Jean Chardonnay: Produced by a notable chardonnay vintner, this pairs well with lighter fruits, cheeses and cheesecake.
- Lucinda & Millie Cabernet Sauvignon: This all-organic winery sources its 100-percent certified organic grapes from its traditionally farmed vineyard. Goes great with fruity ice creams, truffles, poached pears and barbecue.
- Rodney Strong Knotty Vines Zinfandel: This full-bodied, elegant wine from Rodney Strong’s Alexander Valley vineyards pairs well with lamb, cobblers, sorbets, pots de creme, chocolate pudding and more.
- Freixnet Carta Nevada Brut: Freixenet has more than 100 years producing méthode champenoise sparkling wines. It is light and clean with ripe peach/apricot fruit and vanilla flavors with a soft mouthfeel. Cava, like most sparkling wines, pairs with most dishes or is the perfect aperitif.