The Llano Estacado Winery is proud to present the 17th Annual Wine and Chocolate Fantasia on Saturday, Feb. 8 from 6:30 – 8:30 pm. Each year the event draws a variety of local culinarians to interact in a competitive setting and showcase their talents with the people of Lubbock and beyond.
I had the opportunity to reach out to the main man over at Llano, Mike Laughlin, to see what’s in store for this year’s delicious event.
Q-For those that have never attended this event, what can visitors expect to see and taste while they’re there?
A- Since the artists choose their entry it’s hard to say what will be popping up this year. Last year, for instance, we had a pistol carved out of chocolate, a 4 foot tall Kliff Kingsbury and a chocolate Raider Red. We will be pouring a selection of our small batch, winery only wines, as well as some of our most popular grocery store wines. There will be lots of different takes on your traditional chocolate candy. In the past we’ve had everything from white chocolate and jalapeno slices to chocolate-covered bacon.
Q-After 17 strong years, you’re obviously doing something right. How did this event get started and what brings people back year after year?
A-This event was started on behalf of a local member of the Chef’s society who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. It’s a fun way to raise money and awareness of not only Parkinson’s, but all the local chefs who compete. I like to think people come back because of the, “what next” factor.
Q-Tell us about the art. How do you incorporate art into this event?
A-The back drop of the cellars and the chocolate creations are a fun way to juxtapose industry and manufacturing with art and society. Also, it helps that our cellars are cold so the chocolate doesn’t melt!
Q-Can you tell me about the local charity that this event will benefit?
A-Proceeds from ticket sales as well as the silent auction and corporate sponsorships go to Parkinson’s as well as to scholarships for local chefs.
Q-Is there something you are particularly excited about this year?
A-We have several surprises in store as well as a new wine debuting for those who are attending.
Q-If you could pair one of your wines with chocolate, what combination would you suggest?
A-Cellar Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon with bitter dark chocolate, perfect every time.
Here are some quick facts about this year’s event.
Who: The Llano Estacado Winery
What: 17th Annual Wine and Chocolate Fantasia
When: Saturday, Feb. 8 from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Where: Llano Estacado Winery (map)
Pricing: Tickets are $50. Call 806.745.2258 or visit LlanoWine.com for more details. Proceeds go to the Parkinson’s Society of West Texas as well as to fund scholarships for local chefs.
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