International wines headline Nittany Lion Inn events

UNIVERSITY PARK – The Nittany Lion Inn has long made a niche for itself for its old world charm, inventive and delicious food and unmatched guest happiness. Over the past few years, there has been something else putting The Nittany Lion Inn on the map – its love for international wines. It started when Sean Caviston, The Dining Room's operational manager, began training with the Court of Master Sommeliers of North America. As he studied each region and how soil, climate and technique influenced unique wines, he created dining experiences at The Dining Room to share what he'd learned.

The result was Tastes of the World Wine Dinner Series – an event suited both for the most experienced wine connoisseur and interested novice – where education about a wine-making region is combined with a five-course meal from that area that perfectly paired wines with dishes. Each dinner features a country or location and their wines, and pairs them with an expertly prepared menu of that region's finest dishes. The dinners are equal parts delicious and educational, and diners learn about the wines, where they come from, and how they are made.

Every other month, the globe spins and you are transported to a new location where you can enjoy a gourmet meal paired with that area's very best wines. The journey has gone to to Australia with marinated emu paired with Australian Shiraz, to Portugal with Bolinho de Bacalhau (salt cod fritters) with Crasto from Douro Valley. In March, Spains food and wines were featured. Spanish dishes like paella and chorizo were paired with selections from four major wine regions throughout the country. Three sommelier interns with Penn State's School of Hospitality shared their knowledge of the history, climate and flavors of the six Spanish wines tasted over the course of the evening.

Sean is now a certified Sommelier and certified Wine Specialist in the Society of Wine Educators, but in true Penn State fashion, the learning never stops. The next destination for Tastes of the World takes place in September, and you won't want to miss it. Details are still pending about the featured location, but you can expect a night of amazing food and great wine. Reservations fill up quickly, so call 814-865-8560 to reserve your spot!

You don't have to wait until September to try the wines that helped earn the Wine Spectator “Best Of” Award of Excellence! On June 2, dine on their North Atherton patio for their Summer Winemakers Dinner Under the Stars, featuring wines of Charthia from Napa Valley. Charthia is an award-winning winery with a Penn State connection – Michael Raiser played lacrosse for Penn State in the '50s, and supported his daughter and son-in-law's winery to great success. Their 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon received 93 points by renowned wine critic Robert Parker. Seating is limited to just 70 guest, so reserve your spot now!

Wine Spectator Magazine has noticed The Dining Room's dedication to wines and recently bestowed it with a “Best Of” Award of Excellence. It is the first restaurant in the State College area—and only the 18th in the state—to earn the award.

The Inn proudly offers nearly 600 different bottles of wine, with 150 of these priced below $50. There is a price point for everyone, from the Astica Malbec from Argentina to the premium 2009 Chateau Palmer of Marguax France. Each bottle carries a story of its region of origin. Have you enjoyed a vacation in Alsace, Willamette, The Cape or other wine regions? Let the list transport you back to a memorable destination. Maybe you are beginning your passion and journey of the wines of the world; their wine list can help you set your course.

Every Wednesday at Whiskers is Winesday. Enjoy a curated list of award-winning wine served with delicious food in a comfortable, relaxed atmosphere. They also have a new beverage menu featuring cocktails with a Penn State story (check out the Blue & White Mojito, Tomb Collins or Nittany Lion Mule) sourced with ingredients exclusively from Pennsylvania distilleries.

Save your spot now for the next wine events. Choose a reservation time and party size for these one-of-a-kind wine events! Reservations are available by calling 814-865-8560. Email Sean Caviston at to be added to their mailing list.


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